Pesticide-restriction bill protects lobsters

A law restricting use of two common mosquito-control chemicals known to harm lobsters could be a step toward salvaging Connecticut’s beleaguered stocks of the crustaceans, which once supported a $100 million-a-year industry, state lobstermen said this week.

“For the first time in 14 years, the state is kind of doing the right thing and listening to us,” said Tony Carlo, a Norwalk lobsterman. “We strongly believe if this happens in a few years, the lobster industry could have a future. They have to do something to save the sea animals.”

Roger Frate Sr., a Darien lobsterman, said state environmental officials and others have discounted the notion that pesticides caused a precipitous die-off of lobsters, attributing the cause to other factors, such as high water temperatures and low levels of dissolved oxygen in Long Island Sound.

“I’ve been fighting this battle for 14 years so I’m getting tired, but I’m also hopeful that this could be positive,” he said.

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