Effects of Ocean Acidification on Reproduction in American Lobsters

Principal Investigator: Heather Hamlin (SMS/ARI, UMaine)

Partners: Deborah Bouchard (Cooperative Extension/ARI, UMaine); Jean McRae (Civil & Environmental Engineering, UMaine); Benjamin King (Regenerative Biology, MDI Biological Laboratory)

Abstract: Marine invertebrates, such as lobster, support valuable commercial fisheries in Maine valued at nearly $457 million in landings, and have a 3x to 5x multiplier on the total dollar value of the extended industry. Recent findings indicate that increasing levels of ocean acidification (OA) and water temperatures generate physiological stresses to all life-stages of lobster, and present a significant threat to Maine’s marine economy. The focus of this project is develop a cutting edge hormone assay technique that will monitor specific genetic markers within lobsters to determine the effects of OA an water temperature, and ultimately provide the critical data needed to pursue larger research funding opportunities to fully fund this project.