Atlantic Herring Slippage Prohibition
Slippage is catch that is discarded prior to being brought aboard or sampled by an observer.
Slippage in the Atlantic herring fishery means catch that is discarded prior to it being brought aboard a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and/or prior to making it available for sampling and inspection by a NOAA-approved observer.
Slippage includes releasing catch from a codend or seine prior to the completion of pumping the catch aboard and the release of catch from a codend or seine while the codend or seine is in the water.
Situations That Are Not Slippage
Fish that cannot be pumped and remain in the codend or seine at the end of pumping operations are not considered slippage. Discards that occur after the catch is brought on board and sorted are also not considered slippage.
Carrying an Observer
Mid-water trawl herring vessels carrying an observer may not slip catch and must bring all catch aboard the vessel to make it available for sampling by an observer. Vessels may make test tows without pumping catch on board, provided that all catch from test tows is available to the observer when the next tow is brought aboard.
Exceptions for Slippage Prohibition
Mid-water trawl herring vessels may slip catch if:
- Pumping the catch aboard could compromise safety;
- Mechanical failure prevents the catch from being pumped aboard; or
- Spiny dogfish have clogged the pump and prevent the catch from being pumped aboard.
Vessels that release catch before it has been sampled by an observer must complete a mid-water trawl released catch affidavit within 48 hours of the end of the fishing trip. The released catch affidavit details: (1) Why catch was released, (2) an estimate of the weight of fish caught and released, and (3) the time and location of the released catch.