Swans Island limited entry proposed

ELLSWORTH — Proposed changes to Department of Marine Resources rules affecting commercial lobster fishermen are set for a public hearing Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Ellsworth city hall auditorium.

Following a recent referendum vote among Swans Island lobster fishermen, the proposed rule-making would create an island limited entry program there. The program would allow up to 72 commercial island resident lobster licenses to be issued annually, as authorized by 12 M.R.S. §6449.

The proposed rule-making also proposes a requirement to use a second zone tag in all traps being fished in a zone other than a fisherman’s declared lobster zone.

The second zone tag will be in addition to their declared lobster zone tag. It is needed to increase the Marine Patrol’s ability to enforce the current “49/51” trap component of the Lobster Zone Limited Entry rule.

The proposed rule change would remove the deadline for registration for the Swans Island Lobster Conservation Area, allowing individuals to register at any time of the year.

It also would change the maximum allowable number of lobster trap tags for the Swans Island Lobster Conservation Area from 475 to 600, for consistency with existing Maine law.

Contact Sarah Cotnoir at 624-0596.

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