Final Rule Published June 27, 2014
Please see the link below to the summary of NOAA Fisheries Service (NMFS) Final Rule amending the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan).
For Maine, measures include status quo for the exempted waters, status quo for the pocket waters, new trawling up requirements, a new 6-mile line, additional gear marking, some island buffers and an implementation date of June 1, 2015.
Please note that the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team met January 12-14, 2015. The Team recommended the following amendments to the Take Reduction Plan; however, it is not clear when these rules will be in effect if they are adopted by NMFS. Additional information will be sent as soon as it is known.
- Expanded Maine Island Exemption Buffers – Maine requested and the Team concurred that the quarter mile exemption buffer approved for Monhegan, Criehaven and Matinicus islands in the Final Rule be applied to the following additional islands: the Matinicus Island Group (Metinic, Little Green, Large Green, Wooden Ball, and Seal Islands) and the Isles of Shoals chain. If approved by NMFS, all lobster license holders who fish in these areas will be able to fish single traps within ¼ mile from these islands.
- All lobster license holders that fish within ¼ mile of the Isles of Shoals chain will be required to add an additional vertical line gear mark.
- All lobster license holders that fish within the Jordan Basin and Jeffreys Ledge designated areas of high co-occurrence will be required to add an additional vertical line gear mark.
If you have questions about compliance, please contact the Maine Marine Patrol Division Offices.
DIVISION I (Boothbay Harbor): 207-633-9595
DIVISION II (Lamoine): 207-667-3373