50 CFR § 648.26 - Mackerel, squid, and butterfish possession restrictions.

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§ 648.26 Mackerel, squid, and butterfish possession restrictions.
Link to an amendment published at 83 FR 64268, Dec. 14, 2018.

(a)Atlantic mackerel.

(1)Initial possession limits. A vessel must be issued a valid limited access mackerel permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel from or in the EEZ per trip, provided that the fishery has not been closed, as specified in § 648.24(b)(1).

(i) A vessel issued a Tier 1 Limited Access Mackerel Permit is authorized to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel with no possession restriction in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that the fishery has not been closed because 95 percent of the DAH has been harvested, as specified in § 648.24(b)(1)(i).

(ii) A vessel issued a Tier 2 Limited Access Mackerel Permit is authorized to fish for, possess, or land up to 135,000 lb (61.23 mt) of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that the fishery has not been closed because 95 percent of the DAH has been harvested, as specified in § 648.24(b)(1)(i).

(iii) A vessel issued a Tier 3 Limited Access Mackerel Permit is authorized to fish for, possess, or land up to 100,000 lb (45.36 mt) of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that the fishery has not been closed because 90 percent of the Tier 3 allocation has been harvested, or 95 percent of the DAH has been harvested, as specified in § 648.24(b)(1)(i) and (ii).

(iv) A vessel issued an open access mackerel permit may fish for, possess, or land up to 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(v) Both vessels involved in a pair trawl operation must be issued a valid mackerel permits to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ. Both vessels must be issued the mackerel permit appropriate for the amount of mackerel jointly possessed by both of the vessels participating in the pair trawl operation.

(2)Closure possession restrictions -

(i)Limited access fishery. During a closure of the commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to § 648.24(b)(1)(i), when 95 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours. Pursuant to § 648.24(b)(1)(ii), when 90 percent of the Tier 3 allocation is harvested, vessels issued a Tier 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours

(ii)Entire commercial fishery. During a closure of the directed commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to § 648.24(b)(1)(i), when 100 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued an open or limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2.26 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(b)Longfin squid.

(1) Unless specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, during a closure of the directed fishery for longfin squid vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid per trip at any time, and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours. If a vessel has been issued a longfin squid incidental catch permit (as specified at § 648.4(a)(5)(ii)), then it may not fish for, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid per trip at any time and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day, unless such a vessel meets the criteria outlined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) During a closure of the directed fishery for longfin squid for Trimester II, a vessel with a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit that is on a directed Illex squid fishing trip (i.e., possess over 10,000 lb (4.54 mt) of Illex) and is seaward of the coordinates specified at § 648.23(a)(5), may possess up to 15,000 lb (6.80 mt) of longfin squid. Once landward of the coordinates specified at § 648.23(a)(5), such vessels must stow all fishing gear, and render it not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, in order to possess more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid per trip.

(c)Illex. During a closure of the directed fishery for Illex,vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 10,000 lb (4.54 mt) of Illex per trip at any time, and may only landIllex once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours. If a vessel has been issued an Illex incidental catch permit (as specified at § 648.4(a)(5)(ii)), then it may not fish for, possess, or land more than 10,000 lb (4.54 mt) of Illex per trip at any time, and may only landIllex once on any calendar day.

(d)Butterfish.

(1) A vessel issued a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit (as specified at § 648.4(a)(5)(i)) fishing with a minimum mesh size of 3 inches (76 mm) is authorized to fish for, possess, or land butterfish with no possession restriction in the EEZ per trip, and may only land butterfish once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that directed butterfish fishery has not been closed and the reduced possession limit has not been implemented, as described in § 648.24(c)(1). When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the threshold for the butterfish fishery (as described in § 648.24(c)(1)), these vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) of butterfish per trip at any time, and may only land butterfish once on any calendar day. When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the DAH limit (as described in § 648.24(c)(1)), these vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (0.27 mt) of butterfish per trip at any time, and may only land butterfish once on any calendar day.

(2) A vessel issued longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit fishing with mesh less than 3 inches (76 mm) may not fish for, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) of butterfish per trip at any time, and may only land butterfish once on any calendar day, provided that butterfish harvest has not reached the DAH limit and the reduced possession limit has not been implemented, as described in § 648.24(c)(1). When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the DAH limit (as described in § 648.24(c)(1)), these vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (0.27 mt) of butterfish per trip at any time, and may only land butterfish once on any calendar day.

(3) A vessels issued a longfin squid/butterfish incidental catch permit, regardless of mesh size used, may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (0.27 mt) of butterfish per trip at any time, and may only land butterfish once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

[76 FR 60621, Sept. 29, 2011, as amended at 76 FR 68656, Nov. 7, 2011; 77 FR 16480, Mar. 21, 2012; 77 FR 23636, Apr. 20, 2012; 78 FR 3354, Jan. 16, 2013; 79 FR 18843, Apr. 4, 2014; 80 FR 14875, Mar. 20, 2015; 81 FR 24509, Apr. 26, 2016; 83 FR 65315, Dec. 20, 2018]