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Trap Transfer Program Information

Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
July 19, 2018

Effective Date: August 1, 2018

The Lobster Trap Transfer Program allows permit holders the flexibility to buy and sell trap allocation for Lobster Conservation Management Areas 2, 3, and the Outer Cape. We are continuing this program for the 2019 Fishing year. A detailed guide about the program, transfer applications, and individual trap allocations is available under the “Trap Transfer Program” tab on our American lobster web page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have any Trap Transfer Program rules changed since last year?
No. The regulations governing trap transfers and the process of transferring traps are the same as last year.

Are there regulations that could affect this program in the future?
We are considering future changes to the federal lobster regulations as recommended by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. These changes include the use of a control date to limit the number of traps or lobster permits a federal permit holder can have and modification to the number of traps that may be transferred. We are also considering trap banking that would allow a permit holder to maintain a trap allocation that is higher than the active trap limit. Any new measures could impact your trap allocations in years following 2019. You should stay informed of potential changes, and know that you transfer traps at your own risk. You can follow lobster management updates from NOAA Fisheries and from ASMFC.

Who can I contact if I have questions?
Please contact the Sustainable Fisheries Division (978-281-9315) or the Analysis and Program Support Division (978-282-8483) with any further questions regarding trap transfer policy or your application.

What information is available online?
We posted several items on our website, including: An updated version of the Trap Transfer Program Guide; a worksheet of examples that walk you through the transfer process; the application form; and a list of contact information and trap allocations for Area 2, 3, and Outer Cape permit holders. Hard copies of this information are available by request.

What do the posted allocations represent?
The allocations posted represent the number of traps available for the 2019 fishing year. This includes a 5-percent reduction in Areas 2 and 3.

Is any of this information confidential?
No. All information posted on the website is publicly available information.

Will NOAA Fisheries help broker trap transfers?
No. Potential trap transfer participants must contact each other directly to negotiate trap transfers.

Will NOAA Fisheries provide price information?
No. Potential trap transfer participants must contact each other directly to negotiate trap transfers.

When may I submit an application?
We will accept applications from August 1, 2018, through September 30, 2018. Approved transfers will take effect May 1, 2019.

For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.