New York Supermarkets in Big Trouble for “Undersized” Seafood
We all have a friend who loves to exaggerate the size of their catch, but when a business does it, it's time for the law to get involved.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) does way more than patrol hiking trails and issue hunting licenses. Several New York supermarkets learned that the hard way when they found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Undersized Seafood in New York
There are many regulations involved with the harvesting of seafood, but some of the most important are size guidelines. Keeping undersized creatures in the water and out of the nets ensures a healthier ecosystem that helps guarantee continued fishing in the future. Not everyone follows the rules.
Undersized Seafood Found in New York Fish Markets
"ECOs [Environmental Conservation Officers] visited a supermarket in Queens for an inspection. The Officers issued the store a Notice of Violation after observing 128 undersized lobsters in a tank", began the report from the NYDEC. "Two days later, [officers] received a complaint about undersized lobsters offered for sale at a market in Brooklyn... and discovered 245 lobsters below legal size".
Punishment for Undersized Seafood in New York
The report continued by sharing that not only were the businesses issued violation notices, but the undersized seafood was confiscated and donated to a local food bank. So what lobsters can you keep?
The NYDEC advises that the minimum size of a lobster's carapace (the measurement from the back of the lobster's eyes to the "rear end of the body shell" must be 3 and 3/8th inches to keep. The maximum size is 5 and 1/4th inches. Lobsters with visible eggs are never allowed to be harvested.