GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

March 21, 2013

Letter: Selling lobster tails can spark cheating

To the editor:

I truly enjoy reading Richard Gaines’ coverage of the state of the fisheries. He really knows the subject, and call out the misconceptions people have of the fishing industry.

However, the latest rule change being advocated, the sale of lobster tails, while it will help promote and increase the demand for lobster, is fraught with danger, and I’m surprised no one quoted in the story (the Times, Tuesday, March 19) picked up on the reasoning for the current rule.

Allowing the sale of shell on tails will allow cheating, notably the fish draggers, to bring in what is now called a “mutilated” and illegal product.

It will encourage the catching of undersized or egg bearing lobsters, as there is no way to measure the carapace length.

Maine has had undersize limits, and Mass and other states as well, to help maintain the stocks into the future.

Any rule change must discourage the taking of undersized and or egg bearing lobsters. Perhaps the proposed new rule/law already has the provision. but it should state that “only a processor shall be allowed to possess shell on lobster tails.”

A law written this way will still allow enforcement of “shorts and eggers.”

BOB MITCHELL

R.A. Mitchell Co.

Popes Island, New Bedford

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