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Implementing regulations for these fisheries are found at 50 CFR Part 697 Subpart A & B

The American Lobster fishery is managed by NOAA Fisheries Service (State, Federal and Constituent Programs Office) in Federal waters under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act and in state waters under the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan.  The fishery regulations control lobster trap fishing effort based on historic participation in three Lobster Management Areas (LMAs) including LMA 3, the offshore waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and LMAs 4 and 5, the nearshore EEZ from New York to North Carolina.  Federal lobster permit holders who intend to fish for lobster with trap gear during the fishing year are required to designate lobster management areas and tag all lobster traps.  Federal lobster regulations require Federal permit holders to abide by the most restrictive of either state or Federal trap limits.  To view images of this fishery, please click here.


Recent Announcements

Recent And Upcoming Actions

  • Final Rule; American Lobster Fishery - Final measures to better protect the larger American lobsters and breeding females that are important for sustaining these populations. There are also new measures that will improve data collection in the fishery and make state and federal lobster fishing regulations more consistent throughout lobster management areas, most of which include a combination of state and federal waters.
    • Supporting Documents - EA

Information Sheets

Charts — Fishery Specific Charts

Forms - Permit Applications And Request Forms

FishWatch - U.S. Seafood Facts

American Lobster
Lobster Trap
American Lobster

Last Updated: July 30, 2009

Sea Bottom Habitat Border
Link to NOAA Fisheries webpage Link to NOAA webpage Link to DOC webpage