Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC 28401
Lobster larvae that are released in the waters around Grand Manan Island are picked up by tidal currents and distributed hundreds of kilometers from the Bay of Fundy and southwestern coast of Nova Scotia to the coast of Maine. The quality of a lobster egg—size, fat content, etc.—has influence over the development, size, and health of the larva that eventually hatches from it. In this pilot project, Koopman will examine body size, habitat, and diet of the female lobster, three factors that can affect the quality of eggs. The results may help address questions such as, Do larger female lobsters produce eggs of the same or better quality than smaller females? Do females from different spawning areas produce eggs of different quality? Do female lobsters eat different food before they spawn? The answers to these questions will help determine what factors encourage an egg to turn into a market-size lobster. This kind of information will contribute to our knowledge of what drives abundance in the economically important lobster fishery.
1-year project, 2008