DEEP: Notice to Lobster Fishermen ASMFC Hearing of Draft Addendum XI to Amendment 3 to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan

Notice to Lobster Fishermen

ASMFC Hearing on Draft Addendum XI to Amendment 3 to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan

April 4, 2007

The DEP Marine Fisheries Division is hosting a Public Hearing of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Draft Addendum XI to Amendment 3 to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan. The addendum presents measures to improve the condition of the Southern New England (SNE) lobster stock with options for stock rebuilding, reducing fishing mortality and developing a strategy to deal with delays in implementation of management measures. The SNE stock includes Long Island Sound in Lobster Management Area 6 (LMA 6).

The latest American lobster stock assessment for Southern New England determined that stock abundance is below the abundance "threshold" signaling a need to build the stock to a higher (average) level. Moreover, the fishing mortality rate is above the threshold value, meaning a reduction in fishing mortality is necessary.

ASMFC is seeking comments on four stock rebuilding options for LMA 6: 1) implement a quota based management system; 2) implement management area-specific measures to restrict harvest (i.e. gauge increases, maximum length, trap reductions); 3) establish a v-notching program for female lobsters; and 4) adopt a "common measures strategy" by which all rules in the SNE area would be the same. The Commission is also seeking comments on four options to address issues surrounding the delayed implementation of management measures required by Fisheries Management Plans.

Copies of the Draft Addendum can be obtained via the ASMFC website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 202.289.6400.

The hearing will be held at:

7:00 PM, Tuesday, April 17, 2007
DEP Marine Headquarters Education Center
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, CT 06371
I-95, Exit 70, to Route 156, south to Ferry Road in the Education Center located at the rear of the property

The public is encouraged to provide input by attending the public hearing or providing written comments. Written comments will be accepted at the hearing or until 5:00 PM on May 4, 2007 by sending them to Toni Kerns, Senior Fisheries Management Plan Coordinator, at 1444 ‘Eye’ Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005, by fax at 202.289.6051 or by email to tkerns@asmfc.org.

(N07-10)