New Bedford Fisherman Caught with Undersized Lobsters

Photo from the Massachusetts Environmental Police Facebook page

On Monday, May 1, 2017, Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers observed a New Bedford-based lobster fishing vessel entering New Bedford Harbor. Officers conducted a marine fisheries inspection of the lobster catch and found 39 lobsters under the legal minimum size for a vessel fishing in Lobster Management Area (LMA) 2.

The bands were removed from the undersized lobsters and officers returned them to the sea. The captain of the vessel was ordered to appear in court.

Lobster Management Area-specific minimum and maximum carapace size limits are one of the most critical conservation standards enacted through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Fishery Management Plans (FMPs). The purpose of these size standards is to protect spawning stock biomass by prohibiting the harvest of juvenile lobsters, as well as the harvest of the larger lobsters that have the highest fecundity (reproductive potential).