Lobster size not a conservation issue: DFO
New Brunswick fishermen want to increase minimum size of lobster
There is no need to increase the minimum size of lobster that can be legally trapped in order to conserve the stocks, says a scientist with the Department of Fisheries.
New Brunswick fishermen are asking DFO to increase the minimum carapace size from 72 millimeters up to 77 millimeters over the next three seasons. They argue it would not only net them a better price, but would also improve conservation.
DFO scientist Marc Lanteigne agrees the increase would mean 75 per cent of female lobster would bear eggs, instead of the current 50 per cent, but he said the stocks don't need the extra boost.
"At this moment there is no threat to the lobster population," said Lanteigne.
"In the last 10, 15 years the overall stock of lobster has been quite healthy. Right now, lobster landings are the highest in the last almost century. And this is not new to the southern Gulf. It's for the entire range of lobster from Newfoundland to Cape Cod."
In an email to CBC News, DFO said there is currently no plan to increase the carapace size beyond 72 millimeters this year for the Northumberland Strait area between P.E.I. and New Brunswick, but there is nothing stopping fishermen from agreeing among themselves to only catch larger lobsters.