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Crustaceans Fishery Management Plan

The Crustaceans FMP was approved in 1983. Initial provisions of the FMP, which was initially named “Spiny Lobster Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region,” went into effect March 9, 1983 (48 FR 5560, 7 February 1983). The FMP implemented the following management measures for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) management area: federal permit requirements, a minimum size limit for spiny lobsters, gear restrictions, a ban on the harvest of egg-bearing female spiny lobsters, the closure of waters within 20 nm of Laysan Island, all NWHI waters shallower than 10 fm, and all NWHI lagoons, to fishing for spiny lobsters,  a mandatory logbook program, and a requirement to carry a fishery observer if directed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The FMP also implemented permit, data reporting, and observer requirements within EEZ waters around the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), American Samoa, and Guam.

The following tables contain management measures, including amendments, regulatory amendments, and NMFS-initiated regulations.  

 

AMENDMENTS

Amendment Effective date / Federal Register Notice Description of Action
13 11/21/08
73 FR 70603
Included the deepwater shrimp genus Heterocarpusas Management Unit Species (MUS) within the Crustaceans FMP. Required Federal permits and reporting for deepwater shrimp fishing in all Federal waters of the Western Pacific Region.
12 10/26/06
71 FR 53605
Included federal waters around CNMI and the Pacific Remote Island Areas in the Crustaceans FMP and implemented federal permit and reporting requirements (71 FR 231) for vessels targeting crustacean MUS in these areas.
11 2/24/04
69 FR 8336
Prepared in parallel with the Coral Reef Ecosystems FMP. This amendment prohibits the harvest of Crustacean MUS in the no-take marine protected areas established under the Coral Reef Ecosystems FMP, including Rose Atoll in American Samoa, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Island, Howland Island, and Baker Island. The final rule implementing the Coral Reef Ecosystem FMP (including Amendment 11 to the Crustaceans FMP) became effective 3/25/04.
10 4/19/99
64 FR 190678/5/03
68 FR 46112
Addressed new requirements under the 1996 Sustainable Fisheries Act. Portions of the amendment that were immediately approved included designations of essential fish habitat, and descriptions of bycatch and of some fishing communities. Those provisions became effective on February 3, 1999. Remaining portions approved on August 5, 2003, included provisions regarding Hawaii fishing communities, overfishing definitions, and bycatch.
9 7/5/96
61 FR 35145
Established a system by which the annual harvest guideline would be set based on a constant percent of the population (i.e., proportional to the estimated exploitable population size) based on a specified acceptable risk of overfishing. Amendment 9 set this risk level at 10% and specified that annual harvest guidelines be published by NMFS no later than February 28 of each year. Earlier in-season adjustment procedures were eliminated. Earlier minimum size limits and prohibitions on harvesting of egg bearing females were eliminated and a mechanism was provided for certain regulatory adjustments to be made through framework procedures of the FMP.
8 11/10/94
59 FR
Eliminated the NWHI minimum landings requirements for permit renewal, allowed the catch per unit effort target that is used to set the harvest guideline to be changed through the framework process, and modified reporting requirements
7 3/26/92
57 FR 10437
Established a NWHI limited access program, an adjustable fleet-wide NWHI annual harvest guideline, and a closed season (January through June) in the NWHI fishery. Participation was limited to 15 permits (and vessels). Other measures include a maximum limit on the number of traps per vessel (1,100), revisions to reporting requirements, and other provisions
6 1/28/91
56 FR 3071
Defined recruitment overfishing for lobster stocks in terms of reference points expressed in terms of the spawning potential ratio (SPR). The minimum SPR threshold, below which the stock would be considered recruitment overfished, is 20%.
5 1987 Implemented a minimum size for slipper lobster (5.6 cm tail width), required the release of egg-bearing female slipper lobsters, required escape vents in all lobster traps, and revised some of the permit application and reporting requirements. It also changed the name of the FMP from “Spiny Lobster Fisheries” to “Crustaceans Fisheries.”
4 1986 Applied existing NWHI closed areas to slipper lobsters.
3 1985 Revised the minimum spiny lobster size specifications for the NWHI management area to a limit on tail width (5.0 cm).
2 1983 Modified the allowable trap opening dimensions with the intent of minimizing the risk of harm to the Hawaiian monk seal while allowing sufficient flexibility in trap design.
1 1983 Adopted the State of Hawaii’s lobster fishing regulations for the federal waters around the MHI.

 

REGULATORY AMENDMENTS

 

Regulatory
Amendment
Effective Date / Federal Register Notice Description of Action
3 7/8/99
64 FR 36820
Divided the NWHI into four fishing grounds across which harvest is allocated. Allowed fishing vessels with NMFS-certified VMS to be within those fishing grounds immediately after grounds closure provided the vessel is steaming to port or other open fishing grounds.
2 7/29/98
63 FR 40337
Allocates 1998 NWHI lobster harvest among three individual banks and a fourth combined area.
1 7/1/97
62 FR 35448
Implemented VMS for the crustacean fishery in the NWHI.

 

NMFS-INITIATED REGULATIONS

 

Action Effective Date / Federal Register Notice Description of Action
Emergency
Rule
6/26/00
65 FR 39314
Effective July 1, 2000 through December 1, 2000. Closed the NWHI fishery to protect lobster stocks because of shortcomings in scientific understanding of the populations and lack of stock rebuilding despite reduced fishing effort.  The closure was continued through the 2001 and 2002 seasons through announcements by NMFS on February 22, 2001 (66 FR 11156), March 15, 2002 (67 FR 11678) February 21, 2003, (68 FR 8490), and March 16, 2004 (69 FR 12303).
Emergency
Rule
5/13/91
56 FR 21961
Closed the fishery from May 8, 1991 through August 12, 1991 in response to indications that NWHI lobster stocks were approaching an overfished condition. The closure was extended until November 12, 1991 through another emergency action.