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Project 1.2 – Metapopulation dynamics, management areas and biological units of lobster in eastern Canada

The American lobster, Homarus americanus, supports the most important fishery in Canada, in terms of landed resource value. The species has been extensively studied, and we have considerable understanding of its biology and fisheries ecology. However, the mechanisms underlying changes in lobster abundance in time and space remain largely unknown, as evidenced by our inability to explain the striking changes in landings experienced by different regions over the past hundred years.

 

The overarching goal of this project is to advance our understanding of stock structure of the American lobster in Atlantic Canada and how local populations of lobster are connected via the movement of larvae and adults (connectivity). We are undertaking five integrated research activities:

 

  1. Measuring the abundance, size and quality of egg-bearing females caught by fishermen at 50-75 km intervals along the coastline to assess the input of larvae into the marine environment;
  2. Using a model to predict the distribution and settlement of these larvae;
  3. Studying larval settlement behaviour to inform the model;
  4. Using tagging studies to assess the importance of bottom movements to connectivity;
  5. Developing large quantities of genetic markers to refine our understanding of lobster population genetics.


This research is expected to inform best management practices, but perhaps more importantly, it is hoped that it will constitute the foundation of a lasting partnership between lobster fishermen, academics and government scientists.

 

Project Leader Contact Information

Rémy Rochette
University of New Brunswick (Saint John)
rochette@unb.ca
 

Project Team

  • Bernard Sainte-Marie - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne
  • Brady Quinn - University of New Brunswick, Saint John graduate student (2011-present)
  • Bryan Morse - University of New Brunswick, Saint John graduate student (2011-present)
  • Frédérique Bélanger - Merinov
  • Guðjón Már Sigurðsson - University of New Brunswick, Saint John graduate student (2011-present)
  • Joël Chassé - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne
  • John Tremblay - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography
  • Julien Gaudette - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station
  • Kristin Dinning - University of New Brunswick, Saint John graduate student (2011-present)
  • Laura Benestan - Université Laval, graduate student (2011-present)
  • Louis Bernatchez - Université Laval
  • Marc Allain - Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters
  • Marthe Larsen Haarr - University of New Brunswick, Saint John graduate student (2011-present)
  • Michel Comeau - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre
  • Michelle Thériault - Université Sainte-Anne, centre de recherche marine
  • Patrick Ouellet - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institut Maurice-Lamontagne
  • Peter Connors - Eastern Shore Fishermen’s Protective Association
  • Peter Lawton - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station
  • Robert MacMillan - Government of Prince Edward Island
  • Spencer Greenwood - University of Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College
  • Jackie Baker - Fish, Food and Allied Workers


Numerous team members from the following industry groups:

  • Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Iles de la Madeleine
  • Eastern Shore Fisherman’s Protective Association
  • Fish Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW)
  • Fishermen and Scientists Research Society (FSRS)
  • Fundy North Fishermen’s Association
  • Gulf Nova Scotia Fishermen’s Coalition
  • Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen’s Association
  • Homarus Inc.
  • LFA 27 Management Board
  • LFA 30 Fishermen’s Association
  • LFA 34 Management Board
  • Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU)
  • Northumberland Fishermen’s Association
  • Prince County Fishermen’s Association
  • Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie
  • Richmond County Fishermen’s Association