50 CFR 648.95 - Offshore Fishery Program in the SFMA.

§ 648.95 Offshore Fishery Program in the SFMA.

(a)General. Any vessel issued a valid monkfish limited access permit is eligible to apply for a Category F permit in order to fish in the Offshore Fishery Program in the SFMA.

(1) A vessel issued a Category F permit is subject to the specific provisions and conditions of this section while fishing on a monkfish DAS.

(2) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish Category C or D permit that applies for and is issued a Category F permit remains subject to the provisions specific to Category C and D vessels, unless otherwise specified under this subpart F.

(3) Limited access Category C or D vessels that apply for and are issued a Category F permit remain subject to the provisions specific to Category C and D vessels, unless otherwise specified under this subpart F.

(b)Declaration. To fish in the Offshore Fishery Program, a vessel must obtain a monkfish limited access Category F permit and fish under this permit for the entire fishing year, subject to the conditions and restrictions specified under this part. The owner of a vessel, or authorized representative, may change the vessel's limited access monkfish permit category within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit, provided the vessel has not fished under the monkfish DAS program during that fishing year. If such a request is not received within 45 days, the vessel owner may not request a change in permit category and the vessel's permit category will remain unchanged for the duration of the fishing year.

(c)Offshore Fishery Program Area. The Offshore Fishery Program Area is bounded on the south by 38° 00′ N. lat. and on the north, west, and east by the following coordinates, connected in the order listed by rhumb lines.

Point N. latitude W. longitude
1 41°18.6′ 66°24.8′
2 40°55.5′ 66°38.0′
3 40°45.5′ 68°00.0′
4 40°37.0′ 68°00.0′
5 40°30.0′ 69°00.0′
6 40°22.7′ 69°00.0′
7 40°18.7′ 69°40.0′
8 40°21.0′ 71°03.0′
9 39°41.0′ 72°32.0′
10 38°47.0′ 73°11.0′
11 38°04.0′ 74°06.0′

(d)Season. October 1 through April 30 each year.

(e)Restrictions.

(1) Except for the transit provisions provided for in paragraph (f) of this section, a vessel issued a valid Category F permit may only fish for, possess, and land monkfish in or from the Offshore Fishery Program Area while on a monkfish DAS.

(2) A vessel enrolled in the Offshore Fishery Program is restricted to fishing under its monkfish DAS during the season in paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish Category F permit fishing on a monkfish DAS is subject to the minimum mesh size requirements specified in § 648.91(c)(1)(i) and (c)(1)(iii), as well as the other gear requirements specified in § 648.91(c)(2) and (c)(3).

(4) A vessel issued a Category F permit must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§ 648.9 and 648.10 during the entire season established under paragraph (d) of this section. Unless otherwise required to maintain an operational VMS unit under the VMS notification requirements specified at § 648.10(b), a vessel issued a Category F permit may turn off its VMS unit outside of that season.

(f)Transiting. A vessel issued a limited access monkfish Category F permit fishing under a monkfish DAS that is transiting to or from the Offshore Fishery Program Area, described in paragraph (c) of this section, shall have all gear stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

(g)Monkfish landing limits and DAS allocations.

(1) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish Category F permit may land up to 1,600 lb (726 kg) tail weight or 4,656 lb (2,112 kg) whole weight of monkfish per monkfish DAS (or any prorated combination of tail weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor for tail weight to whole weight of 2.91).

(2) The monkfish DAS allocation for vessels issued a Category F permit shall be equal to the trip limit applicable to the vessel's monkfish limited access permit category divided by the fixed daily possession limit specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, and then multiplied by the DAS allocation for limited access monkfish vessels not issued Category F permits, specified under § 648.92(b)(1). For example, if a vessel has a limited access monkfish Category C permit, and the applicable trip limit is 800 lb (363 kg) for this category, and the vessel has an annual allocation of 40 monkfish DAS, then the monkfish DAS allocated to that vessel when issued a Category F permit would be 20 monkfish DAS (800 lb divided by 1,600 lb, multiplied by 40 monkfish DAS equals 20 DAS). Any carryover monkfish DAS will be included in the calculation of monkfish DAS for Category F vessels.

(3) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish Category F permit that is fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the NFMA is subject to the incidental landing limit specified at § 648.94(b)(3).

(4) When not fishing on a monkfish DAS, a vessel issued a limited access monkfish Category F permit may fish under the regulations applicable to the monkfish incidental catch (Category E) permit, specified at § 648.94(c).

(h)DAS usage by NE multispecies or sea scallop limited access permit holders. A vessel issued a Category F permit that also has been issued either a NE multispecies or sea scallop limited access permit, and is fishing on a monkfish DAS, is subject to the DAS usage requirements specified in § 648.92(b)(2).

[ 70 FR 21945, Apr. 28, 2005, as amended at 72 FR 20960, Apr. 27, 2007; 72 FR 53942, Sept. 21, 2007; 74 FR 20557, May 4, 2009; 79 FR 41925, July 18, 2014; 79 FR 52580, Sept. 4, 2014]

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