Media report on DMC testing of technique to determine lobster’s age
Mainebiz, The Associated Press and Boston.com reported School of Marine Sciences researchers at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center in Walpole have been testing a new technique for figuring out the age of lobsters. Currently, a lobster’s age is estimated by size, but it’s a rough estimate because a lobster’s growth rate is affected by ocean conditions. Not knowing a lobster’s age is problematic for scientists and fishery managers trying to measure the animal’s health and stock sustainability, according to the article. Recent research by Raouf Kilada of the University of New Brunswick found microscopic bands within the gastric mill of lobsters and crabs, a part of the stomach that grinds up food. The bands exhibit growth patterns similar to tree rings, the report states. Kilada recently visited the DMC to share his technique with DMC research professor Rick Wahle and his graduate student, Carl Huntsberger. The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Boston Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2), WABI (Channel 5) and Maine Public carried the AP report.