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 aligns state and federal measures trap transfer programs for Lobster Conservation Management Areas 2, 3, and Outer Cape Cod regarding the conservation tax on trap allocations when whole fishing businesses are transferred, trap allocation transfer increments, and restrictions on trap allocation transfers among permit holders who are authorized to fish both state and federal waters (dual permit holder) within a single lobster management area.
Addendum XXIV removes the 10% conservation tax on full business transfers. Transfer tax on full business transfers was found to be not necessary to prevent the activation of latent effort and that current regulations provide sufficient controls for latent effort. Addendum XXIV 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 for fewer traps to be transferred at one time thus allowing more flexibility for a permit holder in the trap transfer process. This 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.
Finally, Addendum XXIV allows dual permit holders to transfer allocation with dual permits 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.
The Addendum will be available on the Commission’s website, www.asmfc.org, on the American lobster page. For more information, please contact, Megan Ware, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at email@example.com or 703.842.0740.