Lobster In Maine

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Understanding the biology of lobster is imperative to ensuring that the resource is being managed appropriately, and it provides context for the v-notch measure. American lobster (Homarus americanus) live on rocky sea bottom cover, and range across the eastern seaboard from the Maritime Provinces of Canada to the Mid-Atlantic United States. In the United States, Maine’s lobster fishery is by far the most prevalent. Lobster fishing in Maine occurs year round – lobster are often found offshore in the colder months and closer to shore during the warmer summer months. Lobsters are long-lived crustaceans. Like all crustaceans, lobsters molt their exoskeleton every year or two. They do this by splitting their carapace, the central section of their …show more content…

Family ties are extremely important to lobstermen. Lobstermen are apt to share proprietary fishing information and fishing capital with their kin, and take them on as apprentices. Because of these close familial ties and shared wisdom, family names often become synonymous with the reputation of their members. Reputation plays an important role in many of Maine’s small coastal communities. Families and closely connected groups tend to live near each other in geographically isolated areas called hamlets. The next most important social unit of lobstermen is generally fishermen who fish out of the same harbor as them – a group that is collectively referred to as a “harbor gang.” Harbor gangs have informal leaders, usually successful fishermen known as “highliners” who are from established families and hold a lot of power in the community. These leaders are highly respected by members of their harbor and often lead by example. Harbor gangs have historically fished the same offshore areas for generations and are sensitive to newcomers. Harbor gangs are also quick to defend the territories they routinely fish in. Outsiders, or even misbehaving insiders, are sanctioned gradually. The first level of punishment is often gossip or a verbal threat. The next level is molestation of gear – a half-hitch knot tied in a trap rope, the doors of a trap left open, or a warning note left in a bottle in an offender’s trap. Lastly, gear and even boats are moved or destroyed. These boundaries and sanctions that harbor gangs impose on one another are informal institutions that the state does not recognize, but the majority of lobstermen respect for fear of retribution (Acheson

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