Lt. Bruce Bonenfant: (603) 271-3127
Liza Poinier: (603) 271-3211
August 13, 2007

Reminder: License Needed to Sell Lobster Meat

CONCORD, N.H. -- Anyone selling live, fresh or frozen lobster -- including restaurants, sandwich shops, supermarkets and roadside fish trucks -- must possess a Retail Lobster and Crab license from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. 

Although the law dates as far back as the early 1950s, "we're finding not everyone is aware, so we're trying to get the word out," said Lt. Bruce Bonenfant of N.H. Fish and Game Law Enforcement.  "Usually when retailers understand the reason for the law - to protect New Hampshire's lobster resource - they are happy to comply."

Existing lobster regulations help protect both our native lobster resource as well as our local lobstermen.  New Hampshire marine conservation laws mandate minimum and maximum sizes for live lobster landed in the state.  Those same size restrictions apply to lobster imported into the state from places such as Canada. While Canada may allow the taking of smaller lobsters, restricting their importation into New Hampshire prevents the potential for a local illegal market in undersized lobsters. New Hampshire's lobster industry is the state's most valuable marine fishery, generating about $14 million annually.

Retail Lobster and Crab licenses can be purchased only at N.H. Fish and Game Department headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, or call (603) 271-3422 to request an application by mail.  The annual license, called "Retail Trade Application for Lobster and Crab," costs $25 for resident and $50 for nonresident retail dealers.

The retail lobster license is not required for people buying or transporting lobsters for their own consumption, nor for properly licensed fishermen or women, who may, by virtue of their lobster license, transport and sell lobsters lawfully taken by them.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.  Visit

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

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