P.O. Box 235, Friendship, ME 04547 (207) 832-8224 www.lobsters.org
September 25, 2000
Dear Volunteers and Friends of The Lobster Conservancy,News from the Board of Directors
We want to take this opportunity to welcome J. Maurice "Moe" L. Bisson to our board of directors. Moe is a Chartered Public Accountant at Berry, Dunn, McNeil, and Parker of Portland, an organization that has been providing invaluable assistance and advice to TLC for the past 3 years. We look forward to Moe's input and insight as we chart TLC's future.
The number of volunteers working on the Baby Lobster Watch has been growing throughout the summer. We now have 60 volunteers regularly monitoring juvenile lobsters at 25 sites around the Gulf of Maine. The most recent participants include Frank and Judy Haims of Harpswell. Welcome aboard!
TLC has more than 60 volunteers monitoring 25 lobster nursery sites around the Gulf of Maine.
Frank and Judy Haims recently began volunteering at TLC's long-term monitoring site at Gun Point. Photo by Sara Ellis
In late August, newly-settled lobsters (<11 mm in carapace length) were detected throughout the range of our surveys. Volunteers found settlers at Isle au Haut in Penobscot Bay, Allen Island in Muscongus Bay, and Little Harbor, Potts Point and Cundy's Harbor in Casco Bay, Maine. Settlers were also found at Fort Stark, New Hampshire and Gloucester, Massachusetts. There are only two more sampling sessions left this season, in late September and October, and these will be key months to continue looking for signs of settlement.
In August, newly-settled lobsters were detected throughout the range of our volunteer-based surveys. Photo by Sara Ellis
Many thanks go to long-time TLC volunteer Jane Roundy who has been entering volunteer data, and to the volunteers who have begun to enter their own data. If anyone can spare some time to come to Friendship to enter and proofread data, please contact Sara.
Long-term Tagging of Juvenile Lobsters
As mentioned above, Up East Foundation is funding our tagging research. Up East's support will allow us to establish a new tagging site on Allen Island, in Muscongus Bay Maine. TLC volunteer Mike Wall has been monitoring lobsters on Allen Island for the past two years. This fall, Mike will begin employing the technique that Diane developed at Lowell's Cove, i.e., internally tagging lobsters with individually-coded micro-wire tags so that they can be identified when recaptured, and thus followed over time.
Diane implants an individually-coded microwire tag into the walking leg of a juvenile lobster to learn about growth and movements in the wild. Photo by Sara Ellis
Diane is continuing to tag lobsters in Deep Cove, on Friendship Long Island. Lobsters were tagged and sampled there twice last month, once with the help of Sara, and another time with assistance from island neighbor Mary Watkins. Diane is collecting her 8th year of tagging data at Lowell's Cove on Orr's Island, where Polly Wilson, Gus Goodwin, and Sara helped sample 3 transects in late August.
Lobster Life Study Center
The final tasks are being done at the Lobster Life Study Center to prepare the lobster pound for research. We are also in the midst of readying the center for winter. Thank you to John and Mary Watkins for pitching in and helping stack firewood.
Thanks also to Bob and Beverly Souers, our neighbors on Little Morse Island, for donating a 16-ft Duranautic aluminum skiff, equipped with a 40-Hp motor. This rugged boat will be very useful for research and work in the lobster pound and around the islands of Muscongus Bay
Outreach and Education
We have initiated a new service-learning project with Professor Ed Laine at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine. This autumn, students will try to shed some light on geological factors controlling the distribution of juvenile lobsters within Lowell's Cove, Casco Bay, Maine.
In September, Diane was interviewed on ABC radio. She presented information on lobster biology, fisheries, and research, and--of course--The Lobster Conservancy.
In early September, Diane, Sara, and TLC board member Kari Lavalli attended the 6th International Lobster Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management, in Key West Florida. The conference was attended by more than 200 biologists and managers from 25 countries. It was a great opportunity to hear about ongoing research around the world and catch up with colleagues. Sara presented TLC's volunteer program to the scientific community in a talk entitled "Volunteer-based monitoring of juvenile American lobster, Homarus americanus" by Sara L. Ellis and Diane F. Cowan. Diane discussed seasonality and growth of lobsters in their first year of life in a talk entitled "Population abundance and individual behavior of free-ranging first-year American lobster, Homarus americanus" by Diane F. Cowan, Andrew R. Solow and Andrew Beet. Kari gave a talk on "Group defense in Caribbean spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus" by Kari L. Lavalli, William F. Herrnkind and Michael J. Childress. Kari co-authored several other papers concerning anti-predator strategies of spiny lobsters and slipper lobsters, and the construction of lobster exoskeleton. These papers have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.
During an outdoor banquet at the conference, Samuel Tarsitano took the opportunity (and the microphone) to make a public declaration of his love for Kari, and restated his proposal of marriage in front of a crowd of well-wishers. Congratulations Sam and Kari! We wish you all the best in your lives together.
Yours in TLC and Friendship,
Sara Ellis, Executive Director and Diane Cowan, Senior Scientist