Surfclam and Ocean Quahog

1977: Original FMP established management of surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries through September 1979; established quarterly quotas for surfclams; established annual quotas for ocean quahogs; established effort limitation, permit, and logbook provisions; and instituted a moratorium on entry into the surfclam fishery for one year to allow time for the development of an alternative limited entry system such as a "stock certificate" program

1979: Amendment 1 extended management authority through December 31, 1979 and maintained the moratorium

1979: Amendment 2 extended the FMP through the end of 1981; divided the surfclam portion of the management unit into the New England and Mid-Atlantic Area; introduced a "bad weather make up day”; and maintained the moratorium in the Mid-Atlantic Area.

1981: Amendment 3 extended the FMP indefinitely; imposed a 5.5" surfclam minimum size limit in the Mid-Atlantic Area; expanded the surfclam fishing week in the Mid-Atlantic Area to Sunday - Thursday from Monday – Thursday, established a framework basis for quota setting; and proposed a permit limitation system to replace the moratorium which was disapproved by NMFS; NMFS extended the moratorium.

1984: Amendment 4 (implemented on an emergency basis for 180 days beginning 1 July 1984) provided that any unharvested portion of a bimonthly allocation be added to the immediately following bimonthly allocation rather than being prorated over all remaining bimonthly periods and that trip and weekly limits be by vessel classes based on relative fishing power. NMFS subsequently determined that the document was not structurally complete for review.

1985: Amendment 5 allowed for revision of the surfclam minimum size limit provision; extended the size limit throughout the entire fishery; and instituted a requirement that cages be tagged

1986: Amendment 6 divided the New England Area into the Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank Areas, the dividing line being 69° N Longitude; combined the provisions of Amendment 4 with the Mid-Atlantic Council's Amendment 6 into one document; replaced the bimonthly quotas with quarterly quotas; eliminated the weekly landing limits for the Nantucket Shoals Area; clarified the quota adjustment provisions for the Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank Areas; and established one landing per trip provision.

1987: Amendment 7 changed the quota distribution on Georges Bank to equal quarterly quotas and revised the roll over provisions.

1988: Amendment 8 replaced the regulated fishing time system in the surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries with an individual transferable quota (ITQ) system.

1996: Amendment 9 revised the overfishing definitions for surfclams and ocean quahogs in response to a scientific review by NMFS.

1998: Amendment 10 provided management measures for the small artisanal fishery for ocean quahogs (mahogany clams) off the northeast coast of Maine.

1998: Amendment 11 achieved consistency among Mid-Atlantic and New England FMPs on vessel replacement and upgrade provisions, permit history transfer and splitting and renewal regulations for fishing vessels issued Northeast Limited Access Federal Fishery permits. Final Rule - 2/19/99. Effective 3/22/99.

1998: Amendment 12 established new overfishing definitions, identified and described essential fish habitat, added framework adjustment procedure, and implemented operator permits. Final Rule - 10/26/99. Correction - 11/29/99. Effective 11/26/99.

2003: Amendment 13 addressed various disapproved sections of Amendment 12. (Appendices). Final Rule - 12/16/03. Effective 1/15/04.

2007: Amendment 14 implemented standardized bycatch reporting methodology. Final Rule - 1/27/08. Effective 2/27/08.

2007: Framework 1 addressed issues related to Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) and enforcement. Final Rule - 9/11/07. Effective 1/1/08.

2010: Amendment 16 established Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and Accountability Measures (AMs). Final Rule - 9/29/11. Effective 10/31/11.

2015: Amendment 15 implemented Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology. Final Rule - 6/30/15. Effective 7/30/15.

2015: Amendment 18 - Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit "did not fish" reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing; removed some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on Federal fishing permits. Final Rule - 8/26/15. Effective 8/26/15.

2016: Amendment 17 established a cost recovery program for the individual transferable quota (ITQ) fishery, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Contains provisions to remove the optimum yield ranges from the management plan and to change how biological reference points are incorporated into the plan. Final Rule - 6/15/16. Effective 7/15/16.

2017: Amendment 19 - Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment Implemented management measures to prevent the development of new, and the expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain forage species in the Mid-Atlantic. Final Rule - 8/28/17. Effective 9/27/17.

2018: Framework 2 - Omnibus Acceptable Biological Catch Framework established a process for setting constant multi-year Acceptable Biological Catch (ABCs) limits for Council-managed fisheries and clarified the process for setting ABCs for each of the four types of ABC control rules. Final Rule - 4/11/18. Effective 5/11/2018.