March 20, 2017 — A new interstate plan is being considered to try and halt the dramatic decline in lobster populations in Long Island Sound and southern New England waters, but experts warn none of these proposals may work in the face of global warming.
The draft plan by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission includes possible changes in the size of lobsters allowed to be kept, reductions in the number of lobster traps allowed in the region, and additional lobster season closures.
But a former president of the Connecticut Commercial Lobstermen’s Association, Nick Crismale of Branford, doubts the once-thriving lobster population in the Sound will ever recover. “It will never come back,” Crismale said. “The industry is basically gone; the resource is basically gone.”
Mark Alexander, head of Connecticut’s marine fisheries unit, acknowledges that bringing the lobsters back to the Sound won’t be easy in the face of ongoing climate change. “But we have to give it a shot,” he said this week.
Connecticut public hearings on the commission’s draft proposal are scheduled for March 21 in Old Lyme and March 27 in Derby.