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Beginning in 2013, the lobstering season in Long Island Sound will be closed for 11 weeks in the fall to reduce the catch and give the depleted shellfish population time to rebuild.

By a 6-3 vote Tuesday, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved the seasonal closure along with other mechanisms meant to reduce the catch in four other areas of southern New England and coastal New Jersey. The actions were taken at the regional regulatory authority's quarterly meeting in Virginia.

David Simpson, director of marine fisheries for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a voting member of the Atlantic states panel, said the goal is to reduce by 10 percent the number of lobsters taken commercially and recreationally. Long Island Sound lobstermen told DEEP officials in meetings leading up to the vote that they preferred a fall closure to other methods of achieving the 10 percent reduction, such as increasing the legal harvest size.

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