Science for Everyone

Gulf of Maine lobster settlement lower than in years past...

Dr. Rick Wahle, one of Hurricane Island's science advisors, and his lab annually quantify the number of newly settled lobsters at 11 sites in the Gulf of Maine from Rhode Island to Lobster Bay, Nova Scotia. This year's results from the American Lobster Settlement Index  show a steady decline in the number of settling lobsters since 2007 which could mean an end to the record high lobster landings we've seen over the last few years to a decade. Based on the 2012 Lobster Settlement Index Update, the southern Gulf of Maine sites typically had lower settlement rates than the northern sites, but that has changed and the regional difference in settlement has since narrowed. A newly settled lobster reaches a harvestable size after approximately 8 years. For the survey, young-of-the-year lobsters are collected via diver-based suction sampling and passive post-larval collectors. In October 2013, Alice went out and helped sort samples.

 This is an example of the lobsters being surveyed for the settlement index

This is an example of the lobsters being surveyed for the settlement index

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