FISH AND GAME
FISH, SHELLFISH, LOBSTERS AND CRABS
Lobsters and Crabs
I. No person shall take lobsters and crabs from any water under the jurisdiction of this state without first procuring a valid and proper license to do so as provided in paragraph III. No such taking shall occur during the time from sunset to one hour before sunrise. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 211:62 relative to the licenses to be issued under paragraph III including, but not limited to, terms, limits, eligibility, transferability, sale, exemptions, revocation, trap tag fees, and control of entry date.
I-a. Any person who purchases a license to take lobster and crabs in waters of the state of New Hampshire pursuant to this section shall be deemed to have given consent to law enforcement officers to haul, for any purpose, their lobster and crab gear set for the purpose of taking or keeping lobster and crabs within the jurisdiction of the state of New Hampshire.
II-a. A person who is a resident of a state that provides reciprocal commercial permits or licenses to take lobsters to New Hampshire residents may take lobsters or crabs commercially upon first obtaining a license from the department, if the person's commercial license from the person's state of residence provides at least the equivalent number of traps allowed in the respective license class sought pursuant to this section.
III. The following criteria shall apply to the issuance of lobster and crab licenses by the department:
(a) If a person is a resident of this state and does not take lobsters or crabs for the purpose of sale and does not use more than 5 traps, the person may receive a recreational lobster and crab license.
(b) Any individual who possessed a valid commercial lobster and crab license or resident wholesale dealer's license pursuant to RSA 211:49-c or the provisions of former RSA 211:39-a in this state or any state that provides reciprocal permits or licenses as specified in paragraph II-a in any year from 1994 to 1998, inclusive, and who had documented landings of more than 12,000 pounds of lobster and crab in at least 2 of those years shall be eligible to receive a commercial lobster and crab license.
(c) Any individual who possessed a valid limited commercial lobster and crab license prior to January 1, 2006 shall be eligible to receive a limited commercial lobster and crab license.
(d) Any individual wishing to engage in the commercial taking of lobster and crab may receive a part-time commercial lobster and crab license.
(e) Beginning January 1, 2012, any eligible individual shall purchase a commercial or limited commercial lobster and crab license for each calendar year in order to remain eligible to purchase such license in subsequent years, except that:
(1) Active duty military personnel stationed outside the state for any portion of the calendar year may submit duty orders and a written request to the executive director to obtain an exemption for that year.
(2) The purchase requirement shall not pertain to those individuals prohibited from purchasing a valid lobster and crab license for the entire calendar due to a court conviction for violation of marine fisheries regulations.
(3) The purchase requirement shall not pertain to those individuals who file with the executive director, each year, a notarized affidavit indicating their intent to remain eligible to purchase such license in subsequent years. The notarized affidavit shall be on a form provided by the department and shall be postmarked on or before June 30 of that year.
III-a. The executive director shall set the fee pursuant to RSA 206:10, I for the following lobster and crab license types issued under this section:
(a) Resident commercial lobster and crab license.
(b) Nonresident commercial lobster and crab license.
(c) Resident limited commercial lobster and crab license.
(d) Nonresident limited commercial lobster and crab license.
(e) Resident part-time commercial lobster and crab license.
(f) Nonresident part-time commercial lobster and crab license.
(g) Recreational lobster and crab license.
III-b. Notwithstanding paragraph III, the executive director may adopt rules to increase the number of commercial lobster and crab licenses available under this section from only those individuals who hold a valid limited commercial or part-time commercial lobster and crab license, provided that any increase in lobster and crab licenses complies with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission lobster management plan.
III-c. The executive director shall establish a surcharge on each class of license issued under paragraph III-a of not more than $25 nor less than $10 to be deposited in the derelict fishing gear and coastal cleanup fund, established in RSA 211:77, and shall adopt rules for implementing and collecting the surcharge. Any person who satisfactorily demonstrates to the executive director that he or she is participating in a coastal cleanup program shall not be required to pay the surcharge. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to determine satisfactory participation in a coastal cleanup program and to account for licensees who are exempt from the surcharge each year.
V. Nothing in this section shall pertain to the taking of green crabs.
Source. RL 245:42. 1950, 12:2. 1951, 200:1. RSA 211:18. 1965, 305:1. 1977, 286:1. 1981, 498:5. 1986, 214:4. 1987, 62:3. 1996, 246:1, 2. 1998, 116:1, 2. 1999, 26:4, II. 2004, 166:2. 2005, 204:1. 2006, 140:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2011, 81:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012. 2015, 186:11, eff. July 1, 2015. 2021, 208:2, Pt. V, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.