Federal lobster rules

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Lobster Management Board has approved Addendum XXIV to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Lobster Fishery Management Plan.

The addendum removes the 10 percent conservation tax on full business transfers. It also specifies traps shall be transferred in 10-trap increments in all areas that currently have a trap transferability program, unless specified otherwise. This change allows more flexibility for a permit holder in the trap transfer process. It repeals restrictions on vessel size and trap-allocation transfers and does not require a permit be retired if the permit holder has less than 50 traps.

Under the changes, federal permit holders will be allowed to transfer allocation with dual permit holders from other states. If a dual permit holder chooses to purchase a federal trap allocation from a dual permit holder from another state, only the federal allocation will transfer. Therefore, the buyer must also purchase state allocation from a permit holder in their own state to align the federal and state allocations. If the state and federal allocations do not align, the most restrictive rule applies. The addendum’s measures are effective immediately.

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