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I love being out on the water for my work. My job is with the Maine Department of Marine Resources managing
the Lobster Sea Sampling Program to collect biological data on both the harvested and discarded portions of the
lobster catch for the lobster stock assessment. Recently I’ve been measuring at total of 1,000 to 3,500 lobsters,
including legal and discarded lobsters, each day I go out sampling.
In 2011 our program measured a record of almost 220,000 lobsters while the lobster industry landed more
than 100 millions pounds (also a record.) On average throughout the year, more than 50% of the lobsters in a trap
are thrown back because of size (too small or too big) or because of a V-notch. When a lobster comes up with eggs,
the lobstermen notch it with a V on a specific flipper which makes that lobster illegal to harvest, even after it has
released its eggs. This V-notch protects the female for at least two molts, allowing it to reproduce again which gen-
erally maintains a sustainable population by keeping the brood stock safe for the future. The fishermen believe in
and support this conservation measure and along with favorable environmental conditions, it seems to be working,
as there are a lot of lobsters out there! I like working with the lobster fishing industry, collecting data and making
sure the fishermen get credit in the assessment process for what they do on an everyday basis. And I go out on boats
from Kittery to Eastport and get to meet and work with a fair number of characters!
Ka t h l e en Rea r don
Lobster Researcher: Newcastle
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