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Thread: CORRECTED LOBSTER PRESS RELEASE: ASMFC American Lobster Board Approves Area-Specific

 


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    CORRECTED LOBSTER PRESS RELEASE: ASMFC American Lobster Board Approves Area-Specific

    CORRECTED LOBSTER PRESS RELEASE: ASMFC American Lobster Board Approves Area-Specific Measures to Reduce Fishing Exploitation on Southern New England Stock by 10%

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEBRUARY 9, 2012
    PRESS CONTACT, TINA BERGER, 703.842.0740

    Please note that there has been a correction to the lobster press release sent out yesterday. Specifically, the approved measures for LCMA 6 includes a two-week grace period for removal of lobster traps and the setting of baited lobster traps one week prior to the season reopening. Lobster landings will continue to be prohibited during the grace periods.


    ASMFC American Lobster Board Approves Area-Specific Measures to Reduce Fishing Exploitation on Southern New England Stock by 10%

    Alexandria, VA – The Commission’s American Lobster Board approved Addendum XVII to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster. The Addendum establishes area-specific management measures for Lobster Conservation Management Areas (2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) as the first step in initiating Southern New England (SNE) stock rebuilding. The measures are intended to reduce fishing exploitation on the SNE stock by 10% starting in July 2013 in response to the stock’s depleted condition, which has been at low levels of abundance and experiencing persistent low recruitment since 2002. The approved area-specific measures are as follows:


    LCMA 2 (waters off of Rhode Island and Massachusetts) – In lieu of a closed season, a conservation equivalency program was approved to allow the states to implement a mandatory v-notch program for all legal-sized egg bearing females beginning June 1, 2012. The Technical Committee will review the proportion of v-notch females in the catch to determine compliance by July, 1 2014; if the measures do not meet the conservation objectives, a four month closed season from January 1 to April 30 will be implemented.

    LCMA 3 (offshore federal waters from Maine to North Carolina) – A minimum size of 3 17/32” effective January 1, 2013.


    LCMAs 4 and 5 (South and east of Long Island, New York to North Carolina) – A conservation equivalency program, composed of a mandatory V-notching program for all legal-sized egg bearing females and a closed season to be determined by the states pending Technical Committee approval, was approved. The closed season would include one or more months between January and April, with lobster traps removed from the water during the closed season. If the closed season extends four weeks or longer, the Board will allow a two-week grace period for removal of lobster traps and the setting of un-baited lobster traps one week prior to the season reopening. The grace period is intended to allow industry to safely remove and set a large number of traps if inclement weather occurs. Lobster landings will continue to be prohibited during the grace periods. The Technical Committee will review the proportion of v-notch females in the catch to determine compliance by July, 1 2014; if the measures do not meet the conservation objectives, a two-month closed season from April 29 to May 31 will be implemented.

    LCMA 6 (Long Island Sound) – A closed season was approved for LCMA 6, with lobster traps removed from the water during the closed season. The exact dates of the closed season will be chosen from a suite of options approved by the Board following in-state public comments, but the season could include the months September through December. The Board will allow a two-week grace period for removal of lobster traps and the setting of baited lobster traps one week prior to the season reopening. Lobster landings will continue to be prohibited during the grace periods.


    The most restrictive rule will apply to lobstermen who have elected to fish in multiple LCMAs, meaning that lobstermen fishing in multiple areas will be held to the most restrictive management measures of the areas identified on their permits. The intention of this rule is to maintain the conservation benefits of the closed season and not increase effort in other areas. Addendum XVII measures will remain in place until replaced by Board action.

    http://www.asmfc.org/press_releases/2012/pr04LobsterAddendumXVIIApproval.pdf
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    Atlantic States MarineFisheries Commission
    2012 Winter Meeting Summary

    AMERICAN LOBSTER MANAGEMENT BOARD (February 7, 2012)

    Motions
    Move that LCMT measures require the most restrictive rule apply to participants with multiple LCMAs permits.

    Motion made by Mr. Simpson, and seconded by Mr. Stockwell. Motion passes unanimously.


    Move that all closed areas proposed in Addendum XVII require that lobster traps are removed from the water during a closed period.

    Motion made by Mr. Stockwell and seconded by Mr. White. Motion passes (8 in favor, 2 opposed).


    Move to approve LCMA 6 closed seasons identified in table 3 including a 2 week gear removal and 2 week gear replacement grace period during a closed season, and no lobster traps can be baited more than 1 week prior to season reopening.

    Motion made by Mr. Simpson and seconded by Mr. McElroy. Motion passes (6 in favor, 3 opposed, 1 abstention).


    Motion to approve a four month closed season from January 1-April 30 to achieve reductions required by Addendum XVII. As conservation equivalency for this 4 month closure approve a mandatory v-notch program for all legal-sized egg bearing females for all harvesters in LMCA 2 beginning June 1, 2012. Technical Committee shall review the proportion of v-notch females in the catch to determine compliance by July, 1 2014.

    Motion made by Mr. McKiernan and seconded by Mr. Gibson. Motion passes (9 in favor, 1 abstention).


    Motion to accept the LCMA 3 proposal to reduce exploitation by 10% from the 2007 – 2009 reference period. For LCMA 3, the minimum size shall be raised from 3 ½” to 3 17/32” effective January 1, 2013.

    Motion by made Mr. McKiernan and seconded by Mr. McElroy. Motion passes (8 in favor, 2
    abstentions).


    Move to approve a closed season from April 29 to May 31 for LCMA 4 to achieve the required reduction in Addendum XVII. As a conservation equivalency program approve a mandatory V notching program augmented by a closed season (approved by the TC) to achieve 10% reduction in exploitation in LCMA 4. If the closed season extends 4 weeks or longer allow 2 week grace period for removal of lobster traps and allow for the setting of un-baited lobster traps 1 week prior to the season reopening. Technical Committee shall review the proportion of v-notch females in the catch to determine compliance by July, 1 2014.

    Motion by made Mr. Himchak and seconded by Mr. Augustine. Motion passes (8 in favor, 1 no, 1
    abstention).


    Move to approve a closed season from April 29 to May 31 for LCMA 5 to achieve the required reduction in Addendum XVII. As a conservation equivalency program approve a mandatory V notching program augmented by a closed season (approved by the TC) to achieve 10% reduction in exploitation in LCMA 5. If the closed season extends 4 weeks or longer allow 2 week grace period for removal of lobster traps and allow for the setting of un-baited lobster traps 1 week prior to the season reopening. Technical Committee shall review the proportion of v-notch females in the catch to determine compliance by July, 1 2014.

    Motion made by Mr. Himchak and seconded by Mr. Augustine. Motion passes (9 in favor, 1 abstention).


    Move that the measures are in place until replaced by a subsequent Board action.

    Motion by made Mr. Simpson and seconded by Mr. Adler. Motion passes (9 in favor, 1 abstention)


    Move to approve Addendum XVII as modified today.

    Motion made by Mr. Adler and seconded by Mr. McElroy. Motion passes unanimously.


    http://www.asmfc.org/meetings/winter2012Mtg/2012WinterMeetingSummary.pdf
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    44 N.J.R. 1973(a)


    NEW JERSEY REGISTER


    Copyright © 2012 by the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law

    VOLUME 44, ISSUE 14

    ISSUE DATE: JULY 16, 2012

    RULE ADOPTIONS

    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
    DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE


    44 N.J.R. 1973(a)

    N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.13, 14.15, 18.1, and 18.12

    Notice of Administrative Changes

    Marine Fisheries

    Modification of Lobster Season, Size Limits, and V-notching Requirements;


    Take notice that, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.19, 7:25-18.1(p), and 7:25-18.12(o), the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, with the approval of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council) at its May 10, 2012 meeting, has modified the season and size limits and instituted a v-notching program for American lobster, and has also modified the recreational season for black sea bass, the commercial season for tautog, the recreational season and possession limits for tautog, and the fillet requirements for Spanish mackerel, and established commercial regulation consistency with Federal requirements applicable to Spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout, and spot fisheries. These actions have been taken to comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) management plans for American lobster, black sea bass, tautog, and the South Atlantic species complex (Spanish mackerel, spot, and spotted seatrout).

    At its November 9, 2011 meeting, the ASMFC American Lobster Management Board (Board) approved Addendum XVIII to the American lobster Fishery Management Plan. The addendum is the first phase to begin rebuilding the Southern New England American Lobster stock due to continued low levels of abundance and persistently low recruitment. The addendum requires a 10 percent reduction in lobster harvest by all fishing sectors and all gear types. At its February 8, 2012 meeting, the Board approved the New Jersey proposal to reduce harvest in Lobster Management Areas (LMA) 4 and 5. The plan changes to achieve the mandatory 10 percent reduction include implementation of a mandatory v-notch program of all females with eggs attached coupled with a closed season from February 1 through March 31, inclusive. V-shaped notches are made in the tail flipper of egg-bearing female lobsters. Once notched, a mature female lobstercannot subsequently be harvested as long as the notch remains identifiable (greater than or equal to 1/8 of an inch) regardless of whether eggs are present at the time of harvest. This serves as a conservation measure assuring larger sized female lobsters are protected from harvest through subsequent molts, approximately two to four years. While the closed season will not be effective until the 2013 season, in order to achieve the 10 percent reduction required, the v-notching must be implemented during 2012 to ensure New Jersey fishermen encounter enough egg bearing females to achieve the fractional reduction required in the plan. The v-notching requirement is reflected at N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.15(b). In order to allow for seasonal closure compliance to be achieved in as undisruptive a manner as possible, the ASMFC plan allows lobster fishermen a two-week period to remove traps after the season is closed and also allows them to begin to place traps back in the water during the week prior to the season reopening. However, no lobsters may be harvested during this period. This change is reflected at N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.15(c).

    In addition to the v-notching requirement and institution of the closed season, the Board approved an increase in the minimum gauge size of lobsters allowed to be harvested from 3 1/2 inches to 3 17/32 inches in LMA 3 (see N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.13(b)). Also in LMA 3, the Board required states to implement the maximum size limit of 6 3/4 inches; the same maximum size limit required in Federal waters (see N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.13(c)). The cumulative result of these changes to N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.13 and 14.15 is anticipated to be achievement of the required 10 percent reduction in harvest from LMAs 3, 4, and 5.


    These changes are reflected in the Division of Fish and Wildlife rules at N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.13(b) and (c), 14.15(b) and (c), 18.1(c) and (f), and 18.12(t) as indicated below. As required in N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.1(p), in addition to this publication in the New Jersey Register, changes to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.1(c) have been published in the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest and forwarded via a news release to individuals on the Division of Fish and Wildlife's outdoor writers mailing list. As required in N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.12(o), changes to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.12(c) are being published in the New Jersey Register.
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