(WTNH)–The federal government is expected to issue new rules on how it manages the ocean habitats off of New England in early January.

The habitats are critical for commercial fishing and marine animals like whales and dolphins. The new rules are likely to have a big impact on the way fishermen harvest important species like clams, scallops, haddock and flounder. They would affect many fishermen along the Connecticut shoreline.

The Fisheries Service has been working on the new rules for about 13 years.Related:Report: US fishermen catch up in value, volume dips slightly