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SECTION 13-0329
Lobsters; permit to take; prohibited acts
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 13, TITLE 3
§ 13-0329. Lobsters; permit to take; prohibited acts.

1. Any person domiciled within the state may take and land lobsters
(Homarus americanus) from the waters of the state or land lobsters in
the state taken elsewhere upon first obtaining a permit from the
department. There shall be two classes of permits: a non-commercial
permit, the fee for which shall be ten dollars, and a commercial permit,
the fee for which shall be one hundred fifty dollars. A non-commercial
permit shall allow the holder to set no more than five lobster pots and
to take or land in any one day no more than six legal lobsters by this
or any other legal method for the holder's own or family use. Holders of
non-commercial permits shall not sell, offer for sale, trade or barter,
or otherwise traffic in lobsters so taken. A commercial permit shall
allow the holder to set any number of pots and use any other legal
method for taking lobsters with no restriction on the number of legal
lobsters that may be taken, landed or possessed except that on the
waters of Long Island Sound and its adjoining bays, harbors and
estuaries (herein defined as all waters of the state north of the
northern shore lines of Long Island, Plum Island, Little Gull Island,
Great Gull Island and Fishers Island and all the waters of the state
north of the waters that separate those islands from each other) a
person holding a commercial permit who is a person operating or owning
or on board a dragger or any vessel used to operate any net defined as a
trawl in section 13-0341 shall not take, land nor possess any lobsters
or parts thereof unless there are no such nets on board, attached to in
any way, or being used by such vessel. This prohibition on the taking of
lobsters by the use of a trawl shall not allow the use of a trawl in any
waters where it is prohibited by sections 13-0341 and 13-0343. The
department shall furnish forms for application for both classes of
permits. A non-commercial permit shall be issued to an individual. A
commercial permit shall be issued to an individual and it may be
endorsed for use on a fishing vessel, in which case it shall cover all
persons on board such vessel. The holder of a commercial permit shall be
liable for all violations that occur on the vessel for which the
holder's permit is endorsed. The holder of a permit shall carry on his
or her person or post on his or her vessel such permit at all times when
fishing for lobsters. Except as provided in subdivision six of this
section, the permit holder must be present at all times while the
privileges of such permit are being exercised and while lobster fishing
gear owned by the permit holder is being set out or retrieved. The
holder of a commercial permit may endorse such permit to only one vessel
at any one time and shall be on board such vessel at all times when it
is used for fishing for lobsters.

2. a. A person not domiciled within the state but who is domiciled in
a state that provides reciprocal permits or licenses to persons
domiciled in New York state may, upon first obtaining a permit from the
department, take and land lobsters only from the waters of the state
westerly and southerly of a straight line drawn from the Flashing Green
Light Number 9 Whistle Buoy at Cerebus Shoals (located approximately
seven miles northwesterly to Montauk Point) northwesterly to Race Rock
and thence due north to the New York-Connecticut interstate boundary
line; and may land lobsters taken outside New York state waters.

b. The fee for such lobster permit shall be two hundred twenty-five
dollars. The permit shall be issued to an individual and may be endorsed
for use on a fishing vessel in which case it shall cover all persons on
board such vessel. Except as provided in subdivision six of this
section, the permit holder must be present at all times while the
privileges of such permit are being exercised and while lobster fishing
gear owned by the permit holder is being set out or retrieved. The
holder of such permit shall be liable for all violations that occur on
any vessel for which the permit may be endorsed. The holder of such
permit shall carry on his or her person or post on his or her vessel
such permit at all times when fishing for lobsters. The holder of a
commercial permit may endorse such permit to only one vessel at any one
time and shall be on board such vessel at all times when it is used for
fishing for lobsters.

c. On the waters of Long Island Sound and its adjoining bays, harbors
and estuaries (as defined in subdivision 1 of this section) a person
holding such permit who is a person operating or owning or on board a
dragger or any vessel used to operate a trawl as defined in section
13-0341 shall not take, land nor possess any lobsters or parts thereof
unless there are no such nets on board, attached to in any way, or being
used by such vessel. This prohibition on the taking of lobsters by the
use of a trawl shall not allow the use of a trawl in any waters where it
is prohibited by sections 13-0341 and 13-0343.

d. A person not domiciled in the state who is not qualified to hold a
lobster permit under paragraph a of this subdivision, or person
domiciled within the state who is not eligible to obtain a commercial
lobster permit under subdivision one of this section, may obtain a
permit to land lobsters in the state which have been legally taken
outside the state. The fee for a lobster landing permit shall be three
hundred dollars.

e. The department shall prescribe and furnish forms for such permits.

3. a. Lobster permits shall be non transferable and shall expire on
December 31 of the year of issue. If it appears in the public interest,
the department may suspend or cancel any such permit on ten days'
written notice to the holder thereof.

b. No person who has had any such permit suspended or revoked shall
take or land lobsters or aid in the taking or landing of lobsters until
such permit has been reinstated or a new permit is issued.

c. A person who holds a permit to take or land lobsters shall notify
the department of any change of address within thirty days of such
change.

4. Buoys or markers of prescribed design may be used in designating
the location of licensed lobster pots or traps in such manner as shall
be required by the department.

5. a. Except as provided in subdivisions 13, 16 and 18 of this
section, only lobsters measuring three and three-eighths inches or more
and five and one-quarter inches or less may be taken, possessed, bought,
sold, imported and exported. All measurements are from the rear end of
the eye socket along a line parallel to the center line of the body
shell (carapace) to the rear end of the body shell (carapace).

b. A lobster that has been damaged or mutilated to the extent that its
length from the rear end of the eye socket along a line parallel to the
center line of the body shell (carapace) to the rear end of the body
shell (carapace) cannot be determined shall not be possessed, sold or
offered for sale, trade or barter.

c. Lobsters in spawn shall not be taken or possessed at any time. Eggs
shall not be removed from such lobsters.

d. The landing or possession, in the marine district, of lobster, or
parts thereof, not in the shell, detached lobster tails or claws, or any
other part of a lobster that has been separated from the lobster by any
person who has a lobster permit issued by the state is prohibited.

e. The landing or possession of any V-notched female lobster is
prohibited. This prohibition applies to all persons other than a final
purchaser or consumer. V-notched female lobster shall mean any female
lobster bearing a V-shaped notch (i.e. a straight-sided triangular cut
without setal hairs, at least one-quarter inch in depth and tapering to
a sharp point) in the flipper next to the right of the center flipper 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; however, the department shall have the
authority to adopt by rule or regulation a modified definition of
"V-notched female lobster" to reflect any changes to the definition the
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission may adopt.

6. No person other than the licensee shall set out, tend, haul or
unduly disturb, or take or remove lobsters from, a lobster pot or trap
or other commercial gear, or damage, take, remove or possess such gear.
Possession of such gear without the consent of the licensee shall be
considered prima facie evidence of violation of this subdivision.
Provided, however, that in the event of a temporary emergency, a
licensee may provide written authorization for a different licensee to
haul and remove lobster from the licensee's pots or traps. A copy of
such written authorization shall be filed with the department and the
department shall determine what constitutes a temporary emergency and
the appropriate maximum duration of a temporary emergency for the
purposes of this subdivision.

7. a. Lobsters may be taken only by lobster pots, traps, otter trawls
or similar devices, or by skin diving, including the use of
self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), or by hand. The
use of spears, gigs, gaffs, or other penetrating devices to take
lobsters is prohibited.

b. The landing of more than one hundred lobsters per twenty-four hour
period by gear or methods other than lobster traps or pots is
prohibited. The landing of more than five hundred lobsters by gear or
methods other than lobster traps or pots during a trip lasting five days
or longer is prohibited.

8. A person shall not be issued a permit to take or land lobsters in
New York state if said person had a license or permit to take or land
lobsters in another state which has been suspended or revoked for an
illegal act which is also an illegal act in New York state until such
suspension or revocation has been terminated. Upon receipt of
information from another state that a license or permit of a person to
take or land lobsters has been suspended or revoked for an illegal act
which is also an illegal act in New York state, said person, if he holds
such a permit in New York state, shall have his New York permit
suspended or revoked until such suspension or revocation by another
state has been terminated.

9. On the waters of Long Island Sound and its adjoining bays, harbors
and estuaries (as defined in subdivision one of this section) lobsters
shall not be taken by any method from one hour after sunset to one hour
before sunrise. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to
the taking of lobsters by skin diving, including the use of
self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), by holders of a
valid resident non-commercial lobster permit.

10. A holder of a commercial lobster license may apply for a permit to
fish a gill net as permitted in paragraph (b) of subdivision fifteen of
section 13-0343 of this chapter. This permit is to be used for the
purposes of obtaining bait fish to be used solely by the permittee to
pursue his lobster fishery. Bait so taken shall not be sold.

11. In order to reduce mortality of lobster due to lost traps and
pots, the department may adopt regulations requiring escape panels and
vents in such traps and pots and describing their design, configuration,
composition, size and any other necessary characteristics. Any such
regulations shall be consistent with the Interstate Management Plan for
American Lobster prepared by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission.

12. Lobsters shall not be transferred from one vessel to another
vessel on the waters of Long Island Sound or its adjacent bays, harbors
and estuaries, except that nothing in this section shall prohibit the
unloading of lobsters, lawfully taken and possessed, in harbor at a
vessel's permanent mooring to a transfer vessel for the purpose of
transporting such lawfully taken and possessed lobsters to land.

13. The department may issue a permit, revocable at pleasure, to any
person to import, possess, buy or sell lobsters of less than the size
permitted to be taken and possessed pursuant to this section for
scientific and educational purposes only.

14. Possession of a lobster trap or pot with a volume larger than
twenty-two thousand nine hundred fifty cubic inches is prohibited.

15. (a) The department shall adopt regulations to implement and
administer a lobster trap tag program. Such regulations shall be
consistent with the specific requirements of the lobster fishery
management plan adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission and any other applicable federal lobster trap tag
regulations. Lobster trap tags shall be issued by the department or an
agent authorized by the department. The cost to affected permittees for
each tag shall not be more than the cost of production and distribution
of each tag and shall not exceed the sum of twenty cents.

(b) If the department administers a lobster trap tag program, any
funds derived from such program and received by the department shall be
deposited into the marine resource account established pursuant to
subparagraph (i) of paragraph three of subdivision (a) of section
eighty-three of the state finance law.

16. The department may, until December thirty-first, two thousand
twenty-four, adopt regulations for Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission Areas One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Outer Cape Cod, to
implement conservation measures that affect landings of lobsters,
pursuant to the recommendations of the respective Area's Lobster
Conservation Management Team as required by the Interstate Fishery
Management Plan for American Lobster adopted by the Atlantic States
Marine Fisheries Commission.

* 17. a. No lobster may be taken from Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission Area Six from September eighth through November twenty-eighth
pursuant to the recommendations of the Area's Lobster Conservation
Management Team as required by the Interstate Fishery Plan for Lobsters
adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

b. During the September eighth through November twenty-eighth closure,
lobster permit holders who use lobster traps or pots shall remove
lobster traps and pots from the water by September twenty-second.

c. No lobster trap or pot may be in the water from September
twenty-second until November fourteenth unless the lobster permit holder
also holds a permit or license that authorizes them to harvest other
species from their lobster traps or pots.

d. Lobster permit holders may set unbaited lobster traps or pots
beginning November fourteenth.

e. Lobster permit holders may set baited lobster traps or pots
beginning November twenty-first.

* NB Repealed December 31, 2024

18. a. Lobsters greater in length than provided in subdivision 5 of
this section may be imported into the state and possessed for
exportation provided that:

i. The lobsters were legally taken in the state or country where the
lobsters were landed, and, if applicable, the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission Area where the lobsters were taken;

ii. The lobsters were placed in containers and sealed with tamper
proof seals acceptable to the department in the state or country where
the lobsters were landed;

iii. The lobsters remain in the sealed containers at all times while
the lobsters are possessed in the state, including the placement of the
sealed containers in holding tanks in the state;

iv. Each sealed container is accompanied with a label, invoice, bill
of lading, purchase order or manifest identifying the state or country
where the lobsters were landed, and, if applicable, the Atlantic States
Marine Fisheries Commission Area where the lobsters were taken, the
number of lobsters contained therein, and the date the container was
sealed; and

v. The lobsters are imported, possessed and exported to or by a person
licensed pursuant to section 13-0334 of this title.

b. Lobsters greater in length than provided in subdivision 5 of this
section may be imported, possessed, sold or offered for sale in the
state provided that:

i. The lobsters were legally taken in the state or country where the
lobsters were landed, and, if applicable, the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission Area where the lobsters were taken;

ii. Each lobster is tagged in the state or country where the lobster
was landed with a tamper resistant tag acceptable to the department. The
tag shall be attached to the lobster and identify the state or country
where the lobster was landed and, if applicable, the Atlantic States
Marine Fisheries Commission Area where the lobster was taken;

iii. The tag must remain on the lobster until it is sold to the end
consumer in the state, including while in a holding tank in a restaurant
or retail outlet;

iv. Each shipment of tagged lobsters is accompanied with a label,
invoice, bill of lading, purchase order or manifest identifying the
state or country and, if applicable, the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission Area where the lobsters were taken, the number of
lobsters contained therein, and the date or dates the lobsters were
harvested; and

v. The lobsters are imported, possessed and sold or offered for sale
in the state by a person licensed pursuant to section 13-0334 of this
title.

c. The department may promulgate regulations necessary to implement
this subdivision.

19. Lobsters, or parts thereof, not in the shell, detached lobster
tails or claws, or any other part of a lobster that has been separated
from the lobster may only be possessed, purchased, offered for sale,
trade or barter, imported, or exported, provided:

a. The lobster was legally taken in the state or country where the
lobster was landed, and, if applicable, the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission Area where the lobster was taken;

b. The lobster parts are packaged with labels identifying the state,
or country where the lobster was taken and if applicable, the Atlantic
States Marine Fisheries Commission Area. Lobster parts must be packaged
and properly labeled prior to being possessed, sold, purchased or
imported in the state.