Monday, March 4, 2013

Lobster Limits Show Short-Term Thinking - Room for Debate -

Catch limits down to 1 pound allow lobsters that have not had a chance to reproduce to be taken, a scientist warns. - gwc
Lobster Limits Show Short-Term Thinking - Room for Debate -
by Diane Cowan, Lobster Conservancy Senior Scientist
Large lobsters are becoming increasingly rare, and they are critical to long-term sustainability because they have proven survival skills, high reproductive output and a propensity for large-scale movements. Surviving to sizes exceeding 1.5 pounds means that the lobster has lived for more than a decade, escaped predation, shown resistance to disease and weathered various climatological conditions. Large lobsters have higher reproductive output because they carry larger embryos that grow into larger larvae, and they produce larger eggs and are able to protect them. Furthermore, movements of big lobsters make them more likely to be in the “right place” to avoid adverse conditions, including unfavorably warm waters; better able to reseed areas where stocks have been depleted; and better suited to maintaining a strong gene pool.

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