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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 697Subpart B → §697.19


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 697—ATLANTIC COASTAL FISHERIES COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT
Subpart B—Management Measures


§697.19   Trap limits and trap tag requirements for vessels fishing with lobster traps.

(a) Area 1 trap limits. The Area 1 trap limit is 800 traps. Federally permitted lobster fishing vessels shall not fish with, deploy in, possess in, or haul back more than 800 lobster traps in Area 1.

(b) Area 2 trap limits. The Area 2 trap limit is 800 traps. Federally permitted lobster fishing vessels may only fish with traps that have been previously qualified and allocated into Area 2 by the Regional Administrator, as part of the Federal Area 2 Limited Access Program. This allocation may be modified by trap cuts and/or trap transfers, but in no case shall the allocation exceed the trap limit.

(c) Area 3 trap limits. The Area 3 trap limit is 1,945 traps. Federally permitted lobster fishing vessels may only fish with traps that have been previously qualified and allocated into Area 3 by the Regional Administrator, as part of the Federal Area 3 Limited Access Program. This allocation may be modified by trap cuts and/or trap transfers, but in no case shall the allocation exceed the trap limit.

(d) Area 4 trap limits. The Area 4 trap limit is 1,440 traps. Federally permitted lobster fishing vessels may only fish with traps that have been previously qualified and allocated into Area 4 by the Regional Administrator, as part of the Federal Area 4 Limited Access Program. This allocation may be modified by trap cuts and/or trap transfers, but in no case shall the allocation exceed the trap limit.

(e) Area 5 trap limits. The Area 5 trap limit is 1,440 traps, unless the vessel is operating under an Area 5 Trap Waiver permit issued under §697.26. Federally permitted lobster fishing vessels may only fish with traps that have been previously qualified and allocated into Area 5 by the Regional Administrator, as part of the Federal Area 5 Limited Access Program. This allocation may be modified by trap cuts and/or trap transfers, but in no case shall the allocation exceed the trap limit.

(f) Outer Cape Area. The Outer Cape Area trap limit is 800 traps. Federally permitted lobster fishing vessels may only fish with traps that have been previously qualified and allocated into the Outer Cape Area by the Regional Administrator, as part of the Federal Outer Cape Cod Area Limited Access Program. This allocation may be modified by trap cuts and/or trap transfers, but in no case shall the allocation exceed the trap limit.

(g) Trap cuts. Trap allocations shall be reduced in the following Areas as set forth below:

(1) Area 2 allocations shall be reduced according to the following schedule:

Effective year of
trap reduction
Area 2
reductions
(percent)
April 30, 2016, 11:59 p.m.25
April 30, 2017, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2018, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2019, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2020, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2021, 11:59 p.m.5

(2) Area 3 allocations shall be reduced according to the following schedule:

Effective year of
trap reduction
Area 3
reductions
(percent)
April 30, 2016, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2017, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2018, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2019, 11:59 p.m.5
April 30, 2020, 11:59 p.m.5

(h) Lobster trap limits for vessels fishing or authorized to fish in more than one EEZ management area. A vessel owner who elects to fish in more than one EEZ Management Area is restricted to the lowest trap cap and/or trap allocation of all the areas designated on the permit and may not fish with, deploy in, possess in, or haul back from any of those elected management areas more lobster traps than the lowest number of lobster traps allocated to that vessel for any one elected management area.

(i) Conservation equivalent trap limits in New Hampshire state waters. Notwithstanding any other provision, any vessel with a Federal lobster permit and a New Hampshire Full Commercial Lobster license may fish up to a maximum of 1,200 lobster traps in New Hampshire state waters, to the extent authorized by New Hampshire lobster fishery regulations. However, such vessel may not fish, possess, deploy, or haul back more than 800 lobster traps in the Federal waters of EEZ Nearshore Management Area 1, and may not fish more than a combined total of 1,200 lobster traps in the Federal and New Hampshire state waters portions of EEZ Nearshore Management Area 1.

(j) Trap Tag Requirements for vessels fishing with lobster traps. All lobster traps in Federal waters must have a valid Federal lobster trap tag permanently attached to the trap bridge or central cross-member. Federal lobster permit holders are eligible to receive Area 1 trap tags only if the Regional Administrator has qualified the permit to fish in Area 1 as part of the Federal Area 1 Limited Entry Program. Federal lobster permit holders are eligible to receive Area 2, 3, 4, 5, and/or Outer Cape Area trap tags only if the Regional Administrator has allocated those traps as part of the Federal Area 2, 3, 4, 5, and/or Outer Cape Area Limited Access Program. Any vessel with a Federal lobster permit may not possess, deploy, or haul back lobster traps in any portion of any lobster management area that do not have a valid, federally recognized trap tag permanently attached to the trap bridge or central cross-member.

(k) Maximum lobster trap tags authorized for direct purchase. In any fishing year, the maximum number of tags authorized for direct purchase by each permit holder is the applicable trap limit specified in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section plus an additional 10 percent to cover trap loss.

(l) EEZ Management Area 5 trap waiver exemption. Any vessel issued an Area 5 Trap Waiver permit under §697.4(p) is exempt from the provisions of this section.

[79 FR 19025, Apr. 7, 2014, as amended at 80 FR 2035, Jan. 15, 2015]

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