The science of aquaculture, although having been able to reproduce and commercially farm many different species of seafood and fin fish, has not been able to successfully reproduce lobster. A professor at the University of Maine has recently found a major breakthrough in one of the primary issues with that failure-the feeding of the young lobsters during the first weeks of life. They traditionally eat very small creatures during that period of their lives and not being able to provide them with that food has certainly been a major obstacle.
GREAT WASS ISLAND, Maine — Though there is no shortage of lobsters in the Gulf of Maine, some scientists and lobster fishery officials have been trying to learn how to reproduce the crustaceans in captivity.
As other commercial fisheries in Maine have dwindled or nearly vanished, the amount of lobster caught in the gulf each year has shot up dramatically over the past two decades. Last year, for the first time ever, more than 100 million pounds of lobster were brought ashore by Maine fishermen, who earned an estimated total of more than $330 million for their catch.
But as the lobster industry has come to dominate commercial fishing in the state, some scientists have expressed concern about what might happen to Maine’s coastal economy if the gulf’s lobster population were to collapse. As a precautionary measure, some fishermen, scientists and industry officials have tried hatching millions of tiny juvenile lobsters and then letting them loose in the ocean.
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The breakthrough came in the way of constructing a small container that a baby lobster was put in that allowed water flow to enter provide that nourishment that heretofore has been lacking. Someday we may be able to enjoy farm raised Maine lobster at a small fraction of the price that they now command.