Rules coming to try to save southern New England lobstering

FILE - In this undated file photo, a sternman holds a lobster caught off South Bristol, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — New restrictions are coming to southern New England’s lobster fishery to try to save the area’s population of the crustaceans.

The population of lobsters off of Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts has declined as waters have warmed.

Related: Steps taken to stem decline of lobsters in Southern New England

An arm of the interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted on Tuesday to pursue new management measures to try to stem the decline of lobsters. Management tools will include changes to legal harvesting size, reductions to the number of traps and seasonal closures to fishing areas.

The board was still working on the specifics of the new restrictions early Tuesday.

The U.S. lobster fishery is mostly based in Maine, where lobster catch has reached record highs in recent years. But, catch in the southern states has plummeted in that time.

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