Conn. lobstermen brace for three-month closure

The state’s lobstermen are preparing for the start Sunday of the Long Island Sound fishery’s first-ever seasonal closure, when their traps will be out of the water until Nov. 28.

“None of us are sure what we’re going to do for three months without working,” said Michael Theiller of Waterford, who keeps his lobster boat in New London. “It’s going to be a bit difficult.”

Theiller, vice president of the Connecticut Lobstermen’s Association, and Stonington lobsterman Michael Grimshaw, president of the Southern New England Fishermen & Lobstermen’s Association, both said they understand that the closure is an attempt to help the Sound’s depleted lobster populations rebuild. They’re just not sure it will make any difference.

“I’m not sure it’s going to do anything,” said Grimshaw, who will spend part of the three-month closure on one of his two boats fishing in unaffected federal waters outside the Sound, where he also holds a lobstering license, and to have and recover from knee surgery. Both he and Theiller expect they’ll have to lay off two crewmen each during the closure.

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