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NMFS issues this final rule to implement measures contained in Amendment 12 to the Northeast Multispecies Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) to

address the management of silver hake (whiting), red hake, offshore hake, and ocean pout and to implement the framework measure
approved in Amendment 11 to the FMP regarding essential fish habitat. Amendment 12 and these regulations establish differential whiting possession limits based on the mesh size with which a vessel chooses to fish. The intended effect of this action is to reduce fishing mortality rates on whiting and red hake to eliminate overfishing and rebuild the biomass in accordance with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

Final Rule