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Area 1

Lobster Conservation Management Team Minutes

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Lobster Conservation Management Team 1 Minutes
Urban Forestry Center Portsmouth, New Hampshire
June 30, 2008  10:00 a.m.

A meeting of the Area 1 Lobster Conservation Management Team (Area1 LCMT) was held on this date at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Members of the Area 1 LCMT attending this meeting included: Chair Jon Carter, Bruce Fernald, David Johnson, Steven Taylor, Jason Hooper, Damon Frampton, Peter Flanigan, Bob Nudd, Jim Bartlett, Bob Martin, Dave Kandrick, Aruthur Sawyer and Peter Mahoney

Also present: G. Ritchie White, John Stanley, Bob Ross, William Adler, Mike Flanigan, Dan McKiernan, Terry Stockwell, Pat White, Chip Lynch, Clare McBane and Donna Hall

The meeting convened at 10:00 AM.

Welcome

Chairman Jon Carter welcomed everyone to the LCMT Area 1 meeting and asked for an introduction around the room. Jon explained the reason for the team meeting today was to discuss the recommendations of the LCMT Area 1 Subcommittee meeting that was held on May 27th.

Team discussion began with Dan McKiernan explaining the challenge for the subcommittee was to achieve a limited entry plan that would be approved by NMFS and followed through the rule-making process. Bob Ross suggested that whatever criteria is selected, the group should ensure any required information is universally available to participants in all states, and to avoid selecting criteria where there are differences between the states. We need to come up with the best recommendations possible and make it as simple as possible. Terry Stockwell said the bottom line is whatever you folks want in Area 1 the board needs to hear it loud and clear.

Dan said there is not a universal reporting system even for federal permit holders. There is a minority of permit holders for which there is no landings or effort data, if there was then we could have some criteria. Massachusetts and New Hampshire has vessel reporting requirements but Maine does not, therefore landings and past performance is off the table. Jon Carter said as a member of the subcommittee and a fisherman I agree we need to keep it simple, I don’t think we need to get into reporting but to keep Area 1 trap permits staying within Area 1.

Bob Nudd said it should be simple there are two things we know here: 1) who has a license, and
2) who has purchased trap tags. It should be simple if we base the restrictions on those two things. Bob Ross asked if the intent was to restrict future access and assign fishing rights based upon a lobsterman’s history of prior participation. Bob Nudd said it is two different things here if we are trying to limit entry in to the trap fishery. Dave Kandrick said it would be important to allow military and medical waivers. Jon Carter asked if we can suggest a control date to the feds. Bob said under the federal rule-making process a notice could be published advising lobsterman that a ‘control date’ (the date of publication in the Federal Register) may be used as a cut-off date for establishing eligibility criteria for future access in the lobster trap fishery subject to Federal authority. Terry said if you look at sub-committee notes, hi-light the control date to the board and this will articulate to move forward to the board. Bill Adler asked on a federal permit does a lobsterman who fishes with traps have to select an area? Bob Ross said that is correct.

Jon said if we want to stop the influx of permits coming in to Area 1 and NMFS is on our side, we are asking to limit potential effort; we need to come up with a list of goals to present to the board. Peter said proof of a lobster license, trap tags and a control date.

MOTION: (Bob Nudd and Aruthur Sawyer) Require qualification process for Federal permit holders to obtain authorization to maintain LMA1 permit: a.) Federal Permit, and b.) Proof of LMA1 designation as of July 1, 2008, and c.) Appropriate trap tag orders for LMA1 for years 2007 or 2008 as of July , 2008. (All in favor).

Team discussed the Statement of Problem and Purpose/Goal to move this recommendation to the board. A motion was made as follows:

MOTION: (David Johnson and Jason Hooper)
Statement of Problem: Concern with unrestricted access to Lobster Management Area 1 (LMA1) within federal waters (EEZ)
Purpose/Goal: 1) Curtail influx of new trap permits/effort into LMA1 EEZ waters while still maintaining the following process.
o Allow the possibility of permit transfers within LMA1
o Maintain cultural and historic participation
o Maintain conservation value
2) Draft options for potential limited trap entry into LMA1 within EEZ waters
o Restricting movement of Area designation with the NOAA permit process (e.g. Area 2 lobster permit can not become Area 1 lobster permit.)
o Restrict the movement of non-trap permits to trap permits.
(All in favor).

Meeting adjourned at 12:45 PM.