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Layer: Clam Amendment - Final Council Preferred Alternatives (pending NMFS approval, rulemaking) (ID: 1)

Name: Clam Amendment - Final Council Preferred Alternatives (pending NMFS approval, rulemaking)

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Description: The New England Fishery Management Council is working on a Clam Dredge Framework to consider options for allowing continued surfclam fishery access to parts of the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area (HMA). The Council identified a final preferred alternative for clam and mussel dredge exemptions on December 4, 2018. This proposal will be submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service for possible approval, rulemaking, and implementation. The recommendation is referred to as Alternative 5 in the draft framework document and environmental assessment. Under Alternative 5, three exemption areas would be designated for both surfclam and mussel dredges: (1) McBlair, (2) Old South, and (3) Fishing Rip. Old South would be closed for six months from November 1-April 30 to reduce overlaps between clam dredging and cod spawning activities. The remainder of the Great South Channel HMA would be closed to clam and mussel dredges. The purpose of limiting the use of clam dredge gear to specific parts of the HMA only is to minimize the impacts of the fishery on benthic habitats.

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Copyright Text: Michelle Bachman, NEFMC [email protected]

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