DEEP: Notice to Lobster Fishermen & Dealers Declaration of Regulation Change

Notice to Lobster Fishermen & Dealers
Declaration of Regulation Change

June 14, 2006

Under authority of Section 26-159a of the Connecticut General Statutes and Section 26-159a-22 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection is authorized to establish or adjust, by declaration, closed seasons, length limits, creel limits, trip limits and trip limit adjustment values in order to comply with interstate fishery management plans adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) or the U.S. Department of Commerce. Such changes are implemented after a 10-day notice period.

In accordance with the aforementioned authority, the following fishing regulations will be effective on July 1, 2006.

Commercial and Personal Use Lobster Fishery Rules

Effective July 1, 2006, no person shall buy, sell, give away, offer for sale or possess, regardless where taken, any lobster with a carapace (body shell) less than 3-5/16 inches carapace length, except as provided in section 51 of Public Act 06-187. Such length shall be measured along the length of the carapace parallel to the centerline from the rear end of the eye socket to the rear end carapace.

Section 51 of Public Act 06-187 allows a seafood dealer, wholesaler or shipper to possess and sell lobsters less than 3-5/16 inches provided all the following conditions are met:

(1) such lobsters are not taken from Lobster Management Area 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 lobster management area, 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 less than 3-5/16 inches 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 3-5/16 inches for sale outside of Connecticut, all persons, including fishermen, and owners and employees of markets, stores and restaurants operating within the state and selling lobsters to the public must adhere to these rules and not possess, sell or offer for sale lobsters less than 3-5/16 inches.

The Department has 3-5/16 inch lobster gauges available for sale. For further information, contact the 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.   (N06-12)