Some Lobsters Get Around--100 Miles or More in a Year
Some lobsters, often thought of as sluggish creatures of the deep, may cover 100 miles or more each year--the equivalent of a human’s swimming from Maine to Florida.
Many appear to complete a long-distance circuit and return to their starting point, said Mary Cerullo of the University of Maine Sea Grant College Program, at the midway point of a three-year project on movements of large lobsters in the Gulf of Maine.
“Evidently some lobsters undertake long-distance seasonal journeys comparable, for their size, to those of other Maine natives who go to Florida for the winter,” she said.
In October, 1983, researchers dumped into the ocean 1,996 large lobsters specially tagged and marked with a “V” notched into their tails. Cooperating lobstermen report when and where they trap such lobsters, and toss the specimen back into the water.
Halfway through the project, 379 lobsters have been captured and released--some as many as four times.
Although most of the lobsters moved 2 to 7 miles from where they were released, 11% were tracked an average of 60 miles, including several that later returned to their original release area.
“One lobster released from Stonington in October, 1983, was caught 74 miles southest the next May,” Cerullo said. “Then it traveled 81 miles north to within a few miles of Stonington before it was recaptured in August, 1984.”