I grew up in New Hampshire, the part that touches the ocean. I was minutes away from the beach and all the seafood restaurants. My whole family has been raised near the ocean, so I was raised to love seafood. One of my favorite seafoods is Lobster. I know a lot of people have never tried lobster, and I am sure that a lot of those people would like to keep it that way. I am going to give a few lobster facts just to enlighten those who may be curious about a lobster’s life.
I always used to think that lobsters were going to become extinct if my family kept eating them all the time. However as I got older I learned the rules set for a lobster fisherman and a little about their species.
In fact, only a few of the hundreds of types of lobster are caught commercially. But those few species are some of the most heavily harvested creatures in the sea, and generate a multi-billion-dollar industry with more than 200,000 tons (181,436 metric tons) of annual global catch.
I went on a lobster fishing boat this summer and learned what it was like to be in this profession. Lobster fisherman have to measure every single lobster caught in their traps. If the lobster is not big enough, it must be thrown back. Also, female lobsters are not allowed to be taken for profit either. If a lobster fisherman traps a lobster and identifies it as a female (which is done by feeling how soft their under side is), they must clip their left tail fin and release it back into the ocean. Some females even have eggs when they are caught, so they are definitely thrown back.
I know what you are thinking, what stops these fisherman from keeping the smaller lobsters and female lobsters; the more they catch the more money they make right? That is true, but a large percentage of them realize that if they do not help preserve the lobster species, someday they or their family will be out of business.
I have worked with lobsters every summer since I was fifteen years old at a seafood restaurant called Brown’s Lobster Pound. I have learned a lot since then, but I still have a lot to learn.
Lobsters are ten-legged crustaceans closely related to shrimp and crabs. These benthic, or bottom-dwelling, creatures are found in all of the world’s oceans, as well as brackish environments and even freshwater. They have poor eyesight but highly developed senses of taste and smell. They feed primarily on fish and mollusks, but will consume algae and other plant life and even other lobsters.
Hopefully you have learned a little something about these unique, and oh so delicious creatures of the ocean. And maybe now that you know the species is not going to be erased because of the consumption by humans, you will go try one. I suggest the tail meat, it tastes the best, with butter and lemon. Mmm!
This one was big enough to be sold to a restaurant.
This is me watching the first set of traps being let back into the ocean.
These photos were taken by Jana Vejpustkova. Thanks Jane!