improving lobster handling and quality
Lobster is an extremely delicate animal which must be transported from fishing boats to processing and handling facilities alive and healthy. MLCA delivered a lobster handling and quality program to educate those who directly handle lobster to understand the biology and physiology of lobsters and establish handling practices which minimize stress on lobsters. Reducing the amount of lobster lost from the boat to handling facilities improves the quality and price of the product.
Inshore herring acoustic survey
MLCA partnered with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute on an innovative research project which hired local lobstermen to conduct coast-wide herring surveys. Acoustic equipment was installed on lobster vessels to assess the abundance and population structure of inshore Atlantic herring stocks.
Reduce lobster gear entanglements
Scientists have explored options make fishing ropes easier for whales to see, and therefore avoid. A study conducted by the New England Aquarium indicated that red or orange ropes are visible to a right whale at a distance of 3.9 to 4.1 meters, over twice that of green ropes which are visible at only 1.9 meters. This research indicated that doubling the detection distance could be adequate for right whales to avoid some of these ropes when feeding at the surface. MLCA partnered with Maine lobstermen to field test these orange/red ropes to provide feedback on the handling, durability, fouling and consistency of color in these experimental ropes.