New Jersey Lobster Regulations

 

Lobster Minimum, Maximum Size Measurement carapace (Rear of eye socket to rear of body shell)  bug size

The following are excerpts from the

New Jersey Administrative Code Title 7:25-14

7:25-14.1  Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:  "Lobster" means the American lobster Homarus americanus.

7:25-14.13  Size of lobster taken

(a)  A person shall not take from the marine waters of this State by any means, import, export, offload at any port, have in his or her possession, buy, sell or offer to buy or sell, any American lobster of the genus and species Homarus americanus, which when measured from the rear end of the eye socket along a line parallel to the center line of the body shell to the rear end of the body shell is less than the lengths listed below after the dates stipulated.

                                    After                                            Minimum Size (Inches)

                              July 1, 2004                                                       3 3/8

 (c) A person fishing in ASMFC Lobster Management Area 3, 4 and/or 5 or that has designated Lobster Management 3, 4 and/or 5 for fishing on their Federal Fisheries or State Lobster Pot Permit shall not take, land, have in his or her possession, sell or offer for sale any American lobster with a length as measured in (a) above that is greater than the length listed below after the dates stipulated.

ASMFC Lobster Management Area Dates                      Maximum Size (Inches)

                                 LMA 4                             after July 1, 2002                          5 1/4

                                 LMA 5                             after July 1, 2004                          5 1/4

(d) A person shall not import, export, have in his or her possession, buy, sell or offer to buy or sell any American lobster that does not comply with the size limits for the Lobster Management Areas as stipulated in (a) through (c) above.

(e) The maximum size limits stipulated in (c) above apply to the recreational harvest of American lobster. The minimum size limit for American lobster harvested for recreational purposes shall comply with those stipulated in (a) above and shall not be sold, offered for sale or bartered.

(g) A person shall not take from the marine waters of this State by any means, possess at sea or offload at any port an American lobster, which is damaged or mutilated to the extent that its length as specified in (a) above cannot be determined.

(h) A person shall not import, export, have in his or her possession, buy, sell or offer to buy or sell, any detached American lobster tail, if the sixth abdominal segment (that segment closest to the fan of the tail), when measured along its dorsal center line with the tail flexed, is less than one and one-sixteenth inches in length.

7:25-14.14      Lobster possession limits

American lobster taken by otter trawl or fish pot shall be limited to 100 lobster per day per vessel (based on a 24-hour period) up to a maximum of 500 lobsters per trip per vessel, for trips of five days or longer. American lobster taken by hand, or any gear or methods other than otter trawl, fish or lobster pot or fish or lobster trap shall be limited to six lobster per person in possession or taken in any one calendar day. 

7:25-14.      Prohibitions

(a)  A person shall not take from the marine waters of this State by any means, import, export, offload at any port, have in his or her possession, buy, sell or offer to buy or sell, any American lobster with eggs attached, or from which the egg have been removed. 

(c) A person fishing in ASMFC Lobster Management Area (LMA) 4 and/or 5 or that has designated LMA 4 and/or 5 for fishing on their Federal Fisheries or State Lobster Pot Permit shall not take or attempt to take, land, have in his or her possession, sell, or offer to sell any American lobster during the closed season of February 1 through March 31, inclusive. During the closed season, no dealer shall accept, have in his or her possession, buy or offer to buy, sell, or offer to sell any American lobster harvested from LMA 4 and/or 5.

v notch(d) A person shall not possess a female lobster bearing a v-shaped notch (that is, a straight-sided triangular cut with or without setal hairs, at least one-eighth inch in depth and tapering to a sharp point) as viewed from the rear of the female lobster. V-notched female lobster also means any female which is mutilated in a manner which could hide, obscure or obliterate such a mark. The right flipper will be examined when the underside of the lobster is down and its tail is toward the person making the determination.

 (e)  A person shall not use any spear, gig, gaff or other penetrating device as a method of capture of lobsters. 

7:25-14.19  Administrative notice

The Commissioner, with the approval of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, may modify minimum or maximum size limits, pot and trap limits, trip limits, quotas and possession limits in this subchapter by notice in order to maintain compliance with any fishery management plan approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 5104(b) or to maintain consistency with any Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council plan adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Commissioner, with the approval of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, may modify minimum or maximum size limits, pot and trap limits, trip limits and possession limits in this subchapter by notice in order to provide for the optimal utilization of any quotas specified in this subchapter. The Commissioner will review the catch rate for a particular species in relation to the season quota and if harvest data indicate that upward adjustments in harvest control measures are warranted to maximize utilization of the available quota within a specific season for a specific fishery, the Commissioner may adjust the above specified control measures to achieve optimal utilization of the total allowable catch. The Department shall publish notice of any such modification by filing and publishing a notice of administrative change in the New Jersey Register and a notice in the Division's commercial regulation publication. All such notices shall be effective when the Department files the notice with the Office of Administrative Law or as specified otherwise in the notice.

7:25-14.20      Penalties

 (g.)  Any person violating the provisions of N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.13, lobster size, tail size and landing of lobster parts; N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.14, possession limits; N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.15, prohibition of egg-bearing lobsters, v-notched female lobsters and the prohibition of the use of a penetrating device; N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.16, eligibility for a lobster pot permit and pot allocation; N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.17, lobster pot tag program; N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5(g)11i, lobster pot maximum size or N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5(g)11iv, escape vents, shall be subject to a penalty of $30.00 for each lobster, lobster part or lobster pot in violation.

(i.)  Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 23:10-21 and 21.1, any gear used in violation of the provisions of this subchapter may be seized and forfeited.

New Jersey Statutes  TITLE 23        FISH AND GAME, WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS

23:3-22.2.   Establishment of range of costs for replacement value of animals possessed in violation of law  

The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall establish a range of costs incurred by the department for the replacement value of any animal taken or possessed in violation of law.  In addition to the civil and other penalties and costs imposed for a violation of law enforced by the department, a court may assess the violator thereof for costs pursuant to the schedule established pursuant to this section, which sums shall be paid to the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife for deposit in the hunters' and anglers' license fund established pursuant to R.S.23:3-11. 

  a.      The commissioner shall establish costs within the following ranges:

    (8)  Lobster..... $20.00 to $200.00.

    b.   The commissioner may, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. 

L.1990,c.29,s.10

Contact information for NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife

Main Office

General Information

(609) 292-2965

NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife

Marine Fisheries

(609) 748-2020

PO Box 400

Shellfisheries

(609) 748-2021

Trenton, NJ   08625-0400

Law Enforcement

(609) 748-2050

 

Edit 9/2013 New Jersey Council of Diving Clubs