The Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils are working together to develop Amendment 11 to the Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan. In this amendment the Councils are considering:
- Creating new closed areas to reduce the impacts of lobster traps on protected coral species
- Using trap line marking requirements to improve identification of trap lines that entangle protected species.
This amendment is being developed to addresses a recent Biological Opinion of the spiny lobster fishery that concludes that spiny lobster trap fishing activities put sea turtles, smalltooth sawfish, and staghorn and elkhorn corals at risk. The Biological Opinion specifies ways to minimize the impact of the spiny lobster trap fishery on these protected species and sets requirements for the terms and conditions under which action must be taken.
A guide to Amendment 11 can be downloaded here, and comments can be submitted here
The public hearing schedule for Spiny Lobster Amendment 11 is as follows:
January 23, 2012 January 24, 2012
Marathon Government Center Harvey Government Center
2798 Overseas Highway 1200 Truman Avenue
Marathon, FL Key West, FL