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Maggie Mooney-Seus
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OCtober 6, 2008
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NOAA Proposes New Rules to Protect Adult Lobsters and Improve Lobster Management

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American lobster captured on NOAA bottom trawl survey, 2008 Credit: NOAA/David Chevrier
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Proposed Rule
Permitholder Letter
To submit comments electronically
More on American Lobster
NOAA today proposed measures to improve data collection and to better protect large lobsters which are important contributors to a healthy lobster resource. The proposed measures would also improve consistency between state and federal regulations to promote ease of enforcement.

The proposed measures include a new mandatory electronic reporting requirement for federal lobster dealers and changes to the lobster maximum carapace length and v-notch requirements in federal waters. The maximum size restrictions vary depending on where the lobster are caught, but would be consistent with state regulations in lobster management areas within southern New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and offshore waters.  A maximum size requirement is also proposed for lobster harvested in the Outer Cape Management Area where there is currently no maximum size limit. The proposed v-notch requirement would permit any lobster bearing a v-notch less than 1/8 inch to be harvested, allowing female lobster an additional molt prior to harvest.  This would also apply to the Outer Cape Management Area.

Electronic submission of comments on the proposed rule can be made via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.  All comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on or before November 20, 2008.

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