Title

Habitat addition and stock enhancement for American lobsters, Homarus americanus

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version

12-1-2001

Abstract

Six experimental artificial reefs for lobsters were established in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, in February 1997. These have been monitored according to a 'before-after-control-impact' design since placement by means of visual surveys, traps, tag-recapture, photoquadrats, and airlift sampling. Juvenile and adult lobster density at the reef increased from near zero to >1 lobster m-2, significantly higher than the two control areas. Settlement of young-of-year lobsters has significantly increased. We used microwire tags to mark hatchery-reared lobsters and released over 2000 marked 5th-6th-stage lobsters in each of two years. The density of young-of-year lobsters on enhanced reefs was not different from that on the control reefs. Despite intensive sampling, we have recovered only one of the hatchery-reared animals. Field observations indicate possible behaviour differences in the hatchery-reared lobsters that might make them more susceptible to predation.

Publication Title

Marine and Freshwater Research

Volume

52

Issue

8

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