Sustainable Fisheries


Offshore fishing fleet (Credit: CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection)

Connecticut's commercial fishermen harvest the waters of both Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, landing catches of sea scallops, silver hake, squid, flounder, butterfish, American lobsters, scup, and monkfish, among other species. In 2006, the ex-vessel value of the commercial wild harvest (excluding clams and oysters which are farmed) was worth more than $16 million. With the exception of sea scallops, commercial landings have largely declined over the past decade due to a number of factors, including the lobster mortality event affecting a significant portion of the Long Island Sound resource in 1999 and increasingly restrictive fisheries management measures put in place to promote the re-building and sustainability of several commercially-important fish species. These factors, coupled with rising operational costs, reduced waterfront access and adequate dock space, and severe development pressures, have reduced the number of full-time and part-time commercial fishermen in Connecticut. Nonetheless, commercial fishing has been, and will continue to be an important part of Connecticut's maritime history and economy.