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Minimum Traps/Trawl for Northeast Lobster/Jonah Crab Trap/Pot Fisheries

With the 2021 amendments to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, the minimum number of traps/trawl has changed in some areas.

The following tables show the trap/pot minimums, including changes that are effective May 1, 2022. Please note that trap/pot requirements from previous rulemakings are still in place.

Universal Trap/Pot Requirements

  • No buoy line floating at the surface.
  • No wet storage of gear (all gear must be hauled out of the water at least once every 30 days).
  • All groundlines must be made of sinking line.

Minimum Traps per Trawl in Lobster Management Areas

View maps.

Management Area (except for Maine Zones) Minimum Traps Per Trawl
New Hampshire and Rhode Island State Waters 0-3 nm No minimum
Massachusetts State Waters (except for Exempt Areas) 2 (Trawls up to and including 3 or fewer traps must only have one buoy line)
LMA 1 3-6*nm 10
LMA 1 6*-12 nm 15
LMA 1 12+ nm 25
Outer Cape Cod 3-12 nm 15
Outer Cape Cod 12+ nm 20
LMA 2, 3-12 nm 10
LMA 2 12+ nm 15
LMA 2/3 Overlap

20 (for LMA 2 permit holders only)

45 (for LMA 3 permit holders)

LMA 3 North of 50 fathom line on the south end of Georges Bank 45, max trawl length 1.75 nm
LMA 3 South of 50 fathom line on the south end of Georges Bank  35, max trawl length 1.75 nm
LMA 3 Georges Basin Restricted Area 50,max trawl length 1.75 nm

* The 6 nm line is an approximation defined in 50 CFR 229.32(a)(2)(ii).

 

Minimum Traps per Trawl in Maine Zones

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Management Area 2 Buoy Lines 1 Buoy Line
Exempt Waters No minimum No minimum
Exempt Waters-3 nm Zones A, B, F, G N/A 3 traps/trawl
Exempt Waters-3 nm Zones C, D, E 4 traps/trawl 2 traps/trawl
3-6* nm Zone A West 8 traps/trawl 4 traps/trawl
3-6* nm Zone B N/A 5 traps/trawl
3-6* nm Zones C, D, E, F, G 10 traps/trawl 5 traps/trawl
3-12 nm Zone A East 20 traps/trawl 10 traps/trawl
6*-12 nm Zone A West 15 traps/trawl 8 traps/trawl
6*-12 nm Zone B, D, E, F 10 traps/trawl 5 traps/trawl
6*-12 nm Zone C, G 20 traps/trawl 10 traps/trawl

* The 6 nm line is an approximation defined in 50 CFR 229.32(a)(2)(ii).