The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) implemented new, emergency regulations to establish a closed season for lobster harvest and landings from Lobster Conservation Management Area (LCMA) 4, the agency announced today. Lobster Management Area 4 includes all New York waters off the south shore of Long Island.

The harvest and landing of lobsters from LCMA 4 is prohibited from February 1 through March 31. During the February 1 through March 31 season closure, lobster permit holders who use lobster traps or pots will have a two-week period to remove lobster pots from the water after the closed season begins. All pots must be removed by February 14. Unbaited lobster traps or pots may be set beginning March 24, one week prior to the end of the closed season. Permit holders who designate multiple LCMAs on their permit must abide by the most restrictive rule which requires them to abide by the closed season rules for all the LCMAs listed on their permit. These changes are effective February 1, 2013.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) American Lobster Management Board approved Addendum XVII to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan (FMP) with the objective of decreasing lobster harvest in Southern New England by 10 percent to initiate stock rebuilding. The Addendum contained measures for lobster conservation management areas (LCMAs) 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. These measures implement a closed season in LCMA 4.

The new rules are designed to meet the requirements of the management plan. For additional information about these revisions, contact DEC Marine Resources Division at 631-444-0444.

Image courtesy New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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