It is illegal to sell or use any marine or freshwater organism as lobster or crab bait that is classified by DMR as "prohibited", or that has not been approved by the Department of Marine Resources. Please note that only approved freshwater or marine organisms may be used as ingredients in manufactured lobster and crab baits as well. The Lobster and Crab Bait Review Process is found in Chapter 25.11.
Lists of Approved and Prohibited Baits and Prohibited Bait Risks
- Approved Marine Bait Species List
- Prohibited Marine Bait Species List
- Approved and Prohibited Freshwater Bait Species Lists
- Approved Alternative Bait Products
- Summary of Risks for Prohibited Baits, Last Revised December 18, 2015 (PDF file, 3 pages)
Lobster and Crab Bait Dealer Permit Requirement
All lobster/crab bait dealers must obtain a DMR wholesale dealer license with bait endorsement. Download the wholesale dealer applications on our Licensing page. Any person who purchases lobster or crab bait for other than their own use and then sells the bait as wholesale or retail bait product, and a harvester who sells lobster or crab bait to an individual (s) for personal use as a bait are considered a lobster/crab bait dealer.
Process to Petition for a Prohibited Species
Individual bait dealers may petition the department for an exemption to import and sell a prohibited species provided they follow specific procedures deemed sufficient to remediate the risks associated with the bait source. Risks will vary by species and location, and procedures necessary for sufficient risk reduction (e.g. chain of custody, testing, processing) will be evaluated by the department on a case by case basis.
You may petition to sell a prohibited species by completing the "Lobster and Crab Bait Review/Petition Form" below.
Request Form for Review of a New Bait
Individuals may request the review of a new, non-listed, bait source at any time by filling out the "Lobster and Crab Bait Review Form" below.
Annual Review Form
Chapter 25.11 of DMR regulations require lobster and crab bait dealers to develop a list of baits sold the previous year and baits they plan to sell the following year by February 1 annually.