The number of lobsters recorded by commercial lobstermen as being taken from their traps.
This indicator is reflective of fishery management practices, socioeconomic conditions, and species population abundance.
Beginning in the 1980s, American lobster harvest increased in the Sound, with the peak occurring in 1997. Lobster die-offs in 1999 and 2002, most severely in the western Sound, reduced the harvest to early 1980s-levels. Scientists concluded that a combination of warmer temperatures and impaired water quality stressed lobsters, making them susceptible to disease. Increased size restrictions and limits on catching adult female lobsters are two of the management controls being tried to help restore the lobster population. In an effort to try to rebuild the lobster stock, New York and Connecticut, in coordination with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, reduced the fall season by 11 weeks beginning in 2013. The plan is to reduce fishing exploitation by 10 percent in order to help restore the population.