Free Range Fish & Lobster is a strong supporter of a Sustainable Fishing industry. As part of this commitment, we will only sell you fresh Maine Caught Lobster.
Responsible harvesting of lobster has been a cornerstone of the Maine lobster industry's conservation efforts for over 136 years. The firstlaw banning the taking of egg-bearing females was instituted in 1872...a conservation measure already practiced by many lobstermen at the time; and the first law regulating the minimum legal size of a lobster that could be landed was established in 1874.
Given the ecological differences in various fishing areas, there is no simple management solution appropriate for every region, state, or country. When it comes to regulations, there is no "one size fits all". However, there are recognized standard conservation practices that exemplify the lobster fisheries commitment to sustaining the lobster resource.
Lobster Harvest Rules and Regulations
The standards practiced by lobstermen/women today include:
- Abiding by their state's "V-Notch" system to protect females capable of bearing eggs. When a berried lobster (one that is carrying eggs) is found in a trap, a "V" is notched in one of its tail fins and it is released back into the ocean. Whenever a lobster with a "V-Notch" is found in a trap it is to be released, thus protecting the brood stock.
- Abiding by their state's regulations governing the minimum size a lobster must be before it is legal to land that lobster. This is designed to allow lobsters to become of age to be capable of at least one reproduction cycle before it can be legally landed.
- Abiding by their state's regulations governing the maximum size a lobster can be to be consider legal for landing. The larger, of "oversized" lobsters have a greater capacity for breeding and reproduction, thus protecting natural restocking of the resource.
- Abiding by their state's regulations governing trap/trap tag limits per licensed lobsterman/woman.
- Using traps with "escape vents" that allow sub-legal sized lobsters that come into traps an easier way to get out
- Using traps with biodegradable "ghost panels". These panels are attached with biodegradable fasteners (hog rings) that dissolve over time if a trap is lost on the bottom, thus allowing lobsters to escape and providing a large opening so that the trap does not continue to fish.
- Abiding by the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
- Abiding by the federal Sustainable Fisheries Act
- Actively participating in co-management initiatives for the fishery, including representation on the National Marine Fisheries Service's Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Lobster Management Board and Lobster Conservation Management Teams as well as various councils and commissions at the state level.