Document Type

Report

Publisher

Maine Sea Grant College Program

Publication Date

2015

Publisher location

Orono, ME

Abstract/ Summary

The harvest of American lobsters is the Gulf of Maine’s largest, most valuable, and most iconic fishery. The catch has never been higher, but how long will it last? Fishing communities in eastern Maine and southern Nova Scotia are seeing historically high landings, some five times higher than the 1980s. At the same time, the lobster fishery south of Cape Cod has all but collapsed, plagued by shell disease and stressfully warm summers. It has never been more important to monitor this vital fishery. The American Lobster Settlement Index measures the annual pulse of baby lobsters to rocky nurseries some five to nine years before they appear in the fishery. This interstate and international monitoring program might provide an early warning system for trends in the fishery.

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