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RI Department of Environmental Management
DEM ISSUES REMINDER THAT MINIMUM GAUGE SIZE FOR LOBSTERS INCREASED JUNE 1
PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management reminds those who fish for lobsters that the scheduled increase in the minimum lobster gauge size became effective on June 1. The increase, from 3 1/4 inches to 3 9/32 inches, is part of a series of scheduled gauge increases designed to increase the reproductive potential of lobsters by protecting a larger percentage of mature female lobsters.
The increase was first enacted, and then delayed, by the RI Marine Fisheries Council last year. The Council held another public hearing on the issue on May 30, and decided to move forward with the measure on the basis of strong support from Rhode Island commercial lobster fishermen.
Increased minimum gauge size -- i.e., the distance between the rear of a lobster's eye socket to the rear of its body shell -- is one of several management measures being implemented by all East Coast states in accordance with the requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Interstate Lobster Management Plan.
Fishermen may adjust their existing gauges or purchase new gauges and plugs at the following locations: Narragansett Lobster Trap Co. in Narragansett (401) 782-4412; Wilcox Marine in Narragansett (401) 789-1890 and Stonington, CT (203) 536-4206; M&L Lobster Trap in Bristol (401) 253-0240; Industrial Marine Marketing, Inc. in Wakefield (401) 782-4412; and Seaway Marine in Middletown (401) 847-7775.