Measures for the Federal American Lobster Fishery
At the recommendation of the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission, we are implementing new measures for the federal American lobster fishery. Measures include:
- Mandatory harvester electronic Vessel Trip Reporting (eVTR), including five additional lobster-specific data elements, for all federal lobster permit holders using a Great Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) approved eVTR application. Implementation of eVTRs will begin on April 1, 2024 with the requirement that all eVTRs must be completed prior to landing and submitted to GARFO within 48 hours of the conclusion of a fishing trip.
- Area 2 ownership cap that would restrict most entities to 800 traps, effective one fishing years after the final rule is effective (May 1, 2025). An entity with an allocation that exceeded this limit as of the proposed rule would be capped at their current number of traps and may not purchase additional traps.
- Area 3 maximum trap cap reductions and a new, aggregate ownership cap with proportionate reductions that would allow entities to own five times the number of the maximum trap cap. An entity with an allocation that exceeds this limit would be capped at their current number of traps and may not purchase additional traps.
|Trap Reduction Year||Maximum Trap Cap||Aggregate Ownership Cap|
|May 1, 2025||1,805||9,025|
|May 1, 2026||1,629||8,145|
|May 1, 2027||1,548||7,740|
Based on comments received, we are requesting additional comment on the maximum trap cap reductions for Area 3 and the aggregate ownership caps for Areas 2 and 3. We will publish a final rule prior to May 2025 to finalize these measures and implement any necessary changes based on additional comments we receive on this interim final rule.