DEEP: Notice to Commercial fishermen and Lobster License Holders Regulation Public Hearing

Notice to Commercial Fishermen and Lobster
License Holders
Regulation Public Hearing

The DEP Marine Fisheries Division is holding a public hearing to take public comment on proposed amendments to regulations described below. The proposed amendments affect the commercial fisheries for lobster, summer flounder, horseshoe crabs, spiny dogfish and quota managed species. The proposals affecting lobster fishing in Lobster Management Area 2 and spiny dogfish are being implemented for consistency with fishery management plans of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Proposals affecting lobster v-notching are in support of the lobster stock recovery program implemented under Public Act 06-187. Proposals affecting horseshoe crabs are in response to concerns brought forth by the public. The proposal regarding quota transfers is intended to assist Connecticut fishermen by making the quota transfer process more flexible.

Written comments will be accepted through November 27, 2006. Based on the public comment received, the proposals may be revised. The public hearing will be held at 7:00 PM:

Thursday, November 9, 2006 
Ramada Inn
Lordship Boulevard (I-95 Exit 30)
Stratford, CT 

Monday, November 13, 2006
DEP Marine Headquarters Education Center
333 Ferry Road (I-95, Exit 70, Rte. 156 South)
Old Lyme, CT

The proposed regulations:

Make final the 3-5/16 inch minimum lobster carapace length and modify the lobster v-notch definition to one-eighth inch in depth, with or without setal hairs, in support of a lobster resource recovery program.

Implement the Lobster Management Area 2 (south of Rhode Island and Massachusetts) pot allocation program to comply with the requirements of Addendum VII to Amendment 3 of the American Lobster FMP of the ASMFC.

Adjust commercial summer flounder seasonal possession limits, possession limit adjustment trigger percentages and the end of season quota utilization adjustment formula to account for a decline in summer flounder total allowable catch limits.

Implement a limited entry program, possession limits and season changes for the commercial horseshoe crab fishery and protect certain sensitive areas from horseshoe crab harvest.

Increase the possession limit of spiny dogfish during the period November 1 through April 30 to 600 pounds for consistency with the spiny dogfish FMP of the ASMFC.

Allow the commissioner to transfer unused commercial quota to another state, ostensibly in exchange for quota for species in which CT fishermen do land the full annual quota.

Further information or copies of the proposed regulations can be obtained by writing the DEP Marine Fisheries Division, PO Box 719, Old Lyme CT 06371, by calling 860-434-6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday or by emailing dep.marine.fisheries@po.state.ct.us.  (N06-24)