Thursday, July 03, 2008

Is Anyone Catching Lobsters With Notches In Their Tails?

I have questions about the v-notch program, the life-support system for Long Island Sound lobsters that itself is on life support.

Under the program, when lobstermen catch female lobsters, they cut a v-shaped notch in the tail, throw the lobster back, and turn in the notch to collect a $3.75 payment. If they catch a lobster with a v-notch already cut in its tail, it can't be sold and they are required by law to throw it back, thus giving the lobster extra time to lay eggs.

For this program to mean anything, lobstermen have to be catching lobsters with notches. If they're not catching them, then it doesn't make sense to go through the expense and effort of notching them -- because they're not being caught anyway.

So my questions are: Are lobstermen catching and releasing lobsters with notches in their tail? And are they and the government regulators overseeing the project keeping track of this?

This otherwise worthwhile story about the program and its problems, in the Stamford Times, doesn't raise those questions, and neither do any of the other stories I've read about it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm sure they are being caught by the few fishermen left. must be upsetting to long island lobstermen, who are not eligible to receive compensation for the notching. as it is now impossible to make a profit based on landed catch, notching is currently the only way to take the boat out without losing money.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someday, after a million lobster are notched the notching program will seem like a good thing

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went lobstering in Maine for 18 years. I truly believe in v-notched lobsters. Long Island sound used to have quite a few lobsters. Are you useing good bait?

6:39 AM  

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