|Biological Diversity 2003|
Suborder: Macrura reptantia
The Lobster Conservancy - Also known as TLC, this is a great organization dedicated to education, research and helping sustain a healthy lobserting industry. Based out of Friendship, Maine.
AVC Lobster Science Centre - This is a Canadian-based organization studying problems caused in lobster populations by pathogens and infectious diseases.
NY/CT Sea Grant - This is a great site containing information about research being done on lobster populations in Long Island Sound.
New England Aquarium - The aquarium has a rearing and research center that studies lobsters, as well as provides lobsters for others to study.
Gulf of Maine Aquarium - A site packed with information, history, and fun facts.
The Lobster Cam - This site is no longer updated, but remains up with pictures and a video from the inside of a lobster trap!
Maine, until a few years ago, was the only license plate with a dead animal on it. So many people complained that the cooked lobster was too hard to see that the plate was replaced with that of a chickadee, the state bird.
Homarus americanus: The American Lobster
With the Colors?
Life of a Lobster:
American Lobsters are not listed on four of the major lists for threatened or endangered species. These lists include the United States Endangered Species Act, the United States Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the IUCN list, and the CITES list.
Lobsters are both lucky and unlucky enough to be considered as very good meals by many people. They are unlucky in that when people like to eat, or for other reasons kill organisms we have a history of depleting the population to the point of extinction (for example the Dodo). On the other hand, lobsters are in a very lucky position. A great industry has existed around lobstering since the mid-1800's (Maine Lobster Promotion Council, 2001). It's such a tradition that some of the most adament supporters of being cautious of over-fishing, and funding research on problems occuring within lobster populations are lobstermen/women themselves.
Despite the fact that lobsters are not endangered, there are still questions about how they are going to fare in the future. Relatives of the American Lobsters, Homarus gammarus, that live on the other side of the Atlantic along the coast of Europe and down into Africa, have been over-harvested in the past. It is only now that they are being restocked by the introduction of young lobsters raised in captivity (Lavalli, Cowan, and Barshaw, 1998). The US Federal Government has labeled the American lobster population as "overfished," but the general increase in abundance, coupled with the increase in catches over the past twenty years brings into question the posibility that lobsters are being overfished (Fish Research.Org, 2002).
It appears as though the problems that are currently concerning scientists, and lobstermen, surround populations in specific areas. In Long Island Sound there have been abnormally large lobster die-offs caused at least in part by diseases since 1999. Scientists are exploring multiple avenues in order to discover the origins of these unusually large die-offs. Some include bacterial infections that cause the break-down of the exoskeleton, a parasite that attacks the nervous system, as well as higher than normal water temperatures (Patten and French, 2003).
Fish Research.Org. 2002. American lobster: setting research agenda. http://www.fishresearch.org/Articles/2001/08/research_agenda.asp. (3 April 2003).
Imperial College, London. 29 July 2002. Imperial college London - UK scientists crack lobster shell colour puzzel. http://www.ic.ac.uk/P3540.htm. (2 April 2003).
Island Institute. 2001. Penobscot Bay Collaborative Research Projects.http://www.penbay.net/. (6 March 2003).
Lavalli, Kari L., Diane F. Cowan, and Diana Barshaw. Lobster Biology, Future Prospects. http://www.swt.edu/%7est04/tlc/biology11.html (3 April 2003).
Maine Department of Marine Resources. No Date. Aquarium - Maine marine resources. http://www.maine.gov/dmr/rm/aquarium/index.html. (3 April 2003).
Maine Lobster Promotion Council. 2001. FAQ about lobster. http://www.mainelobsterpromo.com/faq.html. (2 April 2003).
New England Aquarium. 2003. Research groups at NEAq. http://www.neaq.org/scilearn/research/lobster.html. (3 April 2003).
NY/CT Long Island Sound Lobster Initiative. 2 April 2003. NY-CTSG: LI sound lobster initiative. http://www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/LILobsters/default.htm (April 3 2003).
Patten, Peg Van, and Richard A. French. January 2003. What's happening to lobsters in Long Island Sound? http://www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/LILobsters/Research-Calcinosis1202.pdf (3 April 2003).
The Lobster Conservancy. 2003. The Lobster Conservancy. http://www.lobsters.org/. (6 March 2003).
New York Sea Grant Institution. 2 April, 2003. Surf's up with New York Sea Grant on the WWWeb! http://www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/. (3 April 2003).
Macaw Indiana Bat
Leafy Sea Dragon
Croix Ground Lizard Tomatoes
This website is part of a Biology 226 class project on the conservation of global biodiversity.