Attached are the proposed regulations that will establish a maximum carapace length for lobster. There will be two maximum carapace lengths for federal waters off NJ. This is totally stupid for a recreational fishery. No trophy lobsters. Apparently they are not having any hearings. Please write to oppose this and request hearings. Letters must arrive by the 17th of October. Also request an extension of the comment period. The address is below.
52352 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 170 / Friday, September 2, 2005 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
50 CFR Part 697 [Docket No. 0104130930-5226-03; I.D. 032301C]
Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; American Lobster Fishery
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: NMFS proposes new and revised Federal American lobster (Homarus americanus) regulations in response to recommendations by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) in Addenda II and III to Amendment 3 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster (ISFMP). The proposed lobster management measures are intended to increase protection to American lobster broodstock throughout the stock's range, and would apply to lobsters harvested in one or more of seven Lobster Conservation Management Areas (LCMA). In addition, NMFS proposes measures that would clarify existing Federal lobster regulations.
DATES: Written comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on or before October 17, 2005.
ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Harold C. Mears, Director, State, Federal, and Constituent Programs Office, Northeast Region, NMFS, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ''American Lobster Proposed Rule Comments.'' Comments may be sent via email at Lob0305@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line ''American Lobster Proposed Rule Comments.'' Comments may also be sent via fax (978) 281-9117, or via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at
Copies of the American lobster proposed rule, its Draft Environmental Assessment/Initial Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (DEA/IRIR/IRFA) are available from Harold Mears, Director, State, Federal and Constituent Programs Office, NMFS, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Robert Ross, NMFS, Northeast Region, (978) 281-9234, fax (978) 281-9117.
Implement a Maximum Harvest Size in LCMA 4 and LCMA 5
Another management measure designed to protect lobster broodstock is the implementation of a maximum harvest size for lobster. Scientific evidence seems to indicate lobster can be a long-lived species, up to and over 50 years of age, and that bigger lobsters are more successful breeders, produce more eggs, and those eggs are more likely to survive. For that reason, maximum size gauge restrictions on lobster can improve egg production by prohibiting harvest of bigger, and potentially, better breeding lobsters, forcing their return to the sea and allowing further reproduction. In Amendment 3, the Commission set a 5-inch (12.7-cm) maximum gauge size (carapace length) on all male and female lobsters caught in LCMA 1. The Amendment 3 recommendations have already been incorporated into Federal law.
The Commission, in Addendum III, called for a 5 1/4-inch (13.34-cm) maximum gauge size on all female lobsters harvested in LCMA 4, and a 5 1/2-inch (13.97-cm) maximum gauge size on all female lobsters harvested in LCMA 5.
The Commission requested that the Federal Government implement compatible maximum gauge size regulations in LCMAs 4 and 5.
This proposed Federal management measure would amend Federal lobster regulations to set a maximum size restriction for possession of female lobsters for Federal permit holders fishing in, or electing to fish in LCMA 4 and LCMA 5. This proposed measure would prohibit the possession of a female lobster with a carapace size in excess of 5 1/4 inches (13.34 cm) in LCMA 4 and would prohibit the possession of a female lobster with a carapace size in excess of 5 1/2 inches (13.97cm) in LCMA 5.
If you would like a sample letter stating your anger about this proposed change to the lobster regs, please email me and I'd be happy to send it to you. You would just need to change a few words to make it your own but it really does state the case well for us, the recreational diving community.
PS - Fluke season closes Oct. 10 so get out there NOW to stock your freezer. The doormats are still out there but not for long!!