Dear American Lobster Permit Holder:
This letter is to inform you that the National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an interim final rule to implement Congressionally mandated regulations for vessels using gear other than traps while fishing in federal waters. The following measures, which become effective March 1, 1998, prohibit any vessel with a federal lobster permit, or any other vessel fishing in federal waters (the Exclusive Economic Zone), that takes lobster by a method other than pots or traps from landing lobsters (or parts thereof) at any location in the United States regardless of where the lobsters are caught, in excess of:
- 100 lobsters (or parts thereof) for each fishing trip of 24 hours or less duration;
- 500 lobsters (or parts thereof) during any 5-day period; or
- 500 lobsters (or parts thereof) for each fishing trip of 5 days or longer.
For any vessel that begins a fishing trip before March 1, 1998 and ends the trip after March 1, 1998, that entire trip will be subject to landing requirements in place prior to March 1, 1998. The vessel's next trip that begins on or after March 1, 1998 will be subject to the landing measures described above. Other federal lobster laws are still in effect, including but not limited to more restrictive lobster possession limits applicable to certain exempted fisheries and the prohibition on the possession and landing of lobster parts.
This letter is only a summary of the approved interim final rule. You are urged to read the actual
regulations which can be found at 50 CFR 697.6, or you may obtain a complete copy of the
regulations by calling 978-281-9327. For further information on these regulations, please call
Bob Ross at 978-281-9234.
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