DEEP: Notice to Lobster Dealers, Wholesalers and Retailers

Notice to Lobster Dealers, Wholesalers and Retailers

January 14, 2008

This notice is a reminder to Seafood dealers, wholesalers, shippers and retailers (including restaurants) that it is illegal in Connecticut to 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 in length.

Section 26-157j of the Connecticut General Statutes provides a very specific exception to this rule. It allows a seafood dealer, wholesaler or shipper in this state to possess and sell lobsters less than 3-5/16 inches carapace length to customers outside of Connecticut provided all the following conditions are met:

(1) the lobsters were 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) the 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) the lobsters are not bartered, exchanged, sold or offered for sale 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.

Measuring a Lobster: The carapace length is measured along the length of the carapace (body shell) parallel to the centerline from the rear end of the eye socket to the rear end of the carapace. Tools ("lobster gauges") to measure lobsters can be obtained from the DEP at the address below.

For further information or to purchase lobster gauges, 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

The DEP is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.  In conformance with the ADA, individuals with disabilities who need information in an alternative format, to allow them to benefit and/or participate in the agency's programs and services, should call TDD (860) 424-3000 and make their request to the receptionist.  Request for accommodation to attend meetings and/or educational programs, sponsored by the DEP, must be made at least two weeks prior to the program date.  These requests may be made directly to Marcia Z. Bonitto, ADA Coordinator, via e-mail: