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New American Lobster Broodstock Management Measures

NOAA Fisheries Service announces new Federal American lobster regulations in response to recommendations by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) and to clarify existing regulations.  The new management measures increase protection to American lobster broodstock throughout the stock’s range as recommended to NOAA Fisheries Service by the Commission as part of the Commission’s Addenda II and III to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster.  NOAA Fisheries Service has published a final rule in the Federal Register, which describes the changes.

  Effective November 1, 2007

Increase lobster minimum carapace length (gauge) in Area 3

  • The first of two 1/32 inch (0.08 cm) gauge increases is effective on November 1, 2007, increasing the legal minimum size of lobster in Area 3 to 3 15/32 inches (8.81 cm)

5% Trap Allocation Reduction – See Column 3, Table 1 on reverse side of this page

  • 5% trap allocation reduction for all trap vessels eligible to fish in Area 3

  Effective July 1, 2008

Gauge Increase

  • The second of two 1/32 inch (0.08 cm) gauge increases is effective on July 1, 2008, culminating in a legal minimum carapace length for lobster in Area 3 of 3 ½ inches (8.89 cm)

5% Trap Allocation Reduction - See Column 4, Table 1 on reverse side of this page

  • A second 5% trap allocation reduction for all Area 3 trap vessels

  Effective July 1, 2009



  Effective July 1, 2010



American Lobster
American Lobster


To clarify existing regulations, the final measures:

  • Allow a change in the LMCA designations of a fishing vessel with a Federal lobster permit upon sale, transfer, or within 45 days of the permit’s effective date
  • Clearly reference other laws and regulations applicable to Federal lobster permit holders
  • Clearly prohibit hauling or possession of lobster trap gear belonging to another vessel,
  • Exempt lobster trap gear retrieval from provisions of the exempted fishing regulations by a substitute vessel if a Federally permitted vessel is inoperable or mechanically impaired.



Contact Robert Ross
(978) 281-9234
National Marine Fisheries Service
Protected Resources Division
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930



Spiral Shell For Further Details Regarding These Measures, Please Click on the Link for the Final Rule under the Features Section of this Page.

Last Updated: September 25, 2007

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