The LMA 1 Restricted Area closure is now in effect. American lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot fishermen fishing in the LMA 1 Restricted Area must remove all trap/pot gear from this area. The area will remain closed through January 31, 2022.
Given the capacity of offshore fishing vessels to remove and relocate trawls as well as potential weather and safety concerns, we anticipated it could take up to two weeks from November 17, 2021, for all lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot gear to be removed from the LMA 1 Restricted Area. Any gear remaining in the LMA 1 Restricted Area is in violation of the regulations and subject to civil administrative penalties. Penalties may cost up to $48,000 per violation, and could be higher, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
The LMA 1 Restricted Area was created to protect endangered right whales from the risk of entanglement from buoy lines in an area of high co-occurrence. Therefore, fishing with traditional persistent buoy lines is not allowed in this area from October 1 through January 31 each year, when right whales are in this area. See recent right whale sightings and acoustic detections on our WhaleMap.
Media: Contact Allison Ferreira, Regional Office, 978-281-9103
For information about gear changes: John Higgins, Northeast Fisheries Liaison, 207-610-3282
For information about Take Reduction Team process and regulations, contact Marisa Trego, Take Reduction Team Coordinator, 978-282-8484