Lobstering is one of the few commercial fisheries where animals too small to keep, are returned to the water unharmed. They enter the traps, get a free meal and are brought to the surface to be measured and tossed back. This cycle repeats itself for 6 or 7 years until they are large enough to keep and then are set aside, bands put on their claws and they are taken to market.
You can see by the ripples in the water, this little guy wasn’t the first small lobster or “short” Ben threw back out of this trap. It’s not uncommon to find 6 or 7 shorts to every 1 legal sized or “count” lobster. In many ways lobstering is like farming. The lobsters are fed for years and treated gently as they grow to market size. The big difference is that when they do mature, there is no guarantee they will return to your trap.