DEEP: ASMFC Public Hearing on Draft Addendum XVII to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan

ASMFC Public Hearing on Draft Addendum XVII to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan

September 15, 2011

The DEEP Marine Fisheries Division is hosting Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Public Hearings on American lobster management. These hearings have been scheduled to take place in Bridgeport, Old Lyme and New Haven in an effort to provide convenient locations for fishermen to attend. The Draft Addendum presents a suite of management options to reduce fishing exploitation on the Southern New England stock of American lobster by 10% starting in July 2013. The proposed 10% reduction would come from changes in the minimum size limit, maximum size limit, and/or closed seasons. Proposals would be developed for each affected Lobster Conservation Management Area (Long Island Sound and other southern New England areas) to meet the 10% reduction as outlined in the Draft Addendum.

In taking this proposed action, the Board indicated that the 10% reduction in exploitation is the first step in responding to Technical Committee advice for significant exploitation reductions over the long-term to initiate Southern New England stock rebuilding.

The Southern New England lobster stock is at low levels of abundance and experiencing persistent low recruitment caused by a combination of environmental factors and continued fishing mortality. It is this low recruitment that is preventing the Southern New England stock from rebuilding. Under the assumptions of poor recruitment and moderate natural mortality, the Technical Committee is not certain that the stock would recover to the target level even under a total fishery moratorium.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending public hearings or providing written comments. The draft addendum can be obtained via the Commission’s website at
www.asmfc.org under Breaking News or by contacting the Commission at 703-842-0740. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on October 14, 2011 and should be forwarded to Toni Kerns, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (FAX) or at tkerns@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum XVII).

The FIRST hearing will be held at:
4:00 PM, Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science and Technology Center
60 St Stephens Road
Bridgeport CT

The SECOND hearing will be held at:
7:00 PM, Thursday, September 22, 2011
DEEP Marine Headquarters Education Center
333 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, CT 06371

The LAST hearing will be held at:
4:00 PM, Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The Sound School
60 South Water St
New Haven CT

For further information, contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at dep.marine.fisheries@ct.gov, by mail at 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 Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and service provider.  In conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, DEP makes every effort to provide equally effective services for persons with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities who need this 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 or e-mail Marcia Bonitto, ADA Coordinator, at dep.aaoffice@ct.gov.  Persons who are hearing impaired should call the State of Connecticut relay number 711. Requests for accommodations must be made at least two weeks prior to the program date.

(N11-14)