322 CMR 7.08 - Offshore Lobster Permit Control Date, Moratorium, and Transfers

(1) Purpose. The purpose of 322 CMR 7.08 is to provide the Director and the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission with controls on the offshore lobster fishery and to prevent holders of both coastal and federal offshore permits on a single vessel from increasing the cumulative effort attributable to both permits. The implementation of the control date and moratorium will prevent increases in lobster effort to accomplish the goals and objectives of the interstate lobster management plan.
(2) Definitions.

Offshore Lobster Permit means the commercial fisherman permit, issued and managed pursuant to M.G.L. c. 130, §§ 2 and 38, and 322 CMR 7.01(2) and 322 CMR 7.08, that authorizes the permit holder to possess and land lobsters harvested from waters outside the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth using a vessel registered under the laws of the state and validly endorsed for FCZ fishing.

(3) Moratorium. After February 6, 2003, the Director may not issue new offshore lobster permits for the purpose of landing lobsters taken with traps from federal waters. The Director shall renew all existing Offshore Commercial Lobster Permits in accordance with M.G.L. c. 130, § 38B, and 322 CMR 7.01(2)(b), provided that catch reports and renewal applications are received by February 28th and the renewal process, including late renewals approved for sufficient cause, is completed prior to December 31st of any year.

Exception. Holders of federal permits authorized to fish traps in Lobster Conservation Management Area 2 and 3 may apply to the Director for a new offshore landing permit. The Director may issue the permit if it is determined to result in no increased trap fishing effort in waters adjacent to Massachusetts.

(4) Transfers of Offshore Lobster Permits.
(a) Transfer Eligibility Criteria. Limited entry Offshore Lobster permits are non-transferable unless approved by the Director. The Director may approve the transfer of a limited entry Offshore Lobster permit subject to the following criteria:
1. The holder of the Offshore Lobster permit is in good standing with the marine fisheries laws and regulations at M.G.L. c. 130, and 322 CMR.
2. The limited entry Offshore Lobster permit is being transferred in conjunction with a Federal American Lobster Trap permit that has been held on the same vessel for at least one year.
(b) Restrictions.
1. Transfers shall involve the sale or transfer of fishing related business assets.
2. Transfers may be denied by the Director if any evidence of fraud is found, or if the Director determines that the transfer is not in the best interests of the Commonwealth.
(5) Forfeiture. All Offshore Lobster Permits which are not renewed in accordance with 322 CMR 7.08 shall be forfeited to the Division.


322 CMR 7.08
Amended, Mass Register Issue 1262, eff. 6/6/2014. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1324, eff. 10/21/2016. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1336, eff. 4/7/2017. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1387, eff. 3/22/2019. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1416, eff. 5/1/2020.

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