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NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Proposed Rulemaking for American Lobster Fishery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 15, 2017

NOAA Fisheries seeks comments on the American lobster control date, changes to lobster trap gear marking requirements, and allowing substitute vessels to fish lobster traps for federally permitted but inoperable vessels.

In accordance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Addenda XXI and XXII to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for American Lobster, NOAA Fisheries may select January 27, 2014, or another date, as a control date for the lobster fishery, depending on public comment and input from the Commission.

The control date may be applicable, but not limited, to restricting the number of traps or permits an individual or business entity may own, with emphasis on Lobster Conservation Management Areas 2 and 3.

Part of the reason for this action is the continued poor condition of the Southern New England lobster stock. The stock has been experiencing recruitment failure (not enough young lobsters) since the early 2000s, which may be caused by both environmental factors and fishing.

Read the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as published today in the Federal Register.

The comment period is open through December 15.

Provide comments through regulations.gov, or send comments by mail to John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NOAA Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Please mark the outside of the envelope: "Comments on Lobster ANPR."

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, at 978-281-9175