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For Release: Friday, July 13, 2012

New Lobster Mandatory V-Notch Rules in New York Marine Waters

Revisions Comply with Fishery Management Plan Requirements

New emergency regulations are now in place to establish mandatory V-notching of legal size egg-bearing female lobsters captured by lobster permit holders in Lobster Conservation Management Area (LMA) 4, which encompass the waters off the south shore of Long Island, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced. DEC took this action to comply with the requirements set forth by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) American Lobster Management Board.

The new rules also require that permit holders who fish in more than one LMA abide by the most restrictive V-notch rules of the LMAs listed on their fishing permit. These changes became effective July 11, 2012.

The ASMFC American Lobster Management Board approved Addendum XVII to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The objective of the Addendum is to decrease lobster harvest by 10 percent in Southern New England to initiate rebuilding of the lobster populations. This Addendum implements mandatory V-notch programs in LMA 2, 4 and 5 so these rules apply to coastal areas from Cape Cod to Virginia.

A V-notch is a triangular cut on the tail fin of a legal size female egg-bearing lobster that takes several molts (when a lobster changes shells to grow) to disappear. It is illegal to harvest a lobster that has been marked thusly. The V-notch protects female lobsters from harvest for two years.

In addition to the emergency filing of this rule, notice of this rule being in effect after the emergency period expires was filed with the Department of State, will appear in the New York State Register on August 1, 2012, and will initiate the public comment period. The 45-day public comment period will begin on August 1, 2012 and close September 17, 2012.

The new emergency rules are designed to meet the requirements of the lobster fishery management plan. For additional information, contact DEC Marine Resources Division at 631-444-0444.

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