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Regulators to Vote on New Lobster Fishing Restrictions

PORTLAND, Maine - New restrictions might be proposed for southern New England's lobster fishery as it deals with a steep decline in population.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering ways to save the lobsters and might cast a vote on Thursday.

A report from the commission says that one way to slow the loss of lobsters could be to increase the minimum harvesting size for the crustaceans.

Scientists say the population off of southern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut has declined during a time of warming oceans. Lobsters have remained plentiful to consumers because of heavy supply from northern New England and Canada.

The board could vote on potential new rules, which could be followed in October or February by a vote to put the proposal out for public comment.