50 CFR 223.206 - Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.

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§ 223.206 Exceptions to prohibitions relating to sea turtles.
(a) Permits—
(1) Scientific research, education, zoological exhibition, or species enhancement permits. The Assistant Administrator may issue permits authorizing activities which would otherwise be prohibited under § 223.205(a) for scientific or educational purposes, for zoological exhibition, or to enhance the propagation or survival of threatened species of sea turtles, in accordance with and subject to the conditions of part 222, subpart C—General Permit Procedures.
(2) Incidental-take permits. The Assistant Administrator may issue permits authorizing activities that would otherwise be prohibited under § 223.205(a) in accordance with section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1539(a)(1)(B)), and in accordance with, and subject to, the implementing regulations in part 222 of this chapter. Such permits may be issued for the incidental taking of threatened and endangered species of sea turtles.
(b) Exception for injured, dead, or stranded specimens. If any member of any threatened species of sea turtle is found injured, dead, or stranded, any agent or employee of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, or any other Federal land or water management agency, or any agent or employee of a state agency responsible for fish and wildlife who is designated by his or her agency for such purposes, may, when acting in the course of his or her official duties, take such specimens without a permit if such taking is necessary to aid a sick, injured, or stranded specimen or dispose of a dead specimen or salvage a dead specimen which may be useful for scientific study. Whenever possible, live specimens shall be returned to their aquatic environment as soon as possible. Every action shall be reported in writing to the Assistant Administrator within 30 days, and reports of further occurrence shall be made as deemed appropriate by the Assistant Administrator until the specimen is either returned to its environment or disposed of. Reports shall be mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Assistant Administrator and shall contain the following information:
(1) Name and position of the official or employee involved;
(2) Description of the specimen(s) involved;
(3) Date and location of disposal;
(4) Circumstances requiring the action;
(5) Method of disposal;
(6) Disposition of the specimen(s), including, where the specimen(s) has been retained in captivity, a description of the place and means of confinement, and the measures taken for its maintenance and care; and
(7) Such other information as the Assistant Administrator may require.
(c) Exception for research or conservation. Any employee or agent of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, or a state fish and wildlife agency operating a conservation program pursuant to the terms of a Cooperative Agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service or the Fish and Wildlife Service in accordance with section 6(c) of the Act, designated by his or her agency for such purposes, may, when acting in the course of his or her official duties, take any threatened species to carry out scientific research or conservation programs. All such takings shall be reported within 30 days of the taking to the Assistant Administrator who may request additional reports of the taking and research at the Assistant Administrator's discretion.
(d) Exception for incidental taking. The prohibitions against taking in § 223.205(a) do not apply to the incidental take of any member of a threatened species of sea turtle (i.e., a take not directed towards such member) during fishing or scientific research activities, to the extent that those involved are in compliance with all applicable requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(11) of this section, or in compliance with the terms and conditions of an incidental take permit issued pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
(1) Handling and resuscitation requirements.
(i) Any specimen taken incidentally during the course of fishing or scientific research activities must be handled with due care to prevent injury to live specimens, observed for activity, and returned to the water according to the following procedures:
(A) Sea turtles that are actively moving or determined to be dead as described in paragraph (d)(1)(i)(C) of this section must be released over the stern of the boat. In addition, they must be released only when fishing or scientific collection gear is not in use, when the engine gears are in neutral position, and in areas where they are unlikely to be recaptured or injured by vessels.
(B) Resuscitation must be attempted on sea turtles that are comatose, or inactive, as determined in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, by:
(1) Placing the turtle on its bottom shell (plastron) so that the turtle is right side up and elevating its hindquarters at least 6 inches (15.2 cm) for a period of 4 up to 24 hours. The amount of the elevation depends on the size of the turtle; greater elevations are needed for larger turtles. Periodically, rock the turtle gently left to right and right to left by holding the outer edge of the shell (carapace) and lifting one side about 3 inches (7.6 cm) then alternate to the other side. Gently touch the eye and pinch the tail (reflex test) periodically to see if there is a response.
(2) Sea turtles being resuscitated must be shaded and kept damp or moist but under no circumstance be placed into a container holding water. A water-soaked towel placed over the head, carapace, and flippers is the most effective method in keeping a turtle moist.
(3) Sea turtles that revive and become active must be released over the stern of the boat only when fishing or scientific collection gear is not in use, when the engine gears are in neutral position, and in areas where they are unlikely to be recaptured or injured by vessels. Sea turtles that fail to respond to the reflex test or fail to move within 4 hours (up to 24, if possible) must be returned to the water in the same manner as that for actively moving turtles.
(C) A turtle is determined to be dead if the muscles are stiff (rigor mortis) and/or the flesh has begun to rot; otherwise the turtle is determined to be comatose or inactive and resuscitation attempts are necessary.
(ii) In addition to the provisions of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section, a person aboard a vessel in the Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, that has pelagic or bottom longline gear on board and that has been issued, or is required to have, a limited access permit for highly migratory species under § 635.4 of this title, must comply with the handling and release requirements specified in § 635.21 of this title.
(iii) Any specimen taken incidentally during the course of fishing or scientific research activities must not be consumed, sold, landed, offloaded, transshipped, or kept below deck.
(2) Gear requirements for trawlers—
(i) TED requirement for shrimp trawlers. Any shrimp trawler that is in the Atlantic Area or Gulf Area must have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing. A net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp trawler. Exceptions to the TED requirement for shrimp trawlers are provided in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section.
(ii) Exemptions from the TED requirement—
(A) Alternative tow-time restrictions. A shrimp trawler is exempt from the TED requirements of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section if it complies with the alternative tow-time restrictions in paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section and if it:
(1) Has on board no power or mechanical-advantage trawl retrieval system (i.e., any device used to haul any part of the net aboard);
(2) Is a bait shrimper that retains all live shrimp on board with a circulating seawater system, if it does not possess more than 32 lb. (14.5 kg) of dead shrimp on board, if it has a valid original state bait-shrimp license, and if the state license allows the licensed vessel to participate in the bait shrimp fishery exclusively;
(3) Has only a pusher-head trawl, skimmer trawl, or wing net rigged for fishing;
(4) Is in an area during a period for which tow-time restrictions apply under paragraphs (d)(3)(ii) or (iii) of this section, if it complies with all applicable provisions imposed under those paragraphs; or
(5) Is using a single test net (try net) with a headrope length of 12 ft (3.6 m) or less and with a footrope length of 15 ft (4.6 m) or less, if it is pulled immediately in front of another net or is not connected to another net in any way, if no more than one test net is used at a time, and if it is not towed as a primary net, in which case the exemption under this paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(A) applies to the test net.
(B) Exempted gear or activities. The following fishing gear or activities are exempted from the TED requirements of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section:
(1) A beam or roller trawl, if the frame is outfitted with rigid vertical bars, and if none of the spaces between the bars, or between the bars and the frame, exceeds 4 inches (10.2 cm); and
(2) A shrimp trawler fishing for, or possessing, royal red shrimp, if royal red shrimp constitutes at least 90 percent (by weight) of all shrimp either found on board, or offloaded from that shrimp trawler.
(iii) Gear requirement—summer flounder trawlers—
(A) TED requirement. (1) Any summer flounder trawler in the summer flounder fishery-sea turtle protection area must have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing. A net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the summer flounder trawler. Exceptions to the TED requirement for summer flounder trawlers are provided in paragraph (d)(2)(iii)(B) of this section.
(2) Any approved hard TED or special hard TED installed in a summer flounder trawl must be installed in a TED extension. The TED extension is a cylindrical piece of webbing distinct from the main trawl's body, wings, codend, and any other net extension(s). The TED extension must be constructed of webbing no larger than 3.5 inch (8.9 cm) stretched mesh. The TED extension must extend at least 24 inches (61.0 cm) but not more than 36 inches (91.4 cm) forward of the leading edge of the TED and aft of the trailing edge of the grid.
(B) Exemptions from the TED requirement. Any summer flounder trawler north of 35°46.1′ N. lat. (Oregon Inlet, NC) from January 15 through March 15 annually is exempt from the TED requirement of paragraph (d)(2)(iii)(A) of this section, unless the Assistant Administrator determines that TED use is necessary to protect sea turtles or ensure compliance, pursuant to the procedures of paragraph (d)(4) of this section.
(C) Monitoring. Summer flounder trawlers must carry onboard a NMFS-approved observer if requested by the Southeast Regional Administrator or the Northeast Regional Administrator. A written notification will be sent to the address specified for the vessel in either the NMFS or state fishing permit application, or to the address specified for registration or documentation purposes, or upon written notification otherwise served on the owner or operator of the vessel. Owners and operators must comply with the terms and conditions specified in such written notification. All NMFS-approved observers will report any violations of this section, or other applicable regulations and laws. Information collected by observers may be used for enforcement purposes.
(D) Additional sea turtle conservation measures. The Assistant Administrator may impose other such restrictions upon summer flounder trawlers as the Assistant Administrator deems necessary or appropriate to protect sea turtles and ensure compliance, pursuant to the procedures of paragraph (d)(4) of this section. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, a requirement to use TEDs in areas other than summer flounder fishery-sea turtle protection area, a requirement to use limited tow-times, and closure of the fishery.
(3) Tow-time restrictions—
(i) Duration of tows. If tow-time restrictions are utilized pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(ii), (d)(3)(ii), or (d)(3)(iii) of this section, a shrimp trawler must limit tow times. The tow time is measured from the time that the trawl door enters the water until it is removed from the water. For a trawl that is not attached to a door, the tow time is measured from the time the codend enters the water until it is removed from the water. Tow times may not exceed:
(A) 55 minutes from April 1 through October 31; and
(B) 75 minutes from November 1 through March 31.
(ii) Alternative—special environmental conditions. The Assistant Administrator may allow compliance with tow-time restrictions, as an alternative to the TED requirement of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, if the Assistant Administrator determines that the presence of algae, seaweed, debris or other special environmental conditions in a particular area makes trawling with TED-equipped nets impracticable.
(iii) Substitute—ineffectiveness of TEDs. The Assistant Administrator may require compliance with tow-time restrictions, as a substitute for the TED requirement of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, if the Assistant Administrator determines that TEDs are ineffective in protecting sea turtles.
(iv) Notice; applicability; conditions. The Assistant Administrator will publish notification concerning any tow-time restriction imposed under paragraph (d)(3)(ii) or (iii) of this section in the Federal Register and will announce it in summary form on channel 16 of the marine VHF radio. A notification of tow-time restrictions will include findings in support of these restrictions as an alternative to, or as substitute for, the TED requirements. The notification will specify the effective dates, the geographic area where tow-time restrictions apply, and any applicable conditions or restrictions that the Assistant Administrator determines are necessary or appropriate to protect sea turtles and ensure compliance, including, but not limited to, a requirement to carry observers, to register vessels in accordance with procedures at paragraph (d)(5) of this section, or for all shrimp trawlers in the area to synchronize their tow times so that all trawl gear remains out of the water during certain times. A notification withdrawing tow-time restrictions will include findings in support of that action.
(v) Procedures. The Assistant Administrator will consult with the appropriate fishery officials (state or Federal) where the affected shrimp fishery is located in issuing a notification concerning tow-time restrictions. An emergency notification can be effective for a period of up to 30 days and may be renewed for additional periods of up to 30 days each if the Assistant Administrator finds that the conditions necessitating the imposition of tow-time restrictions continue to exist. The Assistant Administrator may invite comments on such an action, and may withdraw or modify the action by following procedures similar to those for implementation. The Assistant Administrator will implement any permanent tow-time restriction through rulemaking.
(4) Limitations on incidental takings during fishing activities—
(i) Limitations. The exemption for incidental takings of sea turtles in paragraph (d) of this section does not authorize incidental takings during fishing activities if the takings:
(A) Would violate the restrictions, terms, or conditions of an incidental take statement or biological opinion;
(B) Would violate the restrictions, terms, or conditions of an incidental take permit; or
(C) May be likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species listed under the Act.
(ii) Determination; restrictions on fishing activities. The Assistant Administrator may issue a determination that incidental takings during fishing activities are unauthorized. Pursuant thereto, the Assistant Administrator may restrict fishing activities in order to conserve a species listed under the Act, including, but not limited to, restrictions on the fishing activities of vessels subject to paragraph (d)(2) of this section. The Assistant Administrator will take such action if the Assistant Administrator determines that restrictions are necessary to avoid unauthorized takings that may be likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species. The Assistant Administrator may withdraw or modify a determination concerning unauthorized takings or any restriction on fishing activities if the Assistant Administrator determines that such action is warranted.
(iii) Notice; applicability; conditions. The Assistant Administrator will publish a notification of a determination concerning unauthorized takings or a notification concerning the restriction of fishing activities in the Federal Register. The Assistant Administrator will provide as much advance notice as possible, consistent with the requirements of the Act, and will announce the notification in summary form on channel 16 of the marine VHF radio. Notification of a determination concerning unauthorized takings will include findings in support of that determination; specify the fishery, including the target species and gear used by the fishery, the area, and the times, for which incidental takings are not authorized; and include such other conditions and restrictions as the Assistant Administrator determines are necessary or appropriate to protect sea turtles and ensure compliance. Notification of restriction of fishing activities will include findings in support of the restriction, will specify the time and area where the restriction is applicable, and will specify any applicable conditions or restrictions that the Assistant Administrator determines are necessary or appropriate to protect sea turtles and ensure compliance. Such conditions and restrictions may include, but are not limited to, limitations on the types of fishing gear that may be used, tow-time restrictions, alteration or extension of the periods of time during which particular tow-time requirements apply, requirements to use TEDs, registration of vessels in accordance with procedures at paragraph (d)(5) of this section, and requirements to provide observers. Notification of withdrawal or modification will include findings in support of that action.
(iv) Procedures. The Assistant Administrator will consult with the appropriate fisheries officials (state or Federal) where the fishing activities are located in issuing notification of a determination concerning unauthorized takings or notification concerning the restriction of fishing activities. An emergency notification will be effective for a period of up to 30 days and may be renewed for additional periods of up to 30 days each, except that emergency placement of observers will be effective for a period of up to 180 days and may be renewed for an additional period of 60 days. The Assistant Administrator may invite comments on such action, and may withdraw or modify the action by following procedures similar to those for implementation. The Assistant Administrator will implement any permanent determination or restriction through rulemaking.
(5) -(6) [Reserved]
(7) Restrictions applicable to gillnet fisheries in North Carolina. No person may fish with gillnet fishing gear which has a stretched mesh size larger than 41/4 inches (10.8 cm), annually from September 1 through December 15, in the inshore waters of Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, and all contiguous tidal waters, bounded on the north by 35°46.3′ N. lat., on the south by 35°00′ N. lat., and on the west by 76°30′ W. long.
(8) Restrictions applicable to large mesh gillnet fisheries in the mid-Atlantic region. No person may fish with or possess on board a boat, any gillnet with a stretched mesh size 7-inches (17.8 cm) or larger, unless such gillnets are covered with canvas or other similar material and lashed or otherwise securely fastened to the deck or the rail, and all buoys larger than 6-inches (15.2 cm) in diameter, high flyers, and anchors are disconnected. This restriction applies in the Atlantic Exclusive Economic Zone (as defined in 50 CFR 600.10) during the following time periods and in the following area:
(i) Waters north of 33° 51.0′ N. (North Carolina/South Carolina border at the coast) and south of 35° 46.0′ N. (Oregon Inlet) at any time;
(ii) Waters north of 35° 46.0′ N. (Oregon Inlet) and south of 3° 22.5′ N. (Currituck Beach Light, NC) from March 16 through January 14;
(iii) Waters north of 36° 22.5′ N. (Currituck Beach Light, NC) and south of 37° 34.6′ N. (Wachapreague Inlet, VA) from April 1 through January 14; and
(iv) Waters north of 37° 34.6′ N. (Wachapreague Inlet, VA) and south of 37° 56.0′ N. (Chincoteague, VA) from April 16 through January 14.
(9) Restrictions applicable to Pacific pelagic longline vessels. In addition to the general prohibitions specified in § 600.725 of chapter VI of this title, it is unlawful for any person who is not operating under a western Pacific longline permit under § 665.801 of this title to do any of the following on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean east of 150° W. long. and north of the Equator (0° N. lat.):
(i) Direct fishing effort toward the harvest of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) using longline gear.
(ii) Possess a light stick on board a longline vessel. A light stick as used in this paragraph is any type of light emitting device, including any fluorescent glow bead, chemical, or electrically powered light that is affixed underwater to the longline gear.
(iii) An operator of a longline vessel subject to this section may land or possess no more than 10 swordfish from a fishing trip where any part of the trip included fishing east of 150° W. long. and north of the equator (0° N. lat.).
(iv) Fail to employ basket-style longline gear such that the mainline is deployed slack when fishing.
(v) When a conventional monofilament longline is deployed by a vessel, no fewer than 15 branch lines may be set between any two floats. Vessel operators using basket-style longline gear must set a minimum of 10 branch lines between any 2 floats.
(vi) Longline gear must be deployed such that the deepest point of the main longline between any two floats, i.e., the deepest point in each sag of the main line, is at a depth greater than 100 m (328.1 ft or 54.6 fm) below the sea surface.
(10) Restrictions applicable to pound nets in Virginia—
(i) Offshore pound net leaders in Pound Net Regulated Area I. During the time period of May 6 through July 15 each year, any offshore pound net leader in Pound Net Regulated Area I must meet the definition of a modified pound net leader. Any offshore pound net leader in Pound Net Regulated Area I that does not meet the definition of a modified pound net leader must be removed from the water prior to May 6 and may not be reset until July 16.
(ii) Nearshore pound net leaders in Pound Net Regulated Area I and all pound net leaders in Pound Net Regulated Area II. During the time period of May 6 to July 15 each year, any nearshore pound net leader in Pound Net Regulated Area I and any pound net leader in Pound Net Regulated Area II must have only mesh size less than 12 inches (30.5 cm) stretched mesh and may not employ stringers. Any nearshore pound net leader in Pound Net Regulated Area I or any pound net leader in Pound Net Regulated Area II with stretched mesh measuring 12 inches (30.5 cm) or greater, or with stringers, must be removed from the water prior to May 6 and may not be reset until July 16. A pound net leader is exempt from these measures only if it meets the definition of a modified pound net leader.
(iii) Protocol for measuring mesh size. This protocol applies to measuring mesh size in leaders described in 50 CFR 223.206(d)(10)(i) and 223.206(d)(10)(ii). Mesh sizes are measured by a wedge-shaped gauge having a taper of 0.79 in. (2 cm) in 3.15 in. (8 cm) and a thickness of 0.09 in. (2.3 mm) inserted into the meshes under a pressure or pull of 11.02 lb. (5 kg). The mesh size is the average of the measurement of any series of 20 consecutive meshes. The mesh in the leader is measured at or near the horizontal and vertical center of a leader panel.
(iv) Reporting requirement. At any time during the year, if a sea turtle is taken live and uninjured in a pound net operation, the operator of the vessel must report the incident to the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, (978) 281-9328 or fax (978) 281-9394, within 24 hours of returning from the trip in which the incidental take was discovered. The report shall include a description of the sea turtles condition at the time of release and the measures taken as required in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. At any time during the year, if a sea turtle is taken in a pound net operation, and is determined to be injured, or if a turtle is captured dead, the operator of the vessel shall immediately notify NMFS Northeast Regional Office and the appropriate rehabilitation or stranding network, as determined by NMFS Northeast Regional Office.
(v) Monitoring. Owners or operators of pound net fishing operations must allow access to the pound net gear so it may be observed by a NMFS-approved observer if requested by the Northeast Regional Administrator. All NMFS-approved observers will report any violations of this section, or other applicable regulations and laws. Information collected by observers may be used for law enforcement purposes.
(vi) Expedited modification of restrictions and effective dates. From May 6 to July 15 of each year, if NMFS receives information that one sea turtle is entangled alive or that one sea turtle is entangled dead, and NMFS determines that the entanglement contributed to its death, in pound net leaders that are in compliance with the restrictions described in paragraph (d)(10)(ii) of this section, NMFS may issue a final rule modifying the restrictions on pound net leaders as necessary to protect threatened sea turtles. Such modifications may include, but are not limited to, reducing the maximum allowable mesh size of pound net leaders and prohibiting the use of pound net leaders regardless of mesh size. In addition, if information indicates that a significant level of sea turtle entanglements, impingements or strandings will likely continue beyond July 15, NMFS may issue a final rule extending the effective date of the restrictions, including any additional restrictions imposed under this paragraph (d)(10)(vi), for an additional 15 days, but not beyond July 30, to protect threatened sea turtles.
(vii) Modified leader inspection program. Any fisherman planning to use a modified pound net leader in Pound Net Regulated Area I or Pound Net Regulated Area II at any time from May 6 through July 15 must make his/her leader available for inspection and tagging by NMFS according to the following procedures. At least 72 hours prior to deploying a modified pound net leader, the fisherman or his/her representative must call NMFS at 757-414-0128 between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time and arrange for a mutually agreeable meeting date, time, and place. The fisherman must meet NMFS at such location at the designated time and allow NMFS to examine his or her gear to help ensure the leader is in compliance with the definition of a modified pound net leader. NMFS will ascertain whether the leader meets the following four criteria taken from that definition: (1) the lower portion of the leader is mesh and the upper portion consists of only vertical lines; (2) the mesh size is equal to or less than 8 inches (20.3 cm) stretched mesh; (3) the vertical lines are equal to or greater than 5/16 inch (0.8 cm) in diameter and strung vertically at least every 2 feet (61 cm); and (4) the vertical lines are hard lay lines with a level of stiffness equivalent to the stiffness of a 5/16 inch (0.8 cm) diameter line composed of polyester wrapped around a blend of polypropylene and polyethylene and containing approximately 42 visible twists of strands per foot of line. NMFS will also measure the height of the mesh in relation to the height of the entire leader. During the inspection, the fisherman must provide accurate and specific latitude and longitude coordinates of the location at which the leader will be deployed, as well as information on the low water depth at each end of the modified leader at the site at which it will be set. If the leader meets the four criteria previously described, the measurement of the height of the mesh in relation to the total height of the leader is recorded, and the low water depth and latitude and longitude coordinates of the specific location at which the leader will be deployed are provided and recorded, the leader will pass inspection. If it passes inspection, NMFS will tag the leader with one or more tamperproof tags. Removing or tampering with any tag placed on the leader by NMFS is prohibited. If a tag is damaged, destroyed, or lost due to any cause, the fisherman must call NMFS at 757-414-0128 within 48 hours of discovery to report this incident. After the leader is determined to have passed inspection, NMFS will issue a letter to the fisherman indicating that the leader passed inspection. The fisherman must retain that letter on board his/her vessel tending the inspected leader at all times it is deployed. Modified pound net leaders must pass inspection prior to being used at any time during the time period from May 6 through July 15 of each year.
(11) Restrictions applicable to sea scallop dredges in the mid-Atlantic—
(i) Gear Modification. During the time period of May 1 through November 30, any vessel with a sea scallop dredge and required to have a Federal Atlantic sea scallop fishery permit, regardless of dredge size or vessel permit category, that enters waters south of 41° 9.0' N. latitude, from the shoreline to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone must have on each dredge a chain mat described as follows. The chain mat must be composed of horizontal (“tickler”) chains and vertical (“up-and-down”) chains that are configured such that the openings formed by the intersecting chains have no more than 4 sides. The vertical and horizontal chains must be hung to cover the opening of the dredge bag such that the vertical chains extend from the back of the cutting bar to the sweep. The horizontal chains must intersect the vertical chains such that the length of each side of the openings formed by the intersecting chains is less than or equal to 14 inches (35.5 cm) with the exception of the side of any individual opening created by the sweep. The chains must be connected to each other with a shackle or link at each intersection point. The measurement must be taken along the chain, with the chain held taut, and include one shackle or link at the intersection point and all links in the chain up to, but excluding, the shackle or link at the other intersection point.
(ii) Any vessel that enters the waters described in paragraph (d)(11)(i) of this section and that is required to have a Federal Atlantic sea scallop fishery permit must have the chain mat configuration installed on all dredges for the duration of the trip.
(iii) Vessels subject to the requirements in paragraphs (d)(11)(i) and (d)(11)(ii) of this section transiting waters south of 41°9.0′ N. latitude, from the shoreline to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone, will be exempted from the chain-mat requirements provided the dredge gear is stowed in accordance with § 648.23(b) and there are no scallops on-board.
[64 FR 14070, Mar. 23, 1999]
Editorial Note:
For Federal Register citations affecting § 223.206, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.
Effective Date Notes:
1. At 64 FR 14070, Mar. 23, 1999, newly redesignated § 223.206 was revised. Paragraph (d)(5) contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.
2. At 67 FR 41203, June 17, 2002, § 223.206 was amended by adding paragraph (d)(2)(v). Paragraph (d)(2)(v)(C) contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

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