DEEP: Notice to Lobster Fishermen Gauge Size Increase Required January 1, 2010

Notice to Lobster Fishermen
 Gauge Size Increase Required January 1, 2010

August 27, 2009

Addendum XI to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for American Lobster requires that the minimum carapace length in Long Island Sound (LMA 6) be increased by 1/16 inch to 3-3/8 inches effective January 1, 2010. The FMP (in Addendum IV) also requires an increase in the escape vent size to 2 inches by 5-3/4 inches rectangular or 2-5/8 inches circular. However, the Lobster Management Board approved a delay in the implementation of the vent size increase until June 1, 2010 to allow time for fishermen to change the vents on all their traps.

The 3-3/8 inch minimum gauge size has been required in southern New England since June 30, 2008. Long Island Sound was exempted from this requirement, having implemented the "conservation equivalent" V-notch program approved by the Lobster Management Board in August 2007. The V-notch program formally concluded on June 1, 2009 after the $1 million state appropriation for this program was exhausted. Under the provisions of the V-notch conservation equivalency plan, the 3-3/8 inch minimum gauge size must be implemented by January 1, 2010 since the target number of lobsters could not be notched during the second year of the program (August 2008 – July 2009).

Addendum XI established a 15 year rebuilding timeline (ending 2022) for southern New England with a provision to end overfishing immediately. The Lobster Management Board continues to monitor the progress of the rebuilding program and will consider additional adjustments if necessary.

Delayed Implementation Provisions of Addendum XI

"Failure to implement any of the following management measures (without prior Board approval) are believed to negatively impact achieving the goals and objectives of management program: required adjustments to minimum gauge size, maximum gauge size, v-notch possession rule, minimum vent size, trap allocation program and quotas or trip limits. To ensure timely implementation of these measures, the Addendum specifies that for each day that a state does not implement any of these management measures, that state’s resident lobstermen are prohibited from fishing for or landing lobsters for an equal number of days during the same or equivalent time period in the following year, regardless of the area in which they are authorized to fish or the state in which they are authorized to land."

For further information, contact the DEP Marine Fisheries Division by email: dep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov, P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or by telephone at 860.434.6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

The DEP is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.  In conformance with the ADA individuals with disabilities who need information in an alternative format, to allow them to benefit and/or participate in the agency's programs and services, should call (860) 424-3051 or (860) 418-5937 and make their request to the AAO staff person.  Requests for accommodations to attend meetings and/or educational programs, sponsored by the DEP, must be made a least two weeks prior to the program date.

(N09-22)