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Weak Insert and Weak Line Requirements for Northeast Lobster/Jonah Crab Trap/Pot Fisheries

The 2021 amendments to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan include changes to the requirements for weak inserts and weak line.

The 2021 amendments to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan remove the requirement for weak link at buoys and other surface system flotation devices, and add requirements for weak rope or insertions within the buoy line.

Weak links at the buoy may still be used voluntarily. Weak rope can also be used on any buoy line down to the lowest point where a weak insert is required. Use of 100 percent weak rope is also allowed in place of inserts.

The following table represents the lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot management areas where changes have been made to weak inserts. Requirements for all other areas, other trap/pot fisheries, and gillnet fisheries remain the same.

See the approved weak line and inserts.

Weak Insertion/Line Requirements

Area Weak Insertion/Line Requirements
Maine Exempt State Waters 1 weak insert 50% down the line OR top 50% of buoy line weak rope
Maine Exempt Line-3 nm
New Hampshire State Waters
Massachusetts State Waters Weak inserts every 60 feet OR full weak line in the top 75% of line
Rhode Island State Waters
LMA 2
Maine Zone A West, B, C, D, E, Federal Waters 3-12 nm Weak inserts at 25% and 50% down the line OR top 50% of buoy line weak rope
Massachusetts and New Hampshire LMA 1, Outer Cape Cod, Federal Waters 3-12 nm
Maine Zone A East, F, G, Federal Waters 3-12 nm 1 weak insert 33% down the line
LMA 1 and Outer Cape Cod beyond 12 nm
LMA 3 Top 75% of one buoy line is weak rope. Bottom 25% can be higher strength