NOAA Fisheries Issues On-Demand Gear Exempted Fishing Permit

August 23, 2022 – Yesterday, NOAA Fisheries issued an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (Center) to continue trials of on-demand gear in the American lobster fishery.

The EFP will provide an exemption from Federal lobster gear marking requirements for approximately 30 federally permitted commercial lobster vessels, with the potential to increase to up to 100 vessels total during the one-year project period.  The EFP will allow participating vessels to test alternatives to static vertical lines in trap/pot fisheries (also referred to as on-demand gear), including up to 30 vessels fishing in Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Restricted Areas with no static vertical lines.  In recognition of industry’s interest in grappling as a low-cost alternative to acoustic on-demand systems, this project would allow up to 25 vessels to fish via grappling to enable the Center to collect data on the viability of grappling at a commercial scale.

The purpose of this project is to expand the existing trial of fishing systems aimed at reducing the entanglement risk to the endangered North Atlantic right whale across the breadth of regional trap/pot fishing conditions.  The project includes measures to reduce potential interactions with right whales and to manage and reduce gear conflicts with other fisheries.

If you would like more information on participating in this or future on-demand gear EFPs, please email the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Gear Library at [email protected].


Fishermen: Contact Laura Deighan, Sustainable Fisheries, 978-281-9184

Media: Contact Andrea Gomez, Regional Office, 916-813-1097

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