Lobster Resource Monitoring Program
What is the Lobster Resource Monitoring Program?
The Lobster Resource Monitoring Program (LRMP) is a collaboration between the PEIFA, Department of Fisheries & Oceans and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to :
- Collect from fishermen information/data on their daily catch
- Capture data on the lobster population around PEI from commercial vessels .
The program also utilizes other collaborative research projects to better understand the resource.
Why was the program started?
The program was initiated in 1998 after a lobster carapace size increase was opposed by fishermen and a lack of scientific information on the fishery was identified to support this increase. The program is led by a department biologist with the assistance of a full time technician and two seasonal employees.
How is the data collected?
Volunteer index fishermen, with a goal of close to 10 percent of licensed lobster fishermen, were identified through the PEIFA Lobster Advisory Board representatives in the initial years of the program. Many of these volunteers have been with the program since its inception and are only replaced, through the Lobster Advisory Board representatives, if they leave the program. These volunteers collect information on over 100,000 lobsters annually.
Department staff conduct sampling on commercial lobster fishing vessels at a variety of locations around the Island throughout the two fishing seasons. Approximately sixty trips at sea result in information on over 50,000 lobsters per year.
Lobster larval collectors (cages of suitable habitat that collect young lobsters as they settle to the sea bottom) have been utilized in a number of areas around the Island since 2009. It is hoped that these collectors may become a valuable tool in understanding the settlement of young lobsters each year leading to a possible indicator of the trend of the population.
What is the data used for?
The data collected through the program is used to analyze trends in the population, such as the size structure, abundance of sub-legal lobsters and egg bearing females and lobster catch rates. This data may be utilized when fishery management decisions are to be negotiated.
Who can I contact for more information?
PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
548 Main Steet, Montague
Phone: (902) 838-0699