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Amendment 6 provides a framework abbreviated rulemaking process to address gear conflicts in the New England and MidAtlantic regions.

These amendments: Add an objective to the Atlantic Sea Scallop and Northeast Multispecies FMPs to allow management of gear conflicts in these fisheries (the American Lobster FMP currently has an objective sufficiently broad in scope to allow management of gear conflicts), adapt the framework process currently in place for the Northeast multispecies and Atlantic sea scallop conservation management programs to allow implementation of a gear conflict management program for all three FMPs, and add a list of management measures to each FMP from which the Council could select future solutions to gear conflicts through the framework adjustment process. The intent of this action is to provide mechanisms to reduce the economic loss caused by gear conflicts.

NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 8 to the Northeast Multispecies, Amendment 6 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop, and Amendment 6 to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plans (FMPs)

Final Rule