Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Urges Alternatives To Broad Lobster Fishing Moratorium

July 20, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today urged the American Lobster Management Board to reject a broad moratorium on lobster fishing that could potentially devastate commercial lobster fishermen, wholesalers and retailers in Connecticut.

            The board will meet Thursday to consider a five-year moratorium on all lobster fishing south of Cape Cod, including Long Island Sound, after a recent report by the board’s Technical Committee revealed that the region’s lobster population has been “critically depleted.”

Blumenthal said the committee’s own report concludes that increased water temperature -- not lobster harvesting -- is the primary factor in stock reduction.

“These findings, the welfare of countless lives and the continuation of Connecticut’s rich fishing heritage strongly support rejection of a moratorium,” Blumenthal said. “I strongly urge that you reject any moratorium on lobster fishing in the Long Island Sound -- a move that would potentially undercut a key cornerstone of a Connecticut marketplace, beginning with commercial lobster fishermen and reverberating throughout an entire network of wholesalers and retailers.

“At a time of severe recession, more sensible conservation measures are required because our fishermen cannot sustain a broad ban against lobster fishing, as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering.

“As a longtime advocate for preserving Long Island Sound, and all of the resources and treasures that it encompasses, I recognize the necessity of encouraging healthy lobster population growth in the region. However, as the Technical Committee’s own findings demonstrate, a moratorium fails to firmly promise the promotion of lobster stock.”

Blumenthal urged the board to consider other conservation measures, including programs to reduce the catch of egg-bearing female lobsters, establishing no-harvest areas and other readily available alternatives that may bolster the lobster population without the devastating impact of a moratorium.