Thursday, June 28, 2007

Catching Lobsters

Two lobstermen from Darien went out on Long Island Sound last Friday with a student who is participating in the Connecticut v-notch program. A reporter from Darien’s weekly paper, the Darien News, went along. She reported that the student

… estimated he had notched more than 150 lobsters since the previous Wednesday.

Remember, in the v-notch program the only lobsters that get notched are mature females. Lobstermen cut a small notch in the tail, throw the lobster back, and turn the notch in to the DEP for a small bounty. The idea is to give the mature females more time to successfully reproduce, thereby presumably increasing the lobster population, which was decimated in 1999 (although not by pesticides).

My point is, if the student notched 150 females in just a few days, the lobstermen probably caught and kept a similar number of males, yes? And maybe they even caught and kept some females, because you don’t have to notch their tails if you don’t want to.

Now 300-plus mature lobsters isn’t an incredible bounty. But Darien is pretty much in the heart of the area where the lobster die-off hit hardest. So 300-plus lobsters indicates that some kind of population rebound is occuring. I think. Maybe I'm grasping at straws.



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