American Lobster Board Extends Addendum XXVII Implementation Date to January 1, 2025

The following press release is posted on behalf of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission:

Beaufort, NC – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Lobster Management Board modified the implementation date for measures under Addendum XXVII to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster to January 1, 2025 (see table for specific dates). Addendum XXVII was adopted in May 2023, and established a trigger mechanism to automatically implement management measures to provide additional protection of the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank (GOM/GBK) spawning stock biomass.

Under Addendum XXVII, changes to gauge and escape vent sizes in Lobster Conservation Management Areas (LCMAs) 1 (Gulf of Maine), 3 (offshore federal waters) and Outer Cape Cod (OCC) would be initiated based on an observed decline in recruit abundance indices of 35% from the reference level (equal to the three-year average from 2016-2018). With the inclusion of recently released 2022 data in the time series, the trigger index has declined by 39%, surpassing the trigger point of a 35% decline. The measures triggered include two increases to the minimum gauge size in LCMA 1, a corresponding change in the LCMA 1 escape vent size, and a single decrease to the maximum gauge size in LCMA 3 and OCC.

“Because the trigger was tripped much more quickly than we anticipated, the delay in implementing the gauge size increase will provide the Gulf of Maine states the opportunity to coordinate with Canada regarding possible trade implications, and give the industry and gauge makers additional time to prepare for these changes,” stated Pat Keliher from Maine.

Addendum XXVII also implements a standard v-notch definition of 1/8” with or without setal hairs in LCMA 3 and OCC, and a standard maximum gauge size of 6 ¾” for state and federal permit holders in LCMA 3 and OCC. Additionally, for LCMA 1 and 3 permit holders, states must limit the issuance of trap tags to equal the harvester trap tag allocations unless trap losses are documented. The implementation date for these measures is now January 1, 2025.

The following table specifies the timing of management changes for each of the three LCMAs addressed under Addendum XXVII as modified.

When change(s) will be implemented 

What change will be implemented



Outer Cape Cod

January 1, 2025

Trap tags issuance limited to harvester allocation

v-notch definition: 1/8” with or without setal hairs; Maximum gauge size: 6 ¾”

January 1, 2025

Minimum gauge size: 3 5/16



January 1, 2027

Minimum gauge size: 3 3/8



January 1, 2028

Escape vent size: 2 x 5 ¾” rectangular; 2 5/8” circular



January 1, 2029


Maximum gauge size: 6 ½”

Maximum gauge size: 6 ½”

For more information, please contact Caitlin Starks, Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.



The press release can also be found at

Tina Berger
Director of Communications
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200 A-N
Arlington, VA 22201
703.842.0749  l


Sustainable and Cooperative Management of Atlantic Coastal Fisheries