DEC Expands Opportunities for New York Lobstering

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that the State has secured additional harvesting opportunities for Long Island’s lobster harvesters. In October, New York requested that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) American Lobster Fishery Management Board review its “Most Restrictive Rule” that limited lobstering opportunities across Long Island.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Cutting back on seasonal lobstering restrictions continues Governor Cuomo’s efforts to expand fishing and lobstering opportunities for New York’s maritime food industry. This industry employs thousands of New Yorkers who have built our state’s national reputation for delicious seafood.”

The “Most Restrictive Rule” classification closed two lobstering grounds for New York State lobster permit holders for four months out of the year. Under this rule, holders of lobster permits with trap allocations allowing them to fish in Lobster Management Area (LMA) Four off the south shore of Long Island and LMA Six, off Long Island Sound and the East End, were prohibited from lobstering for four months out of the year. Please refer to the attached map of LMAs (JPG, 156 KB).

LMA Four is closed to lobstering for one month in the spring. LMA 6 is closed for three months in the fall.

At the State’s request, the Lobster Fishery Management Board repealed the “Most Restrictive Rule” for closed seasons at its 2017 annual board meeting.

This repeal now allows New York’s lobster permit holders who have lobster trap allocations in both LMAs 4 and 6 the ability to fish in the open LMA when the other area is closed. The new rules are designed to meet the requirements of the management plan.

For additional information about these revisions, contact DEC Marine Resources Division at 631-444-0454. For more information on the Lobster Permitting requirements please see DEC’s website.