Federal commission to discuss increasing minimum size of caught lobsters
The Maine Lobstermen’s association says these regulations would be ill-timed
(WMTW) - A federal commission on Tuesday will discuss increasing the minimum size of lobsters caught in the Gulf of Maine to be kept or sold.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will discuss a proposed increase in the minimum size by one-eighth of an inch from three and a quarter inches up to three and three-eighths.
The commission said the proposed rule would be intended to protect the lobster population as the number of juvenile lobsters has decreased in recent years, though it says that lobster stock is not depleted and overfishing is not currently occurring.
The Maine Lobstermen’s Association said while it agrees with the logic behind the rule, the timing is difficult due to the recent federal regulations on fishing gear.
“Working to preserve a healthy lobster stock is a core value of Maine’s lobstering industry and is passed down from generation to generation,” said MLA Executive Director Patrice McCarron. “However, MLA is concerned with the proposed timing. Any changes to lobster minimum and maximum size now could make it even more difficult for hardworking lobstermen who are already grappling with new federal rules.”
If the commission adopts the new rule, it would be implemented gradually through 2025 when it would be fully adopted.
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