Hearings on American Lobster Draft Addendum XXV


Arlington, VA — The states of Massachusetts through Delaware have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum XXV to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster. The details of the scheduled hearings follow.

The Draft Addendum seeks to address the depleted condition of the Southern New England (SNE) stock while preserving a functional portion of the SNE lobster fishery.

The Draft Addendum responds to the results of the 2015 American Lobster Benchmark Stock Assessment which found the SNE stock is severely depleted and experiencing recruitment failure.

Draft Addendum XXV focuses on increasing egg production so that, if environmental conditions become favorable, the SNE stock can benefit from a strong recruitment year. The Draft Addendum includes seven issues. The first proposes four targets to increase egg production, ranging from 20% to 60%, with an additional option for status quo. The second issue seeks input on proposed management tools to increase egg production and whether these tools should be used independently or in conjunction with one another. The third issue addresses the effects of proposed measures on the recreational fishery. The fourth issue explores the implementation of season closures and potential impacts to the Jonah crab fishery. The fifth issue examines whether management measures should be uniform across Lobster Conservation Management Areas (LCMA) in SNE. The sixth issue asks how management measures should be applied to the offshore waters of LCMA 3, which spans both the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank and SNE stock units. The seventh issue asks whether de minimis states should be exempt from management action taken in the addendum.

Fishermen and interested stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Draft Addendum can be obtained at http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/AmLobsterDraftAddendumXXV_PublicComment.pdf or via the Commission’s website, www.asmfc.org, under Public Input. Public comment will be accepted until 5 PM (EST) on April 7, 2017 and should be forwarded to Megan Ware, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at mware@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum XXV).

The Board will review submitted public comment and consider action on the Addendum at the Commission’s Spring Meeting in May 2017. For more information, please contact Megan Ware, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at mware@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, March 23, 2017, 6 PM, MA Maritime Academy Admiral’s Hall, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA. Contact: Dan McKiernan at 617.626.1536.

Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife, March 22, 2017, 6 PM, University of Rhode Island Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI. Contact: Scott Olszewski at 401.423.1934.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, March 21, 2017, 7PM, DEEP Marine Headquarters Boating Education Center, 333 Ferry Road,m Old Lyme, CT. Contact: Mark Alexander at 860.447.4322.

March 27, 2017, 7PM, DEEP Kellogg Environmental Center, 500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, CT. Contact: Mark Alexander at 860.447.4322.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, March 20, 2017, 6 PM, NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources, 205 N. Belle Mead Road, East Setauket, NY. Contact: Kim McKown at 631.444.0454.

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, March 15, 2017; 6PM, Belmar Municipal Court, 601 Main Street, Belmar, NJ. Contact: Tom Baum at 609.748.2020.