Barndoor Skate Provisions
Information on when and how barndoor skates may be kept in the skate fishery.
Possession and landing of barndoor skate has been prohibited since 2003, when the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan (FMP) was first implemented. However, barndoor skate stock was declared rebuilt in 2016, and under Framework Adjustment 5 to the FMP, limited retention of barndoor skate is now allowed in the directed wing fishery.
Specifically, a proportional barndoor skate limit of 25% of overall skate catch is now permitted on directed wing fishery trips only (See Table Below). The barndoor skate wing possession limit is included within (not in addition to) the overall wing possession limit for any trip (i.e., total pounds of skate wings on board, including barndoor skate wings, are not allowed to exceed 3,000 lb in Season 1 and 5,000 lb in Season 2). However, the full barndoor limit may be retained even if the full wing possession limit has not been caught. For example, a vessel may possess 750 lb of barndoor skate wings on board in season 1, even if the vessel does has not caught the full 3,000 lb wing possession limit during the trip.
Proportional Barndoor Skate Possession Limits
|Type of Trip||Season||Trip Limit (lb)|
|Skate Wings||Whole Skates||Barndoor Skate Wings||Whole Barndoor Skates|
|Northeast (NE) Multispecies A, Scallop, or Monkfish DAS**||May 1 – August 31||3,000||6,810||750||1,703|
|September 1 – April 30||5,000||11,350||1,250||2,838|
**When targeting skates on this type of trip, a vessel is understood to be participating in the "directed skate wing fishery."
At this time, retention of barndoor skates is only allowed for vessels operating in the directed skate wing fishery. Any possession or landing of barndoor skates is still prohibited for vessels operating under any other fishing scenarios or possession limits for skates not explicitly described as permitted (see above table), including the following:
- Vessels fishing for bait skate under a bait letter of authorization;
- Vessels fishing under a NE Multispecies Category B DAS;
- Vessels fishing under the incidental skate possession limit (not under a DAS)*; and
- Vessels fishing in an exempted fishing program area that allows possession and landing of skate or skate parts without the use of a DAS.
*This does not include vessels in the directed skate wing fishery following an inseason adjustment reducing the possession limit to an incidental limit. This only applies to vessels not on a DAS.
Vessels planning on possessing and landing barndoor skate under the provisional measures described in Framework 5 should be aware of the following additional requirements and regulations regarding retention of barndoor skates:
- Discarding of any skate wings when possessing barndoor skate is prohibited. This provision is intended to prevent high-grading;
- Barndoor skate wings and carcasses on board a vessel must be separated from other species of fish and stored so as to be readily available for inspection;
- If/when the skate wing possession limit for the directed wing fishery is reduced to the incidental limit of 500 lb; the possession limit for barndoor skate wings will be reduced to a proportional 125-lb incidental limit; and
- Vessels operating in fisheries other than the directed wing fishery will not be allowed to possess barndoor skates (see list above if any confusion).
For more information about provisional barndoor skate retention, please see Framework Adjustment 5 to the FMP.