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Ocean Technology Foundation. Learning About Lobsters!. Jenna Carlson Education and Outreach Coordinator. Long Island Sound Educator’s Conference March 31, 2006 The Maritime Aquarium Norwalk, CT.

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learning about lobsters

Ocean Technology Foundation

Learning About Lobsters!

Jenna CarlsonEducation and Outreach Coordinator

Long Island Sound Educator’s Conference

March 31, 2006

The Maritime Aquarium Norwalk, CT


Fostering excellence in ocean exploration, marine research and education, and promoting commercial development, all with an emphasis on undersea activities.

Ocean Technology Foundation


North Cape Lobster Restoration Program

  • Introduction
  • Lobsters in Long Island Sound
  • North Cape Lobster Restoration Program
  • Example Lobster Activity

Ocean Technology Foundation

lobster biology
Lobster Biology
  • American Lobster Homarus americanus
  • Phylum Arthropoda Class Crustacea
  • Range from Canada to North Carolina
  • Rocky and sandy substrates
  • Solitary, nocturnal and territorial
  • Legal size lobsters 5-7 years old

Ocean Technology Foundation

lobsters in long island sound
Lobsters in Long Island Sound
  • Die-off 1999

Recent Mortalities

  • Diseases – Western LIS Sound
  • Shell Disease – Eastern LIS Sound

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lobster fishery
Lobster Fishery
  • Lobsters harvested in LIS since colonial times
  • 1999 lobster die-off impacted 1,300 lobstermen
    • 100% decrease lobster landings

Ocean Technology Foundation

north cape lobster restoration program
North Cape Lobster Restoration Program
  • Oil Spill 1996 Moonstone Beach, RI
    • North Cape
  • 9 million lobsters killed
  • Insurance Company + State government = settlement to restore lobsters and wildlife
  • OTF chosen for restoration efforts
    • Restocking 1.25 million female lobsters over 5 yrs.

Ocean Technology Foundation

who s involved
Who’s involved?
  • Ocean Technology Foundation
    • Project Managers and Scientists
    • Boat Observers
  • Local RI and MA Lobstermen
  • Insurance Company
  • National Marine Fisheries Service

Ocean Technology Foundation

restocking the females ri and ma
Restocking the FemalesRI and MA
  • Females caught onboard commercial vessels, checked, v-notched and released
  • V-notch protects lobsters from harvest
  • Concept: V-notched harvest protected lobster is a future egger

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the v notch
The V-notch

Eligibility for V-notching

  • No shell disease
  • No “bullets” (lobsters with no claws)
  • Hard shell
  • Female
  • Legal Size
  • No eggs
  • If she meets all the requirements a V-notch is placed in her right uropod (flipper) and she is thrown back

V-notch in right uropod

Ocean Technology Foundation

v notching at sea
V-notching at Sea
  • Female Lobster is notched
  • Chad (small piece of uropod) is saved
  • Recorded on trip report and thrown back
  • Lobstermen receive credit for each lobster notched and returned

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the results
The Results

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  • Over 400,000 female lobsters notched


  • Approx. 43,000 more to reach goal
  • Studies show that 40-50% of V-notched lobsters recaptured are observed with eggs

Ocean Technology Foundation

learning about lobsters14
Learning About Lobsters!

Hands-on Activity

Students study..

  • Lobster Biology and Ecology
  • Lobsters in LIS
  • Lobster Fishery in LIS

Activity can be easily adapted to all levels of students

Ocean Technology Foundation

example activity
Example Activity

Ocean Technology Foundation

female or male

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Ocean Technology Foundation


Ocean Technology Foundation

legal size
Legal Size
  • In Connecticut legal size is 3 ¼ inches
    • (eye socket to the end carapace)

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legal size21
Legal Size
  • In Connecticut minimum size is 3 9/32 inches (eye socket to the end carapace)

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total length
Total Length

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are you right or left handed
Are you right or left handed?

Depends on the Crusher claw

This lobster is left-handed!

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walking appendages
Walking Appendages

Total Number = 8

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Measure the length in inches

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shell disease
Shell Disease

0-10% = 1

11-50% = 2

50-100% = 3

No Shell Disease = 0

Caused by bacteria that attaches to the lobster shell and begins to penetrate inward

This Lobster is a 3!!!!

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overall good health
Overall Good Health



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For more information visit our website: www.oceantechnology.org


Ocean Technology Foundation