50 CFR 229.33 - Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan Regulations

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§ 229.33 Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan Regulations - New England.

(a) Restrictions -

(1) Northeast Closure Area -

(i) Area restrictions. From August 15 through September 13, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Northeast Closure Area. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described and used as set forth in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Northeast Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Northeast Closure Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
NE1 44°27.3′ 68°55.0′ (ME shoreline)
NE2 43°29.6′ 68°55.0′
NE3 44°04.4′ 67°48.7′
NE4 44°06.9′ 67°52.8′
NE5 44°31.2′ 67°02.7′
NE6 44°45.8′ 67°02.7′ (ME shoreline)

(2) Mid-Coast Management Area -

(i) Area restrictions. From September 15 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Mid-Coast Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This prohibition does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described and used as set forth in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Mid-Coast Management Area is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Mid-Coast Management Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
MC1 42°30.0′ 70°50.1′ (MA shoreline)
MC2 42°30.0′ 70°15.0′
MC3 42°40.0′ 70°15.0′
MC4 42°40.0′ 70°00.0′
MC5 43°00.0′ 70°00.0′
MC6 43°00.0′ 69°30.0′
MC7 43°30.0′ 69°30.0′
MC8 43°30.0′ 69°00.0′
MC9 44°17.8′ 69°00.0′ (ME shoreline)

(3) Massachusetts Bay Management Area -

(i) Area restrictions. From November 1 through February 28/29 and from April 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Massachusetts Bay Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. From March 1 through March 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Massachusetts Bay Management Area. These restrictions do not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Massachusetts Bay Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Massachusetts Bay Management Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
MB1 42°30.0′ 70°50.1′ (MA shoreline)
MB2 42°30.0′ 70°30.0′
MB3 42°15.0′ 70°30.0′
MB4 42°15.0′ 70°00.0′
MB5 42°00.0′ 70°00.0′
MB6 42°00.0′ 70°01.2′ (MA shoreline)
MB7 42°00.0′ 70°04.8′ (MA shoreline)
MB8 42°00.0′ 70°42.2′ (MA shoreline)

(4) Stellwagen Bank Management Area -

(i) Area restrictions. From November 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Stellwagen Bank Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Stellwagen Bank Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Stellwagen Bank Management Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
SB1 42°30.0′ 70°30.0′
SB2 42°30.0′ 70°15.0′
SB3 42°15.0′ 70°15.0′
SB4 42°15.0′ 70°30.0′
SB1 42°30.0′ 70°30.0′

(5) Southern New England Management Area -

(i) Area restrictions. From December 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Southern New England Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This prohibition does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Southern New England Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Southern New England Management Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
SNE1 Western boundary as specified 1.
SNE2 40°00.0′ 72°30.0′
SNE3 40°00.0′ 69°30.0′
SNE4 42°15.0′ 69°30.0′
SNE5 42°15.0′ 70°00.0′
SNE6 41°58.3′ 70°00.0′ (MA shoreline)

1 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°30.0′ W. long.

(6) Cape Cod South Closure Area -

(i) Area restrictions. From March 1 through March 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Cape Cod South Closure Area. This prohibition does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Cape Cod South Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Cape Cod South Closure Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
CCS1 41°19.6′ 71°45.0′ (RI shoreline)
CCS2 40°40.0′ 71°45.0′
CCS3 40°40.0′ 70°30.0′
CCS4 41°20.9′ 70°30.0′
CCS5 41°23.1′ 70°30.0′
CCS6 41°33.1′ 70°30.0′ (MA shoreline)

(7) Offshore Management Area -

(i) Area restrictions. From November 1 through May 31, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Offshore Management Area, unless the gillnet gear is equipped with pingers in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Offshore Management Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Offshore Management Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
OFS1 42°50.0′ 69°30.0′
OFS2 43°10.0′ 69°10.0′
OFS3 43°10.0′ 67°40.0′
OFS4 43°05.8′ 67°40.0′ (EEZ boundary)
OFS5 42°53.1′ 67°44.5′ (EEZ boundary)
OFS6 42°47.3′ 67°40.0′ (EEZ boundary)
OFS7 42°10.0′ 67°40.0′
OFS8 42°10.0′ 69°30.0′
OFS1 42°50.0′ 69°30.0′

(8) Cashes Ledge Closure Area -

(i) Area restrictions. During the month of February, it is prohibited to fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies from the Cashes Ledge Closure Area. This restriction does not apply to vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet (as described in § 648.81(f)(2)(ii) of this title).

(ii) Area boundaries. The Cashes Ledge Closure Area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Cashes Ledge Closure Area

Point N. Lat. W. Long.
CL1 42°30.0′ 69°00.0′
CL2 42°30.0′ 68°30.0′
CL3 43°00.0′ 68°30.0′
CL4 43°00.0′ 69°00.0′
CL1 42°30.0′ 69°00.0′

(b) Pingers -

(1) Pinger specifications. For the purposes of this subpart, a pinger is an acoustic deterrent device which, when immersed in water, broadcasts a 10 kHz (plus or minus 2 kHz) sound at 132 dB (plus or minus 4 dB) re 1 micropascal at 1 m, lasting 300 milliseconds (plus or minus 15 milliseconds), and repeating every 4 seconds (plus or minus 0.2 seconds).

(2) Pinger attachment. An operating and functional pinger must be attached at each end of a string of gillnets and at the bridle of every net, or every 300 feet (91.4 m or 50 fathoms), whichever is closer.

(c) Pinger training and authorization. The operator of a vessel may not fish with, set, haul back, possess on board a vessel unless stowed in accordance with § 229.2, or fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies in closed areas where pingers are required as specified under paragraph (b) of this section, unless the operator has satisfactorily received pinger training and possesses and retains on board the vessel a valid pinger training authorization issued by NMFS.

(d) [Reserved]

(e) Research permits. An exemption to the requirements set forth in this section may be acquired for the purposes of conducting scientific or gear research within the restricted areas described in this section. A scientific research permit must be acquired through NMFS's existing permit application process, administered by NMFS.

(f) Other special measures. The Assistant Administrator may, after consultation with the Take Reduction Team, revise the requirements of this section through notification published in the Federal Register if:

(1) NMFS determines that pinger operating effectiveness in the commercial fishery is inadequate to reduce bycatch below the stock's PBR level.

(2) NMFS determines that the boundary or timing of a closed area is inappropriate, or that gear modifications (including pingers) are not reducing bycatch to below the PBR level.

[75 FR 7396, Feb. 19, 2010, as amended at 78 FR 61826, Oct. 4, 2013]
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