DEEP reminds commercial fisherman of March 31 deadline for commercial licenses

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – As the weather begins to get warmer, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reminds commercial fisherman that the March 31st deadline for commercial licenses is fast approaching.

Moratorium licenses include commercial lobster fishing, otter trawling and general finfish licenses and are only available to fishermen who were actively fishing between 1995 and 2003.

“Moratorium Licenses not renewed by March 31st will be retired,” said Marine Fisheries Division Director David Simpson. “This will allow us to identify licenses that are no longer in active use and to eventually reissue a portion of those licenses to newcomers to commercial fishing. It has been 20 years since the moratorium on commercial fishing licenses was imposed. It has been a long wait for many would-be commercial fishermen,” added Simpson.

In addition to the moratorium license renewal requirement, P.A. 15-52 created a small scale commercial rod and reel license and a 50 trap maximum commercial lobster license. “These new restricted commercial fishing licenses are available to the general public, including any former commercial fishermen who do not choose to renew their more expensive moratorium licenses,” said Simpson.

P.A 15-52 also reduced the fee for the personal use lobster fishing license from $120 to $60. Contact the Marine Fisheries Division for more information (860.434.6043) Monday through Friday 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m.

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