DEEP: Clarification Notice to Lobster Dealers, Wholesalers and Retailers

Clarification Notice to

Lobster Dealers, Wholesalers and Retailers

May 12, 2006

On May 11, 2006 the Department mailed a notice to lobster dealers, wholesalers and retailers explaining that the Connecticut General Assembly had enacted legislation that among other things, implemented provisions that provided relief to businesses involved in the interstate commerce of lobsters by allowing seafood dealers, wholesalers or shippers to possess and sell lobsters less than the 3-9/32 inches gauge size.

Because the Legislative intent is clear and it is anticipated that the Governor will sign the bill into law in the near future, the Department will not enforce the 3-9/32 inches gauge size as it applies to lobsters possessed by dealers, wholesalers and shippers engaged in interstate transportation of lobsters, so long as the following conditions are met:

    1. such lobsters are not taken from Lobster Management Area (LMA) 6 (the waters of Long Island Sound and western Block Island Sound) or landed in Connecticut; and
    2. such lobsters are not less than the minimum legal length in effect for the waters of the LMA, state or country of origin and are not less than 3-1/4 inches carapace length, regardless where taken; and
    3. such lobsters are not bartered, exchanged, sold or offered for sale to retail consumers in this state; and
    4. the seafood dealer, wholesaler or shipper possesses a manifest, bill of lading, invoice, purchase order or other written documentation identifying the state, lobster management area or country of origin of the lobsters received, the number of lobsters received that are less than LMA 6 minimum length and the date received. The documentation shall be retained for a period of six months and made available to law enforcement officers upon request.

Reminder: while seafood dealers, wholesalers and shippers can possess lobsters less than 3-9/32 inches, for sale outside of Connecticut, fishermen, markets, stores and restaurants selling lobsters to the public must adhere to and not possess or sell lobster less than 3-9/32 inches.

For further information, contact the DEP Marine Fisheries Division at PO Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or by telephone at 860.434.6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. In addition, the Division can be contacted by email at dep.marine.fisheries@po.state.ct.us. (N06-11)