DEEP: Notice to Fishermen - Proposed Regulation Changes and Public Hearing

Notice to Fishermen
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, scup and black sea bass and the recreational fisheries for summer flounder and weakfish.

Written comments will be accepted through June 4, 2007. Based on the public comment received, the proposals may be revised. The public hearing will be held at:

7:00 PM, Monday, May 21, 2007
Clinton Town Hall, Green Room
50 East Main Street (Route 1)
Clinton, CT 06413

The proposed regulations for lobster:

(1) Clarify the Departmentís existing role and practices related to lobster pot tag purchase authorizations for Lobster Management Areas (LMAs) other than LMA 2 or LMA 6; (2) implement limitations on the amount of the lobster pot allocation that can be transferred when a commercial fishing license is transferred under section 26-142b of the Connecticut General Statutes and eliminate a provision related to the transfer of LMA 6 pot allocations; (3) authorize the Commissioner to execute intrastate and interstate LMA 2 pot allocation transfers according to, and in compliance with, the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan (FMP) of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC);

The proposals for commercial fishing:

(1) Extend, indefinitely, the sunset date on the requirement for summer flounder, scup and black sea bass commercial license endorsement letters; (2) adjust the commercial summer flounder seasonal possession limits and possession limit adjustment trigger percentages to account for a decline in the state quota, implement a two trip-per-week landing limit for late January through April and implement a vessel call-in process for monitoring landing activity during that period; (3) eliminate the scup commercial license endorsement letter requirement from November 1 through April 30 when commercial scup landings are subject to a coastwide quota; (4) exempt commercial vessels that are landing quota-managed species under the Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) from commercial license endorsement letter requirements and from possession limits and closed seasons other than those specified by NMFS for the RSA program; and (5) make technical corrections and clarifications to the above referenced sections.

The proposals for recreational fishing: Change the recreational minimum length, creel limit and season for summer flounder and the recreational creel limit for weakfish to comply with the ASFMC FMPs;

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.  (N07-13)