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Attention Lobster Zone A, Zone B and Zone C Fishermen
The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) has prioritized the development of a Deep-Sea Coral Amendment that considers management measures to reduce impacts to corals from commercial fishing activities in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and the Southern New England region.
Two of the proposed Gulf of Maine coral protection areas are Outer Schoodic Ridge and southwest of Mount Desert Rock. One of the proposed management sub-options is a total ban on fishing. The Department has strongly objected and proposed to exempt the lobster and crab fisheries in these two proposed coral protection areas.
In January the NEFMC voted that it was too early in the development of the Draft Amendment to consider an exemption and expressed an interest in more data and analyses of the fisheries in these two areas. DMR has provided information to the NEFMC using Maine Dealer and Harvester Logbook data to estimate the economic impact of closing these areas along with some industry input for the numbers of impacted boats and harbors. DMR is trying to ground truth that information and needs your help.
Please see the attached charts.
If you fish in either (or both) of these areas, we need your help collecting as much data as possible to demonstrate the potential impact that these measures would have on the lobster fishery and Downeast economy. This information will be summarized and used to supplement the economic and effort data generated by DMR.
There will be a session at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum at the Samoset Resort on Saturday morning at 9 am in the Rockport Room. Learn more about the proposed closures, the timeline for decision-making, and how to make sure your voice is heard.
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