Southern New England 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. In this Exemption Area (EA), a vessel may fish for several specific species using trawl gear and does not need to be on NE multispecies trip as long as it does not possess or land regulated multispecies beyond those included in the exempted fishery.
The Southern New England (SNE) EA is bounded on the West by a line running from the Rhode Island shoreline at 41°18.2' N. lat. and 71°51.5' W. long. (Watch Hill, RI) southwesterly through Fishers Island, NY, to Race Point, Fishers Island, NY; and from Race Point, Fishers Island, NY, southeasterly to the intersection of the 3-nautical mile line east of Montauk Point; southwesterly along the 3-nautical mile line to the intersection of 72°30' W. long., and south along that line to the intersection of the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone.
The SNE EA is bounded on the East by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:
|N. Latitude||W. Longitude|
|North to the Shoreline of mainland MA||70°00’|
This exemption area applies to vessels using trawl gear only. There are separate exemption areas in SNE for gillnet gear. A vessel fishing in this area may use mesh smaller than the minimum regulated mesh size to catch exempted species (see list below) if participating in the exempted fishery, and thus not fishing on a NE multispecies DAS and not retaining regulated multispecies (listed above). Minimum mesh size requirements for this area may be determined by other federal fishing permits that you have. Please check the gear requirements for any other federal fishing permits of the specific fisheries in which you are participating.
Small-Mesh Multispecies (Whiting) Possession Limits
- Red Hake: 5,000 lb
- Whiting (Silver hake and offshore hake combined) possession limit is dependent on the mesh size being fished:
- Mesh < 2.5 inches: 3,500 lb
- 2.5 ≤ Mesh < 3.0 inches: 7,500 lb
- Mesh ≥ 3.0 inches: 40,000 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:
Butterfish, spiny dogfish (trawl), Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, ocean pout, scup, shrimp, squid, summer flounder, weakfish, conger eels, sea robins, black sea bass, tautog (blackfish), blowfish, cunner, John Dory, mullet, bluefish, tilefish, longhorn sculpin, four spot flounder, alewife, hickory shad, American shad, blueback herring, sea ravens, Atlantic croaker, spot, swordfish; 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; American lobster – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less; and skate and skate parts – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board.
Note: Several species on this list are regulated by individual states and/or the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). For information regarding the applicable rules, please contact the ASMFC at (202) 289-6400.