DEEP: Implementation of 3-9/32 Inch Minimum Carapce Length for Lobsters

All Lobsters Possessed or Offered for Sale in Connecticut must be at Least 3-9/32 inches Carapace Length

Effective immediately, regulations approved by the Connecticut General Assembly's Legislative Regulations Review Committee (LRRC) formally implement the 3-9/32 inch minimum carapace length* for American lobsters possessed in Connecticut regardless of the waters from which taken. This "gauge size" had been implemented as an interim rule in August 2005 for lobsters taken from Lobster Management Area 6 (Long Island Sound and western Block Island Sound) to comply with mandatory requirements of the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan (FMP) of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).

Based on public comment, the Department had included language in the final regulation proposal that would have allowed seafood dealers, retail establishments and restaurants to possess imported lobsters less than 3-9/32 inches as long as they met the minimum gauge size of the state or country of origin and certain documentation related to the purchase of these lobsters was maintained. However, the LRRC deleted this language from the proposed regulation.

The Department understands that it may take some time for wholesale and retail businesses in possession of lobsters legally acquired elsewhere to clear their inventory of lobsters that are less than the 3-9/32 inches minimum carapace length. Therefore, the possession of American lobsters less than 3-9/32 inches carapace length by wholesalers or retailers is prohibited in the State of Connecticut after May 15, 2006.* The carapace length is the measurement taken along the body shell (carapace) parallel to the centerline from the rear end of the eye socket to the rear end of the body shell. Special "lobster gauges" to determine compliance with the gauge size are available from the Marine Fisheries Division for $4. Address orders to the address below and make checks payable to "Department of Environmental Protection".Reminder: Persons purchasing any finfish, lobsters, crabs, sea scallops or squid landed in Connecticut, by commercial fishermen licensed by the Department, for resale (i.e. primary buyers), must have in their possession a Connecticut Seafood Dealers License issued by the Department. This applies to anyone, including but not limited to wholesale dealers, seafood markets and restaurants, that purchases these species for resale directly from commercial fishermen landing in Connecticut. For a license application or for further information, please contact the contact the DEP Marine Fisheries Division.

CT Department of Environmental Protection
Marine Fisheries Division
PO Box 719
Old Lyme, CT 06371
Tel: 860.434.6043