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Posted Thu Sep 3 2009: from Connecticut Post:
Lobster population decline prompts stricter protections
Gus Bertolf Jr. and his father returned to their Cos Cob dock last week with about $200 worth of conch, their new cash crop in the continued aftermath of a lobster die-off that began in the late 1990s, they said. Since 1998, they have found few lobsters large enough to catch legally while trolling from the New York state line to the western end of Stamford. The futility sometimes causes them to question their investment in diesel fuel, bait and time. "We caught one legal-sized lobster today, but we threw it back," Gus Bertolf Sr. said, standing on the deck of the boat Island Girl. "What's going on is discouraging." To restore a lobster population decimated in the die-off, the Bertolfs said more aggressive intervention is needed to eliminate what they believe is the illegal harvesting of egg-bearing female lobsters and curb damage caused by commercial clam dredges disturbing the sea floor. "How are lobsters supposed to breed with the dredges coming through every day?" the younger Bertolf said. "The state has to take greater action to protect the resource, and the clamming industry has to find a better way besides the dredge.
[Read more stories about: massive die-off, overfishing]

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Not to worry! There's plenty of lobster somewhere else.

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