Teri Frady
(508) 495-2239


September 2, 2005

NMFS Northeast Regional Office

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Federal Waters Lobster Rule Changes Proposed

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing changes to federal American lobster fishing rules. The changes would provide increased protection to egg-bearing female lobsters and broodstock lobsters, and are consistent with recent revisions to the interstate fishery management plan.

In most state waters with lobster fisheries, similar measures have already been implemented. Most commercial operations are already abiding by these changes, since they land in these states. Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina are not required to implement the plan revisions in state waters because landings there are minimal. Federal permit holders who land in these states, however, would be required to abide by the proposed changes to the federal rule announced today.

For a summary of the proposed federal rule changes, click here. The changes proposed include a slight revision to the lobster management areas, creating an overlap between areas 3 and 5. For a chart of the current lobster management areas, click here. For complete information on today’s action, how to comment on the proposal, and other information on federal lobster management, visit our website:

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitats through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

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