GROUNDLINE/EXCHANGE CONVERSION PLAN 2009
NOAA Award Number: NA09NMF450423
Amount of Federal Funding: $3,000,000
Summary of Program:
The overall goal of the “Groundline/Exchange Conversion Plan – 2009” (referred to simply as the Groundline Program throughout the rest of this document) was to administer a financial assistance program for actively fishing lobstermen to help with the costs of converting to sinking groundline as mandated in rules issued by NOAA/NMFS (Final Rule 72 FR 57104 - October 2007) in accordance with the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. The plan targeted two users groups:
- RI residents who have been actively fishing lobster traps in Lobster Management Area 2;
- Fishermen holding an Area 3 lobster permit actively fishing in Lobster Management Area 3.
The Groundline Program, administered by the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF), was based on guidelines developed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) for RI residents fishing lobster traps in Lobster Management Area 2, and by the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association (AOLA) for lobstermen actively fishing in Lobster Management Area 3, and from input received from regional rope suppliers.