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Control Date for American Lobster Fishery

On January 2, 2009, NOAA Fisheries published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. The rule announces that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is considering, and is seeking public comment on a proposed rulemaking that would limit or restrict future access to the American lobster (Homarus americanus) trap fishery in the Federal waters of Lobster Management Area 1 (Area 1), the inshore Gulf of Maine, based upon a permit holder’s ability to document a history of fishing with lobster traps in Area 1 prior to the date of this notice.  This notice should discourage American lobster non-trap vessels from entering the lobster trap fishery, and discourage American lobster trap vessels fishing in other lobster management areas from entering the Area 1 lobster trap fishery, based upon economic speculation while NMFS, in consultation with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, considers whether and how access and effort should be controlled.   Submit electronic comments to the e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov.

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