American Lobster Fishery; Consideration of Expanded Harvester and Biological Sampling Requirements
This notice announces that NOAA Fisheries intends to consider expanded harvester reporting requirements for the American lobster fishery as recommended by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and is soliciting comments. The expanded requirements would be intended to improve the data available to enhance lobster stock assessments, evaluate the co-occurrence of fixed-gear fisheries with large whales, and estimate the economic impacts of offshore energy projects and other marine activities on the fishing industry. We may combine this action with an ongoing rulemaking that considers trap caps and ownership limits for the lobster fishery. The intent is to address the harvester reporting as soon as practicable, as recommended by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.