50 CFR 648.60 - Sea scallop access area program requirements.

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§ 648.60 Sea scallop access area program requirements.

(a) A limited access scallop vessel may only fish in the Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in § 648.59, subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in § 648.59, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(9), and (b) through (f) of this section. An LAGC scallop vessel may fish in the Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in § 648.59, subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in § 648.59, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (g) of this section.

(1) VMS. Each vessel participating in the Sea Scallop Access Area Program must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§ 648.9 and 648.10, and paragraphs (a)(9) and (f) of this section.

(2) Vessels participating in the Sea Scallop Access Area Program must comply with the trip declaration requirements specified in § 648.10(f) and vessel notification requirements specified in § 648.11(g) for observer deployment.

(3) Sea Scallop Access Area Allocations -

(i) Limited access vessel allocations.

(A) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, paragraphs (a)(3)(i)(B) through (E) of this section specify the total amount of scallops, in weight, that a limited access scallop vessel may harvest from Sea Scallop Access Areas during applicable seasons specified in § 648.59. A vessel may not possess or land in excess of its scallop allocation assigned to specific Sea Scallop Access Areas, unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section, unless the vessel owner has exchanged an area-specific scallop allocation with another vessel owner for additional scallop allocation in that area, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section. A vessel may harvest its scallop allocation, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(B) of this section, on any number of trips in a given fishing year, provided that no single trip exceeds the possession limits specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section,

(B) Full-time scallop vessels.

(1) In fishing year 2016, each full-time vessel shall have a total of 51,000 lb (23,133 kg) of scallops that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a).

(2) For the 2017 fishing year, each full-time vessel shall have a total of 17,000 lb (7,711 kg) of scallops that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a), starting on April 1, 2017.

(C) Part-time scallop vessels.

(1) For the 2016 fishing year, each part-time scallop vessel shall have a total of 20,400 lb (9,253 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a).

(2) For the 2016 fishing year, each part-time scallop vessel shall have a total of 10,200 lb (4,627 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a), starting on April 1, 2017.

(D) Occasional scallop vessels.

(1) For the 2016 fishing year, each occasional scallop vessel shall have a total of 4,250 lb (1,928 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a).

(2) For the 2017 fishing year, each occasional scallop vessel shall have a total of 1,420 lb (644 kg) of scallop that may be harvested from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area, as defined in § 648.59(a), starting on April 1, 2017.

(ii) One-for-one area access allocation exchanges. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may exchange unharvested scallop pounds allocated into one access area for another vessel's unharvested scallop pounds allocated into another Sea Scallop Access Area. These exchanges may only be made for the amount of the current trip possession limit, as specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section. For example, if the access area trip possession limit for full-time vessels is 17,000 lb (7,711 kg), a full-time vessel may exchange no less than 17,000 lb (7,711 kg), from one access area for no more or less than 17,000 lb (7,711 kg) allocated to another vessel for another access area. In addition, these exchanges may be made only between vessels with the same permit category: A full-time vessel may not exchange allocations with a part-time vessel, and vice versa. Vessel owners must request these exchanges by submitting a completed Access Area Allocation Exchange Form at least 15 days before the date on which the applicant desires the exchange to be effective. Exchange forms are available from the Regional Administrator upon request. Each vessel owner involved in an exchange is required to submit a completed Access Area Allocation Form. The Regional Administrator shall review the records for each vessel to confirm that each vessel has enough unharvested allocation remaining in a given access area to exchange. The exchange is not effective until the vessel owner(s) receive a confirmation in writing from the Regional Administrator that the allocation exchange has been made effective. A vessel owner may exchange equal allocations up to the current possession limit between two or more vessels under his/her ownership. A vessel owner holding a Confirmation of Permit History is not eligible to exchange allocations between another vessel and the vessel for which a Confirmation of Permit History has been issued.

(4) Area fished. While on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip, a vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from areas outside the Sea Scallop Access Area in which the vessel operator has declared the vessel will fish during that trip, and may not enter or exit the specific declared Sea Scallop Access Area more than once per trip. A vessel on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip may not enter or be in another Sea Scallop Access Area on the same trip except such vessel may transit another Sea Scallop Access Area provided its gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

(i)-(ii) [Reserved]

(5) Possession and landing limits -

(i) Scallop possession limits. Unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section, after declaring a trip into a Sea Scallop Access Area, a vessel owner or operator of a limited access scallop vessel may fish for, possess, and land, per trip, scallops, up to the maximum amounts specified in the table in this paragraph (a)(5). No vessel declared into the Access Areas as described in § 648.59(a) through (e) may possess more than 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops outside of the Access Areas described in § 648.59(a) through (e).

Fishing year Permit category possession limit
Full-time Part-time Occasional
2016 17,000 lb (57,711 kg) 10,200 lb (4,627 kg) 1,420 lb (644 kg).
2017 17,000 lb (57,711 kg) 10,200 lb (4,627 kg) 1,420 lb (644 kg).

(ii) NE multispecies possession limits and yellowtail flounder TACs. A limited access scallop vessel that is declared into a trip and fishing within the Sea Scallop Access Areas described in § 648.59(b) through (d), and issued a valid NE multispecies permit as specified in § 648.4(a)(1), may fish for, possess, and land, per trip, up to a maximum of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of all NE multispecies combined, excluding yellowtail flounder, subject to the minimum commercial fish size restrictions specified in § 648.83(a)(1), and the additional restrictions for Atlantic cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder specified in paragraphs (a)(5)(ii)(A) through (C) of this section. Such vessel is subject to the seasonal restriction established under the Sea Scallop Area Access Program and specified in § 648.59(b)(4), (c)(4), and (d)(4).

(A) Atlantic cod. Such vessel may bring onboard and possess only up to 100 lb (45.4 kg) of Atlantic cod per trip, provided such fish is intended for personal use only and cannot be not sold, traded, or bartered.

(B) Haddock. Such vessels may possess and land haddock up to the overall possession limit of all NE multispecies combined, as specified in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section, except that such vessels are prohibited from possessing or landing haddock from January 1 through June 30.

(C) Yellowtail flounder. Such vessel is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, or landing yellowtail flounder.

(iii)-(iv) [Reserved]

(6) Gear restrictions.

(i) The minimum ring size for dredge gear used by a vessel fishing on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip is 4 inches (10.2 cm) in diameter. Dredge or trawl gear used by a vessel fishing on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip must be in accordance with the restrictions specified in § 648.51(a) and (b).

(ii) Vessels fishing in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Closed Area Sea Scallop Access Areas described in § 648.59(b) through (d) are prohibited from fishing with trawl gear as specified in § 648.51(f)(1).

(7) Transiting. While outside a Sea Scallop Access Area on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip, the vessel must have all fishing gear stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, unless there is a compelling safety reason to be transiting the area without gear stowed.

(8) Off-loading restrictions. The vessel may not offload its catch from a Sea Scallop Access Area trip at more than one location per trip.

(9) Reporting. The owner or operator must submit scallop catch reports through the VMS, as specified in § 648.10(f)(4)(i), and limited access scallop access area pre-landing notification forms, as specified in § 648.10(f)(4)(iii).

(b) [Reserved]

(c) Access area scallop allocation carryover. Unless otherwise specified in § 648.59, a limited access scallop vessel operator may fish any unharvested Scallop Access Area allocation from a given fishing year within the first 60 days of the subsequent fishing year if the Access Area is open. For example, if a full-time vessel has 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) remaining in the Mid-Atlantic Access Area at the end of fishing year 2016, that vessel may harvest 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) from its 2017 fishing year scallop access area allocation during the first 60 days that the Mid-Atlantic Access Area is open in fishing year 2017 (March 1, 2017, through April 29, 2018). Unless otherwise specified in § 648.59, if an Access Area is not open in the subsequent fishing year, then the unharvested scallop allocation would expire at the end of the fishing year that the scallops were allocated.

(d) Increase in possession limit to defray costs of observers - The Regional Administrator may increase the sea scallop possession limit specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section to defray costs of at-sea observers deployed on area access trips subject to the limits specified § 648.53(g). An owner of a scallop vessel shall be notified of the increase in the possession limit through a permit holder letter issued by the Regional Administrator. If the observer set-aside is fully utilized prior to the end of the fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall notify owners of scallop vessels that, effective on a specified date, the increase in the possession limit is no longer available to offset the cost of observers. Unless otherwise notified by the Regional Administrator, vessel owners shall be responsible for paying the cost of the observer, regardless of whether the vessel lands or sells sea scallops on that trip, and regardless of the availability of set-aside for an increased possession limit.

(e) Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Harvest in Access Areas -

(1) Access Areas available for harvest of research set-aside (RSA). Unless otherwise specified, RSA may be harvested in any access area that is open in a given fishing year, as specified through a framework adjustment and pursuant to § 648.56. The amount of scallops that can be harvested in each access area by vessels participating in approved RSA projects shall be determined through the RSA application review and approval process. The access areas open for RSA harvest for fishing years 2016 and 2017 are:

(i) 2016: The Mid-Atlantic Scallop Access Area, as specified in § 648.59(a).

(ii) 2017: None.

(2) [Reserved]

(f) VMS polling. For the duration of the Sea Scallop Area Access Program, as described in this section, all sea scallop vessels equipped with a VMS unit shall be polled at a minimum of twice per hour, regardless of whether the vessel is enrolled in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program. Vessel owners shall be responsible for paying the costs of polling twice per hour.

(g) Limited Access General Category Vessels.

(1) An LAGC scallop vessel may only fish in the scallop access areas specified in § 648.59(a) through (e) or in (g)(3)(iv) of this section, subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in § 648.59(b)(4), (c)(4), and (d)(4), and subject to the possession limit specified in § 648.52(a), and provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(6) through (9), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this section. A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in § 648.59(b) through (d), provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in § 648.59(b)(5)(ii), (c)(5)(ii), and (d)(5)(ii), and this paragraph (g), but may not fish for, possess, or land scallops on such trips.

(2) Limited Access General Category Gear restrictions. An LAGC IFQ scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in § 648.59(b) through (e) must fish with dredge gear only. The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC scallop vessel fishing in Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Access Areas may not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m). The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC scallop vessel fishing in the remaining Access Areas described in § 648.59 may not exceed 31 ft (9.4 m). Dredge width is measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

(3) LAGC IFQ Access Area Trips.

(i) An LAGC scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in § 648.59(a) through (e) or in paragraph (g)(3)(iv) of this section may land scallops, subject to the possession limit specified in § 648.52(a), unless the Regional Administrator has issued a notice that the number of LAGC IFQ access area trips have been or are projected to be taken. The total number of LAGC IFQ trips in a specified Access Area for fishing year 2016 and 2017 are:

Access area 2016 2017
Mid-Atlantic Access Area 2,068 602
Closed Area 1 0 0
Closed Area 2 0 0
Nantucket Lightship 0 0
Nantucket Lightship North 485 0

(ii) Scallops landed by each LAGC IFQ vessel on an access area trip shall count against the vessel's IFQ.

(iii) Upon a determination from the Regional Administrator that the total number of LAGC IFQ trips in a specified Access Area have been or are projected to be taken, the Regional Administrator shall publish notification of this determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Once this determination has been made, an LAGC IFQ scallop vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the specified Access Area after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register.

(iv) Nantucket Lightship North Sea Scallop Access Area.

(A) From March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2018 (i.e., fishing years 2016 and 2017), a vessel issued an LAGC IFQ scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Nantucket Lightship North Access Area, described in paragraph (g)(3)(iv)(B) of this section, unless the vessel is participating in, and complying with the requirements of, the area access program described in this section or the vessel is transiting pursuant to § 648.59(f). A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may not fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, unless it complies with restrictions in paragraph (d)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.

(B) The Nantucket Lightship North Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

Point Latitude Longitude
NLNAA1 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W.
NLNAA2 40°30′ N. 69°00′ W.
NLNAA3 40°30′ N. 69°30′ W.
NLNAA4 40°50′ N. 69°30′ W.
NLNAA1 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W.

(4) Possession Limits - (i) Scallops. A vessel issued a NE multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under § 648.85 under multispecies DAS, and that has not enrolled in the LAGC Access Area fishery, is prohibited from possessing scallops. An LAGC scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in § 648.59(a) through (e) may possess scallops up to the possession limit specified in § 648.52(a).

(ii) Other species. Unless issued an LAGC scallop permit and fishing under an approved NE multispecies SAP under NE multispecies DAS, an LAGC IFQ vessel fishing in the Access Areas specified in § 648.59(b) through (d) is prohibited from possessing any species of fish other than scallops and monkfish, as specified in § 648.94(c)(8)(i).

[71 FR 33231, June 8, 2006]
Editorial Note:
For Federal Register citations affecting § 648.60, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code

Title 50 published on 2015-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR Part 648 after this date.

  • 2015-12-01; vol. 80 # 230 - Tuesday, December 1, 2015
    1. 80 FR 75008 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Temporary rule; quota transfer.
      Effective November 30, 2015, through December 31, 2015.
      50 CFR Part 648