ASMFC Public Hearing on American Lobster Draft Addendum XXVII

The Atlantic coastal states of Maine through New York have scheduled hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum XXVII to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Lobster, which considers measures to increase protection of the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank (GOM/GBK) spawning stock. Some hearings will be conducted in-person, and some hearings will be conducted via webinar. Additional details on participating in the webinars can be found later in this release. Massachusetts Virtual Hearing on March 15, 6PM

The public hearing details are as follows:

The American Lobster Management Board initiated Addendum XXVII in 2017 as a proactive measure to improve the resiliency of the GOM/GBK stock, responding to signs of reduced juvenile settlement and the combining of the GOM and GBK stocks following the 2015 Stock Assessment. Work on this addendum was paused due to the prioritization of work on take reduction efforts for North Atlantic right whales and the 2020 stock assessment. The Board reinitiated work on Draft Addendum XXVII in February 2021, and has since revised its goal to consider a trigger mechanism such that measures would be automatically implemented to increase the overall protection of the GOM/GBK spawning stock when a defined trigger level is reached. Draft Addendum XXVII also considers the standardization of management measures across Lobster Conservation Management Areas with the goal of providing a consistent conservation strategy and simplifying enforcement across management areas and interstate commerce.

Webinar Instructions
For all virtual hearings, please note that in order to comment during webinar hearings you will need to use your computer or download the GoToWebinar app for your phone. Those joining by phone only will be limited to listening to the presentation and will not be able to provide input. In those cases, you can send comments to staff via email or U.S. mail at any time during the public comment period. To attend the webinar in listen only mode, dial 213-929-4212 and enter access code 210-711-884.

For all virtual hearings, please click HERE and select the hearing(s) you plan to attend from the dropdown menu to register for a public hearing webinar. Hearings will be held via GoToWebinar, and you can join the webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone. If you are new to GoToWebinar, you can download the software by (clicking here) or via the App store under GoToWebinar. We recommend you register for the hearing well in advance of the hearing since GoToWebinar will provide you with a link to test your device’s compatibility with the webinar. If you find your device is not compatible, please contact the Commission at [email protected] (subject line: GoToWebinar help) and we will try to get you connected. We also strongly encourage participants to use the computer voice over internet (VoIP) so you can ask questions and provide input at the hearing.

Hearing Presentation Recording
For those who cannot attend any in-person or virtual hearings, the Commission will also post a recording of the hearing presentation on the Commission’s Public Input page so that stakeholders may watch the presentation and submit comment at any time during the comment process. This recording will be available in early March.

Submitting Comments
The Draft Addendum is available at or via the Commission’s website at All those interested in the management of American lobster are encouraged to provide input either by participating in public hearings, which may be conducted via webinar, or providing written comment. Public comment will be accepted until 11:59 PM (EST) on March 31, 2023 and should be sent to Caitlin Starks, Senior FMP Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; or at [email protected] (Subject line: Lobster Draft Addendum XXVII).

If your organization is planning to release an action alert in response to the Draft Amendment, please contact Caitlin Starks at [email protected] or 703.842.0740, so she can work with you to develop a unique subject line to enable us to better organize and summarize comments for Board review.