No Catching Lobster in Long Island Sound

Aug 27, 2013

Most likely the lobster you've eaten in Connecticut this summer isn't local. The number of lobsters has declined severely in Long Island Sound over the last decade. Now local fisherman are pulling traps in preparation of a mandatory closed season in the weeks ahead.

The decision by the Atlantic States Fisheries Commission impacts all of Long Island Sound. This means lobstermen in Connecticut and New York won't be able to catch lobster from September 8 thru November 28.

David Simpson is Director of Marine Fisheries for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

"This is part of a broader effort to help rebuild the southern New England stock so all lobsters you might find south of Cape Cod to southern end of their range which offshore can extend to Virginia."

There's skepticism about a 3-month ban from local fisherman like Nick Crismale who used to solely catch lobsters until the die off began in the late 1990s. He says very few lobsterman are left in Connecticut and those that are still on the water like him have had to catch other things to make a living.

"Let's be logical about it. If you don't have any children, you're not going to have any adults. I think that the water quality has exceeded its limitations to support this industry and support this resource in Long Island Sound."

Crismale and others point to pesticides specifically the chemical metho-prene as the reason young lobsters have died .  The chemical is used to kill mosquito larva in sewer drains. State environmental officials say research shows the effect as minimal. They point to warming waters as the cause.