FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — In recognition of the economic and cultural importance of lobsters to the Northeast, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is asking for help in protecting the population in Long Island Sound.
“The health of the lobsters in Long Island Sound has been in decline for over a decade; this year’s harvest was less than one-tenth the average harvest in the 1980s," Murphy said.
Murphy called on N.Y. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Speaker of the New York General Assembly Carl E. Heasite, and Senate Majority Leader of the New York General Assembly John J. Flanagan to join Connecticut’s efforts to save and replenish the lobster population in the Sound.
The decline in the lobster population has impacted local businesses and damaged the state’s coastal economy, he said.
After hearing from concerned Connecticut lobstermen about a decades-long decline in the Sound’s lobster population, Murphy urged the New York officials to consider legislation passed by the Connecticut General Assembly that bans two pesticides – methoprene and resmethrin – which are thought to contribute to the lobster population’s decline.
"The causes of this decline are multiple and there is evidence that pesticide run-off may also be contributing to the decline," he said.
"In response, the Connecticut General Assembly has made illegal two pesticides that may have contributed to the lobster’s precipitous decline. The State of New York currently has not enacted a similar law, therefore making Connecticut's restrictions much less effective and harder to evaluate.
"I urge you to consider the legislation passed in Connecticut as potential legislation in your state,” Murphy said.
His request came on the recent National Lobster Day, which recognizes the historic and economic importance of lobster in the United States.
Murphy is working to secure more federal funding for the restoration and health of Long Island Sound through his Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act.
Read more about Murphy's legislation here .