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Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 4, 2018 and Island Ad-Vantages, January 4, 2018 and The Weekly Packet, January 4, 2018
ASMFC to hold lobster, crab public hearing

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will hold public hearings on Draft Addenda XXVI & III to the American Lobster and Jonah Crab FMPs. Locally, the hearing will on Thursday, January 11, at 6 p.m. at Ellsworth High School.

The draft addenda seek to improve harvest reporting and biological data collection in the American lobster and Jonah crab fisheries. The draft addenda propose using the latest reporting technology, expanding the collection of effort data, increasing the spatial resolution of harvester reporting, and advancing the collection of biological data, particularly offshore. They present three questions for public comment: What percentage of harvesters should be required to report in the American lobster and Jonah crab fisheries; should current data elements be expanded to collect a greater amount of information in both fisheries; and at what scale should spatial information be collected. In addition, the Draft Addenda provide several recommendations to NOAA Fisheries for data collection of offshore American lobster and Jonah crab fisheries, including implementation of a harvester reporting requirement for federal lobster permit holders, creation of a fixedgear VTR form, and expansion of a biological sampling program offshore.

For more information, visit maine.gov/dmr.