WORKING WATERFRONT -- INTER-ISLAND NEWS
VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT TO MONITOR INTERTIDAL LOBSTERS
Diane Cowan (right) confers with David Cousens, president of the Maine Lobstermen's Association, concerning her lobster assessment project. Photo by Bill MacDonald.
(Used with permission.)
Diane Cowan and the Island Institute are planning two information sessions and slide shows on lobster research in the lower intertidal zone. The first meeting will take place in Vinalhaven at the school on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. A second meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Sept. 4, in Stonington at a time and place to be announced.
Cowan works with volunteers to monitor specific juvenile lobster habitat areas where the intertidal and subtidal zones meet. She has approximately 30 fishermen, students and members of fishing families working at more than a dozen sites in Harpswell. In addition, several volunteers monitor sites in New Hampshire, and she recently trained the first eight volunteers for Penobscot Bay.
|Volunteers spend a minimum of two hours and one tide per month during the biggest "drain" tides, monitoring their specific sites. Volunteers test water conditions, locate and measure lobsters, and participate in a state-approved tagging program for the small lobsters.
In the Harpswell area, where the program has been well received and strongly supported by the lobstering community, volunteers respond so well to the program that they devote an average of twice the time and number of tides requested.
Cowan's research will be integrated with the sea sampling programs being conducted by the Department of Marine Resources, the Island Institute and Dr. Robert Steneck in Penobscot Bay. She will be asking for volunteers following her slide shows and talk. Cowan will return on Sept. 10-11 to work with volunteers in identifying sample sites and monitoring and tagging techniques.
Contact Leslie Fuller or Bill MacDonald at the Island Institute for further information.