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Jun 29, 2010 4:26 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Lobster moratorium could be coming to northeast

Jun 29, 2010 4:26 PM

Lobstermen on Long Island could be dealt a crushing blow by regulators later this summer, as the possibility looms of a total ban on lobster trapping in lower New England.

While the tasty crustacean is still in plentiful supply in the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine and the Georges Bank, analysis of lobster stocks in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut paints a picture of a species that has officially been declared depleted.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s lobster board plans to meet in Warwick, Rhode Island on July 22 to discuss the proposed ban on lobster trapping, and members of the group will meet with New York fishermen and the Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss the proposal on Long Island on July 13.

The group is concerned in particular that there are fewer female lobsters than in years past, leaving the species crippled in its attempts to reproduce.

“They’re identifying it as an environmental problem where lobsters can’t reproduce at a rate sufficient to maintain the species,” said East Hampton Town Fisheries Consultant Arnold Leo.

The commission is promoting a five-year ban on lobster trapping, to allow a new generation of lobsters to reach adulthood.

Mr. Leo said that he and other East End fishermen believe that the health of lobster populations here has been skewed by the deoxygenated waters in the western Long Island Sound, where there was a massive die-off of lobsters more than 10 years ago.

Though many fishermen believe the die-off was due to chemicals sprayed for mosquitoes to curb the spread of West Nile Virus, scientists have not yet found a conclusive cause.

“Somehow the lobsters are just not capable of reproducing properly,” said Mr. Leo. “It’s probably a bunch of things. On the East End of Long Island, guys have been doing pretty well. I don’t think there’s a problem with lobster around here. Eastern Suffolk has a population sufficient for the guys working on it, It’s not a whole lot of people, but one thing after another gets taken away. There are fewer and fewer ways to make a living as near shore commercial fishermen. This will definitely be another nail in the coffin.”

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Thats right lets send all these jobs to Canada , I mean there are sooo many to choose from here.
By montaukman (98), easthampton on Jul 3, 10 7:15 PM
The Cheney/Bush Cartel wipes out another industry to satisfy their capitalistic greed IMO.

After the BP oil leak turns the Gulf into the next Dead Sea, then turns the Atlantic Ocean (via the Gulf Stream) into the next Killing Zone, . . . .

When will everyone wake up?

We pay, they profit !!!
By MJP (13), On Quiogue on Jul 8, 10 6:07 PM
what the hell are you talking about??
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 8, 10 10:01 PM
you sound like youre upset about having to pay more for your lobster--poor you. how about the commercial fishermen who will lose their livelihood?
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 8, 10 10:04 PM