Here are some of the most important rules and regulations that protect lobsters and the people who eat them:
Tail Notching: Female lobsters with visible eggs cannot be harvested. Before releasing her, the harvester notches her tail to identify her as a good breeder, thus protecting her for life from being harvested.
Minimum Size Limit: Minimum 3 1/4″ carapace measurements allow juvenile lobsters the chance to mature and reproduce before they can be harvested.
Maximum Size Limit: Maximum 5″ carapace measurements protect the large, healthy breeding stock.
Apprentice Program: New harvesters must apprentice with veterans to learn the regulated, sustainable practices.
Trap Limits: The total number of traps per harvester is limited by both the state and the individual lobster zones.
Harvest Method: Harvesting in Maine is by trap only — no dragging or diving is allowed. Traps include escape vents for under size lobsters as well as biodegradable escape hatches to free lobsters in lost traps.
Lobster Seed Fund: Supported by license fees, the Fund purchases females that extrude their eggs after being harvested. This unique buy-back program helps to ensure that the good breeding stock is returned to the ocean to reproduce.
Maine Lobster is not only good, it is good for you. Lobster has less calories, less total fat and less cholesterol (based on 100 grams of cooked product) than lean beef; whole poached eggs; and even roasted, skinless chicken breast. Lobster is also high in amino acids; potassium and magnesium; Vitamins A, B12, B6, B3 (niacin) and B2 (riboflavin); calcium and phosphorus; iron; and zinc. –Nutrition Facts Source: Lobster Institute