The American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery has a landed value of $ 550 million/year in Atlantic Canada, and has long been a mainstay of inshore fishers. In Newfoundland, the industry has undertaken a number of measures aimed at sustainable harvest, notably the adoption of a maximum size limit in 4 fishing areas and locally-supported closed areas within one of these areas and three other fishing areas. We will use reproductive value to evaluate the efficacy of these measures. Reproductive value is an established concept in population biology but has not been applied to fisheries, due largely to data demands. It is thus more suited to evaluation of risks and policy than to ongoing assessment. Reproductive value combines the mortality and fecundity schedule to quantify the value of the individual to the population. It thus differs from standard assessment methods, such as yield per recruit, which focus on biomass and economic value. The goals of this research will be: (1) Calculate stage- age- and size specific reproductive value of lobsters in Newfoundland; (2) Identify major sources of variation, notably geographic variation in fecundity at size, molt schedules, and mortality schedules; and (3) Identify the upper and lower size limits that maximize reproductive value relative to landed value; (4) Estimate the spatial scale at which small closed areas increase reproductive value of lobster populations; (5) Promote stewardship on the science basis of reproductive value relative to economic value.
Planning videoconference 13 May 2009
CURRA workshop with harvesters at Port-aux-Basques, NL, November 2010
Community Feedback Sessions (Slot Fishery) April 2011
Fisheries Forum 29 February 2012