P.O. Box 235, Friendship, ME 04547 (207) 832-8224 www.lobsters.org
Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,
The Lobster Conservancy's (TLC's) mission is to sustain a thriving lobster fishery through science and community. This newsletter keeps our friends and volunteer research team informed of our activities. Here's what we've been up to over the past few months.
In August, Diane joined Jean-Michele Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society to lead a lobster research project on Stellwagen Bank. The project will be featured in a PBS series on National Marine Sanctuaries that will air in April 2006. For more information and some still photos visit http://www.oceanfutures.org/oceanadventures/oa_gallery_index.asp and click on lobster gallery.
TLC's work in the Friendship Lobster Pound will be featured on the Animal Planet Report on the Discovery Channel December 23, 2005 at 9 pm . For more information visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-07-2005/0004209853&EDATE .
Stellwagen Bank Project with TLC, Ocean Futures Society and NMFS.
Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Program (JLMP)
The volunteer-based Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Program wrapped up its ninth season in November 2005. This year, 109 volunteers monitored 23 juvenile lobster nursery sites from Great Wass Island in Downeast Maine to Green Harbor , MA . A hearty thanks to all TLC volunteers for their dedication and hard work.
Based upon the preliminary results of the volunteer sampling, there appears to be an abundance of juvenile lobsters at our intertidal nursery sites. Lobsters in their first year of life were detected at 19 sites this summer and fall. The following sites recorded their highest average density in 2005:
Maine: Beach St Cove in Winter Harbor, Lanes Island on Vinalhaven, Cundy Hbr, Gun Pt, Little Hbr, and Potts Pt in Harpswell, Bennett Cove on Chebeague Island, Spar Cove on Peaks Island, and Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth
New Hampshire : Fort Stark in New Castle and Odiorne Park in Rye
Massachusetts : Gerry Island in Marblehead and The Glades in Scituate
North Beach on Allen Island , Pratt Island in Southport , Broad Cove in Cape Elizabeth , Goose Rocks Beach in Biddeford , ME and Plum Cove in Gloucester and Blue Fish Cove in Green Harbor , MA also recorded strong densities this season. The Gun Pt. team in Harpswell found the greatest number of lobsters during one sampling tide—63 lobsters in 23 quadrats.
A special TLC thanks go to the teams that have the lowest lobster densities. The Great Wass and the Little Cranberry teams faithfully sampled every month. We all recognize it is easier to be out sampling early in the morning or in the dark or cold when you have the expectation that at least you will be rewarded by finding lots of little lobsters. We continue to be amazed by the dedication of our JLMP volunteers.
Welcome aboard to new volunteers Alexis Priestley, Kendra Crowley and Blake Beal at Slate Island Cove, Karen Abbey at Potts Pt., and Harry Hopcroft at Gun Pt.
Our annual Volunteer Appreciation Day was held on Friendship Long Island in September. The weather cooperated this year, and we had a fine feast. Diane, a/k/a the Lobster Doc, had a legal sized lobster with shell disease to show everyone, and Linda provided tips on how to extricate your finger from the claw of a biting lobster—she had a captive audience!
We will conduct in-depth analyses during the winter months after all data have been received and proofed. We look forward to seeing our volunteers next spring at our Annual Kick Off Meetings and providing them the detailed results of the 2005 season at that time.
The JLMP pre-dates TLC. While TLC finished its 9 th sampling season – one location – Lowell 's Cove in Harpswell completed its 13 th season. One additional site – Friendship Long Island – is also sampled year round. A total of 25 sites were sampled during 2005. Friendship and Lowell 's Cove reported the highest densities and the greatest number of postlarval and first-year lobsters.
Lowell 's Cove time series of juvenile lobster densities.
Lobster Sonar Tracking Project (LSTP)
TLC's Friendship-based LSTP is complete. Data and a final report are available at the Northeast Consortium website: www.northeastconsortium.org/projects.shtml#recset .
Outreach and Education
TLC received additional funding from the Francis R. Dewing Foundation to produce a Lobster Larvae in the Classroom teacher's handbook. The funding will be added to that received from Maine Community Foundation. We plan to make the handbook available in the spring, just in time to use with the Lobster Larvae in the Classroom projects in Bristol and Friendship Schools .
Summer 2005 saw a new collaboration between TLC and Hog Island Audubon Camp. Diane brought evening presentations on “Doing Science with the Lobstering Community” and Linda taught campers about the lobster life cycle, anatomy and the lobster fishery in Maine in afternoon workshops.
Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season!
Yours in TLC,
Diane Cowan, Jane Roundy, and Linda Archambault