Nantucket Shoals Dogfish 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 an exemption area off of Cape Cod designed for the spiny dogfish 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:
|N. Latitude||W. Longitude|
June 1 – October 15.
A vessel fishing in this area may use gillnet or trawl mesh smaller than required by the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Georges Bank (GB) Regulated Mesh Areas (RMA) catch spiny dogfish and other exempted species (see list below) if participating in the exempted fishery, and thus not fishing on a Northeast multispecies day-at-sea and not retaining regulated Northeast multispecies.
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 spiny dogfish and the following species as incidental catch:
- Longhorn sculpin;
- Silver hake (whiting) – up to 200 lb;
- Monkfish and monkfish parts – up to 10 percent, 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;
- American lobster – up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less; and
- Skate or skate parts – up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board.
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. LOAs may be obtained from the Greater Atlantic Region Permit Office at (978) 281-9370, or online on our permits page.