Fishermen in Maine, the state responsible for about 80% of the nation’s lobster haul in 2021, must now report more detailed information such as when, where and how many they catch.
Few had to report until this year, making Maine the only state that harvests lobster that didn’t require full details, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Fishermen started having to share the additional information with the state and regulators at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission beginning Jan. 1. Most lobster that comes to U.S. docks does so in Maine, so the new requirement should help fill some data gaps.
Fishermen in the state brought in about 109 million pounds of lobster in 2021.
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The Maine lobster industry is also facing new rules designed to protect vanishing right whales, but the state’s congressional delegation used the recent federal spending bill to delay those protections.
The industry has taken several hits recently as certain seafood sustainability groups have pulled lobster's certifications over questions about how their practices affect right whales. Industry and state leaders have defended industry practices.