This action would establish a scallop rotational harvest program within and/or around the Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area (i.e., “habitat management area” or “HMA”) that avoids habitats important to juvenile cod, minimizes adverse effects to essential fish habitats, minimizes adverse biological and economic impacts to other managed fisheries, and contributes to optimum yield for the scallop fishery.

The fishing gear restrictions associated with the Habitat Management Area on the Northern Edge are intended to minimize the impacts of fishing on essential fish habitats (EFH) for numerous species. As such, this framework would amend each of the New England Council’s fishery management plans (FMPs) that have a connection to the Habitat Management Area in terms of designated EFH. The affiliated FMPs include scallops, groundfish, herring, monkfish, and skates.