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  • MLCA

Draft vertical line rule released: Public meetings scheduled for August

Existing Whale Rules remain in place:

Universal measures

  1. No buoy line floating at the surface

  2. No wet storage of gear; must be hauled every 30 days

  3. Fishermen are encouraged (not required) to maintain knot-free buoy lines

Maine lobstermen, fishing inside the exemption line:

  1. Universal measures

  2. Lobstermen must comply with one of the three following options:

  3. All buoys must be attached to the buoy line with a 600 lb weak link, or

  4. All buoy lines must be made entirely of sinking and/or neutrally buoyant line, or

  5. All Ground lines must be made entirely of sinking and/or neutrally buoyant line.

Maine lobstermen, fishing outside the exemption line:

  1. Universal measures

  2. Groundline must be comprised entirely of sinking line (sg of 1.03 or greater); the attachment of buoys, toggles or other floation devices to groundlines is prohibited.

  3. All buoys, flotation and/or weighted devices must be attached with a weak link having a breaking strength of 600 lbs or less. The weak link must be designed so that the bitter end of the buoy line is clean and free of knots when the link breaks. Each weak link must be installed as close to the floatation and/or weighted device as possible; and

Maine lobstermen, fishing is federal waters:

  1. All of the above

  2. No singles allowed, multiple trap trawls only; and

  3. Limit of one buoy line on all trawls of five traps or less.

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