NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — A plan to try to slow the decline of southern New England’s lobster population with new fishing restrictions is up for a potential final vote this week.
The population of lobsters off Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts has plummeted in recent years. The regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering a host of new restrictions about lobster fishing at a meeting on Tuesday.
Proposed management tools have included changes to legal harvesting size, reductions to the number of traps and seasonal closures to fishing areas.
Scientists say the lobster population has faded in southern New England as waters have warmed. The population remains strong off of Maine, where the U.S. lobster fishery is based.
Catch of lobsters off of southern New England has plunged along with the population.