NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Office released the following on September 3, 2014:
Effective September 4, 2014
New on-reel trawl gear stowage requirement have been implemented for when vessels are transiting closed areas or fishing in areas with mesh size restrictions. A highly visible orange or yellow mesh material can now be used as a cover for the trawl net as an alternative to the current requirement to use a tarp or similar canvas material. The material must be a highly visible orange or yellow mesh material that is not capable of catching fish or being utilized as fishing gear. An example of highly visible orange or yellow mesh includes but is not limited to the orange fence material commonly used to enclose construction sites.
In addition, the requirement to remove the towing wires from the doors when stowing gear is also removed from all on-reel trawl gear stowage methods. It has been brought to our attention that this requirement can be dangerous and is not needed to conduct closed area enforcement. As such, this requirement is removed for both this new method and the existing tarp method.
More details on gear stowage methods are available in our Gear Stowage Information Sheet available online at www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/regs/info.html. You can also contact us at the number above to request a copy.