Interstate fishing regulators have decided to hold off on starting the process of crafting a plan to try to preserve the dwindling southern New England lobster stock.

A board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted Tuesday to postpone authorizing a new management plan for the fishery. A plan could address issues such as trap reductions and closed seasons for lobster fishermen.

Southern New England’s lobster fishery is a historic industry in decline. Scientists say the area’s lobster population has sunk to its lowest levels on record.

The lobster supply available to consumer remains strong because of heavy catch off Maine and Canada.

The board decided to postpone the initiation of the plan in order to allow a technical committee to do more work. It could revisit the issue in May or August.

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