Is there geographic variation in development rate of American lobster (Homarus americanus) embryos?

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of New Brunswick


American lobster fisheries in Canada are managed via Lobster Fishing Areas, which are divided based on sociopolitical considerations rather than biological stocks. Bio-physical models use physical and biological parameters to predict larval dispersal and contribute to understanding the identity of stocks, and the connectivity between management areas. Hatching time of lobster embryos is an important parameter of these models, as it impacts the survival and transport of larvae. This study aims to determine whether embryo development functions used to predict hatch need to be “location-specific”. We sampled eggs from six locations in eastern Canada, reared them in the lab, and photographed them weekly to track embryo development based on changes in eye size. The results suggest that embryo development functions do not need to be developed for individual fishing ports, but that distinct development functions for larger marine systems may improve larval dispersal modelling and sustainable management of fisheries.