Enhancing the forecasting value of the American Lobster Settlement Index to Maine’s Coastal Economy

Principal Investigator: Rick Wahle (Marine Science, UMaine)

Partners: Brian Beal (UMM), Damian Brady (UMaine), Burton Shank (NOAA/NMFS)

Abstract: The goal of this proposal is to enhance and broaden the impact of the American Lobster Settlement Index (ALSI) as a stock assessment and forecasting tool for the US Northeast lobster fishery, the largest economic, and most geographically disbursed, sector of Maine’s marine natural resource-based economy. Specific objectives of this work are (1) to integrate ALSI-based forecasting tools into the stock-wide assessment of the lobster fishery for the US Northeast, and (2) to optimize the design of a sampling tool that will widen the geographic coverage of ALSI monitoring to a broader habitat range, especially deep offshore lobster nurseries, which have not been systematically monitored to date.