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Business and Economy

Regulators Consider What to Do With Crashed Lobster Stock

PORTLAND, Maine — Interstate fishing regulators are considering what to do about southern New England's collapsed lobster population, and fishermen fear it could land on them.

The lobster population has sunk to the lowest levels on record in southern New England, affecting once-productive fishing grounds off of Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts.

A committee of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is working on a report about the population crash. The commission's lobster board could decide what to do early next year.

The lobster population picture is much better in Maine, by far the most productive lobster fishing state in the country. Fishermen there have landed more than 100 million pounds of lobster for four years in a row.

Overall, lobster availability and price have both been fairly high in recent months.