Lobstering in Conn. waters to stop until late Nov.

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September 4, 2013, 8:00 pm
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(NECN: Brian Burnell, Stonington, Conn.) - Fall is the slowest season for Connecticut lobstermen, which is one reason why state environmental officials chose it as the right time for a closed season.  

Starting Sunday Sept. 8, lobstering in Connecticut waters will be shut down until Nov. 28.

"We're trying to leave a few more lobsters in the population to replenish the stock or increase the prospects for replenishing the stock," David Simpson of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says.

The plan calls for a 10 percent reduction in the lobster catch. Lobstermen themselves helped determine the timing of the moratorium but some are skeptical it will make a difference.

Roger Snelgrove is one.

"I don't think that three months of us not fishing during one of our slowest periods is going to have any if ... none if not any effect on it," he says.

But it will affect the lobstermen. There are not many fulltimers left, and this could run the remaining few out of business. Not to mention the other's who depend on lobstermen, including those who sell bait and gear.

"I think you're going to see a lot of people go under. If it doesn't happen this shutdown then it will happen the next shutdown. And every shutdown afterwards is just going to be worse and worse with no visible gain on the population," Snelgrove says.

As with anything involving the government there is a loophole. If you have a Connecticut lobster permit the traps come out. If you have a federal permit they can stay in the same waters.

The cause of the lobster decline is unclear. Everything from pesticides leaching into the sound to global warming increasing the water temperature is being blamed. Whether a 3-month closed season is part of a solution remains to be seen.

Tags: connecticut, Stonington, Brian Burnell, Connecticut lobstering, Connecticut lobsters
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