DEEP: Notice to Commercial Lobstermen

Notice To Commercial Lobstermen

December 22, 2006

The DEP Marine Fisheries Division will hold an informal public meeting to inform resident commercial lobstermen who fish in the ‘Race’ waters of Long Island Sound of potential regulatory actions by the National Marine Fisheries Service for Atlantic Large Whale protective measures as mandated under the Marine Mammal and Endangered Species Acts. The proposed measures would affect lobster pot gear fished in the ‘Race’ area of Lobster Management Area 6 (LMA 6).

Currently the ‘Race’ lies west of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan ‘Exemption Line’ that runs from Montauk, NY to Watch Hill, RI. The draft Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Service for amending the Take Reduction Plan included language that would redefine the exempted portion of LMA 6 and incorporate the area south of a line drawn from Watch Hill Light to the East Point on Fisher’s Island and a line drawn from Race Point to Race Rock Light; then to Little Gull Island Light then to East Point on Plum Island (Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound would remain in non-regulated Take Reduction Plan waters and not be subject to these requirements).

Some of the proposed requirements include the installation of weak link devices on buoy lines, the mandatory use of sinking or neutrally buoyant ground line by 2008, gear marking and other gear modifications (restrictions on down lines and trawl lengths).

The meeting will be held at:

4:00 PM, Thursday, January 4, 2007
DEP Marine Headquarters (Boating Education Center)
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, CT 06371
I-95, Exit 70, to Route 156, south to Ferry Road in the
Boating Education Center located at the rear of the property

For further information, contact the Marine Fisheries Division, PO Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371, or by telephone at 860.434.6043, or by emailing dep.marine.fisheries@po.state.ct.us.  (N06-30)