PORTLAND, Maine — Fishing regulators are starting an effort to gauge the East Coast lobster population over the next two years.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says the assessment of lobsters will be complete by the summer of 2020. Its goal is to evaluate the health of the lobster stock to allow for better management of the species.

The commission will be looking for data about the lobster catch, growth of the crustaceans, prevalence of disease and other factors impacting the health of the population. Lobsters are the subject of one of the most lucrative fisheries on the East Coast, and the harvest has increased for several years in a row.

The commission is collecting data about lobsters from the public until April 13.

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