Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area
Exempted fisheries allow vessels to fish for specific species without being subject to certain northeast (NE) multispecies regulations, including days-at-sea, provided the bycatch of regulated species is minimal. This is a small-mesh exemption area on Georges Bank designed for the whiting fishery, but some other species can be possessed or landed incidentally as well.
This exemption area (as seen above) is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated below:
|N. Latitude||W. Longitude|
June 15 – October 31, unless otherwise specified by notification in the Federal Register.
A minimum mesh size of 3-inch square or diamond mesh, applied to the first 100 meshes (200 bars in case of square mesh) for a vessel greater than 60 feet in length, or 50 meshes (100 bars in case of square mesh) for a vessel less than or equal to 60 feet in length, counted from the terminus of the net.
- Red Hake: 3,000 lb
- Whiting (Silver hake and offshore hake combined): 30,000 lb
Note: Possession limits may be reduced to 2,000 lb for whiting and 400 lb for red hake if the in-season possession limit triggers are reached.
Additional Incidental Species Allowed
While fishing in this exemption area, vessels may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than small-mesh multispecies (hakes) and the following species as incidental catch:
- Atlantic herring;
- Longhorn sculpin;
- Spiny dogfish;
- Atlantic mackerel;
- Monkfish and monkfish parts – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board or up to 50 lb tail weight (146 lb whole weight) of monkfish per trip, whichever is less; and
- American lobster – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less, unless otherwise restricted.
When transiting the Gulf of Maine or Georges Bank Regulated Mesh Areas (RMA), any nets with a mesh size smaller than the RMA minimum mesh size must be stowed and unavailable for immediate use.
While fishing in this exemption area, participating vessels must carry a Letter of Authorization (LOA) issued by the Regional Administrator, valid for a minimum of seven days. Participating vessels may withdraw from the program no earlier than seven days from the date of enrollment. LOAs, and withdrawals, may be obtained from the Greater Atlantic Region Permit Office at (978) 281-9370, or online on our permits page.