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This final rule implements management measures that include the following: A continuation of the current Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod trip limit and the current GOM area closures;

Two conditional 1-month closed areas (portions of Massachusetts Bay and Stellwagen Bank in January and Cashes Ledge in November), which would become effective if preliminary landings through July 31, 2000, indicate that more than 1.67 million lb (759 mt) of GOM cod have been landed; A 1-year extension of the Western GOM year-round closure, which otherwise would expire on April 30, 2001; The closure of a portion of Georges Bank (GB) east and southeast of Cape Cod during May to vessels fishing for multispecies and the removal of a regulatory provision that gave the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), the authority to reduce the GB cod trip limit; A continuation of the GB cod landing limit; A haddock daily landing limit of 3,000 lb/days at sea (DAS) (1,360.8 kg/DAS) with a maximum possession limit of 30,000 lb (13,608 kg) per trip with potential increases in landing limits; Establishment of a means to exempt for a 3-month period vessels fishing under charter/party regulations from regulations prohibiting fishing in GOM closed areas and of a prohibition on the use of DAS during that 3-month enrollment period; and A prohibition on any limited access vessel from fishing under a multispecies

DAS while taking passengers for hire. Also, this action removes the requirement to report GOM cod trip limit overages by calling the cod hail line. The intent of this action is to address overfishing of several stocks, in particular GOM and GB cod, and to achieve the rebuilding goals of the FMP for the 2000 multispecies fishing year.


Final Rule