NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts — Federal fishing regulators are soliciting public comments about possible changes to lobster fishing in southern New England.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking the feedback about changes that could include restricting the number of lobster traps or permits an individual or a business would be allowed to own.

The agency says it’s considering changes to the lobster fishery because of the “continued poor condition of the southern New England lobster stock.” It says not enough young lobsters are being born in the area because of environmental factors and fishing.

Lobster populations have plunged off of Rhode Island, Connecticut and southern Massachusetts. Most U.S. lobster comes to shore in Maine, where catches have set record highs in recent years.

The agency is taking comments through Dec. 15.

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