Lobster fishing in Maine is a lucrative industry that contributes over $1.5 billion to the state’s economy. But there are a variety of rules and laws that must be followed in order to ensure that lobsters are harvested legally.
Fishing regulations include size limits, prohibitions on possession of lobster meat or parts and measures to protect egg-bearing females. These policies and regulations vary by management area.
The lobster fishery in Maine is subject to numerous regulations. These include trap limits, minimum and maximum size requirements, restrictions on possession of lobster meat and parts and measures to protect egg-bearing females.
The size requirements for lobsters are based on the length of their carapace (the hard shell from the eye to the tail). To legally harvest a lobster, it must fall between 3 1/4′′ and 5′′ in length.
This ensures that there is a consistent amount of lobster available to be caught each year in Maine. The regulations also allow for variation orders to be issued when there are unusual circumstances that can impact a lobster’s size or season date.
To help monitor the lobster population, fishermen are now required to report their catches on a regular basis. This is a new requirement for everyone with a commercial license or student license, and it will give regulators a more complete picture of the lobster population.
Lobster fishermen are attuned to the sea, and the ocean bottom, its boulders, ledges and crags (the kind lobster like to tuck into). They know how to read the moon and tide so they set their traps where lobsters can be found.
Derelict fishing gear is a growing problem that can pose hazards to marine life, humans and their boats. It can also entangle divers and impede navigation.
In Maine, a state-sponsored program is working to recover and dispose of derelict traps. The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation works with the state to secure special permits to allow the handling and recycling of the traps.
The group has retrieved more than 1,000 traps from the ocean floor since its launch in 2007. Its volunteers and sternmen grapple for traps. Recovered traps are brought to a central wharf for processing. Salvageable traps are returned to their owners, while unusable ones are disposed of and recycled. The recovered traps are recorded and given to scientists so they can be assessed for impacts on marine habitat.
If you are going lobster fishing in Maine, make sure you take the safety measures needed to protect yourself and other marine creatures. This means being alert for weather conditions, keeping your balance, and avoiding falling overboard while snaring traps.
In addition, lobstermen are required to mark each trap with a color that lets other fishermen know which one is theirs. This is to prevent people from pulling them up and removing the bands that hold them in place.
Several options for rope are available to lobstermen, including braided sleeves that can be tied around the lobster trap. But some lobstermen are skeptical of using them, saying they could be too weak for safe use or could degrade too quickly.
Another option is a plastic link that lobstermen can insert into the base of their claws. But this option hasn’t been widely used because it costs more than other options. In addition, it isn’t easy to get the ropes you need, and some of them don’t have the markings that are necessary for lobster fishermen.
There is a lot to know about lobster fishing in Maine before you can actually hit the water. You’ll need to learn about regulations, gear, safety and how to get a license.
One of the best ways to get started with lobster fishing in Maine is through a guided trip. The guides are usually lobstermen or their family members who have decades of experience fishing in the area.
The guide will explain the rules and help you find the best spot to fish. This way, you’ll be sure to catch the lobsters of your dreams.
Lobsters can be caught in a variety of ways, including through traps or pots. You can also try a technique known as “diving.” To do this, you’ll need a small scuba tank and a diving vest. Once you’re in the water, you can use a small net to bring up the lobsters. This is an effective method and can be done anytime of day.