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Aug. 4, 2003


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has certified that an American lobster taken earlier this month from the Almirante Wreck located nine miles off Absecon Inlet establishes a new state record, surpassing the mark set earlier this year.

The record lobster, weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces, was taken by William Sharp of Little Egg Harbor when he was scuba diving July 4. Marine fisheries research scientist Bruce Freeman of the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife verified the catch, which had a 7.5-inch carapace (the protective upper shell covering).

The previous record lobster weighed 11 pounds, 8 ounces and was taken off the San Jose Wreck in June.

The American lobster is found in cool waters from Canada to North Carolina. Territorial and solitary in nature, they live on the ocean floor and prefer rocky crevices. New Jersey's many artificial reefs provide the perfect habitat for this species. The average American lobster reaches a length of about 10 inches and weighs 2 to 5 pounds.

The Record Fish Program honors the largest species of fish (as well as blue crab and American lobster) caught in the state. It revolves around a specific list of eligible freshwater and saltwater species, and is based on weight alone; there are no line classes. Scale certification documentation, specifically the Certificate of Inspection/Test Report and Registration Certificate issued by the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures as well as a weighmaster's signature are necessary. Other rules apply.

For for a complete list of state record fish, more information or to download an application, visit the division's website at

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