Date of Award

12-2007

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Marine Bio-Resources

Advisor

Robert C. Bayer

Second Committee Member

William R. Congleton

Third Committee Member

John Riley

Abstract

The American Lobster fishery is one of the most valuable in the United States. To properly manage any fishery a large quantity of data is necessary. The Atlantic State Marine Fishery Commission states that the largest factor restricting the ability to manage the lobster fishery is the lack of data. Today there are many different methods of stock assessment at the government and non-government levels. While there are many different methods for collecting data concerning the lobster fishery, the quantity of data is inadequate and contains gaps in the lobster life cycle. Because of this lack of data new means are necessary to collect information. A Lobster Sampling Trap was designed, created and tested to assist in the collection of data. This trap allows sublegal sized lobster to enter without allowing legal sized lobster to enter. Several entry sizes were tested on various substrates. The results were compared with those from a ventless trap and showed that the sampling trap caught lobsters that were smaller on average than those caught by the ventless trap. Sampling smaller younger lobster gives additional time to respond to any changes observed in the lobster population. It is believed that the presence of large lobsters inhibits the smaller lobsters from entering the traps. Therefore, the smaller lobsters are not adequately sampled by ventless traps containing large lobster. A different sampling trap from the ventless trap can fill a gap in data being collected at an earlier stage in the lobster life cycle.

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