September 4, 2013

Conn. lobstermen brace for shutdown of L.I. Sound

The Associated Press

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Connecticut's lobstermen are bracing for the start of the Long Island Sound fishery's first-ever seasonal shutdown.

The Day of New London reports that the closure is set to begin Saturday and extend to Nov. 28 in an attempt to give the Sound's depleted lobster population a chance to rebuild.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission required the state to take steps to reduce the total lobster harvest by 10 percent in 2013. The timing was requested by lobstermen to coincide with the drop in wholesale prices.

The fishery has been in decline for the last 15 years, due to pesticide residue, diseases and warming waters from climate change that stresses lobsters.

Overabundant predators such as striped bass, scup and other species also are seen preventing the lobsters from rebuilding.

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