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Young lobsters show decline off New England, and fishermen will see new rules as a result
Officials say surveys have detected that the population of young lobsters has declined nearly 40% in some of the most critical fishing waters off New England
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The population of young lobsters has declined nearly 40% in some of the most critical fishing waters off New England, officials said Wednesday, triggering new restrictions for the fishermen who harvest the valuable crustaceans.
Officials with the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said surveys have detected a 39% decline in young lobsters in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank areas for 2020-22 compared to 2016-18. The areas are among the most important lobster fishing grounds in the world.
The drop in lobster recruitment is a continuation of a recent trend off New England, said Caitlin Starks, senior fisheries management plan coordinator with the commission.
“I wouldn't say it's very surprising just given that we've seen a declining trend for a number of years now,” Starks said. “We're seeing decline in those recruits.”