DEEP: Lobster Vent Size Increase Required July 1, 2010

Notice to Fishermen

Lobster Vent Size Increase Required July 1, 2010

May 13, 2010

Effective July 1, 2010 all lobster traps set in Lobster Management Area 6 (Long Island Sound and surrounding waters) are required to have a minimum escape vent size of 2 inches by 5-3/4 inches rectangular (previously 1-7/8 inches by 5-3/4 inches) or 2-5/8 inches circular (formerly 2-7/16 inches).

The minimum lobster gauge size was increased from 3-5/16 inches to 3-3/8 inches on January 1, 2010 as required under Addendum XI to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissionís Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for American Lobster. The FMP (in Addendum IV) also requires a corresponding increase in the escape vent size to 2 inches by 5-3/4 inches rectangular or 2-5/8 inches circular to provide similar escapement of newly sublegal lobsters. However, the Lobster Management Board approved a delay in the implementation of the Lobster Management Area 6 vent size increase until June 1, 2010 and more recently to July 1, 2010 to allow additional time for fishermen to change the vents on all their traps.

The 3-3/8 inch minimum gauge size and associated larger vent size have been required in the rest of southern New England since June 30, 2008.

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 stateís 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:, 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 at least two weeks prior to the program date.