(a)Purpose.Sections 600.520 and 600.525 regulate all foreign fishing conducted under a GIFA within the EEZ in the Atlantic Ocean north of 35°00′ N. lat.
(1)Allocations. Foreign vessels may engage in fishing only in accordance with applicable national allocations.
(2)Time and area restrictions.
(i) Fishing, including processing, scouting, and support of foreign or U.S. vessels, is prohibited south of 35°00′ N. lat., and north and east of a line beginning at the shore at 44°22′ N. lat., 67°52′ W. long. and intersecting the boundary of the EEZ at 44°11′12″ N. lat., 67°16′46″ W. long.
(ii) The Regional Administrator will consult with the Council prior to giving notice of any area or time restriction. NMFS will also consult with the USCG if the restriction is proposed to reduce gear conflicts. If NMFS determines after such consultation that the restriction appears to be appropriate, NMFS will publish the proposed restriction in the Federal Register, together with a summary of the information on which the restriction is based. Following a 30-day comment period, NMFS will publish a final action.
(iii) The Regional Administrator may rescind any restriction if he/she determines that the basis for the restriction no longer exists.
(iv) Any notice of restriction shall operate as a condition imposed on the permit issued to the foreign vessels involved in the fishery.
(3)TALFF. The TALFFs for the fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean are published in the Federal Register. Current TALFFs are also available from the Regional Administrator.
(4)Species definitions. The category “other finfish” used in TALFFs and in allocations includes all species except:
(i) The other allocated species, namely: Short-finned squid, long-finned squid, Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, river herring (includes alewife, blueback herring, and hickory shad), and butterfish.
(ii) The prohibited species, namely: American plaice, American shad, Atlantic cod, Atlantic menhaden, Atlantic redfish, Atlantic salmon, all marlin, all spearfish, sailfish, swordfish, black sea bass, bluefish, croaker, haddock, ocean pout, pollock, red hake, scup, sea turtles, sharks (except dogfish), silver hake, spot, striped bass, summer flounder, tilefish, yellowtail flounder, weakfish, white hake, windowpane flounder, winter flounder, witch flounder, Continental Shelf fishery resources, and other invertebrates (except nonallocated squids).
(5)Closures. The taking of any species for which a Nation has an allocation is permitted, provided that:
(i) The vessels of the foreign nation have not caught the allocation of that Nation for any species or species group (e.g., “other finfish”). When vessels of a foreign nation have caught an applicable allocation of any species, all further fishing other than scouting, processing, or support by vessels of that Nation must cease, even if other allocations have not been reached. Therefore, it is essential that foreign nations plan their fishing strategy to ensure that the reaching of an allocation for one species does not result in the premature closing of a Nation's fishery for other allocated species.
(ii) The fishery has not been closed for other reasons under § 600.511.
(6)Allocation utilization. Foreign fishing vessels may elect to retain or discard allocated species; however, the computation of allocation utilization and fee refunds will be based on the total quantity of that species that was caught. Prohibited species must always be returned to the sea as required under § 600.509.
(c)Fishing areas. For the purposes of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean fishery, fishing areas are that portion of the EEZ shown inside the boundaries of the “three digit statistical areas” described in Figure 1 to this section.