In order to manage healthy lobster stocks, determining the age of each lobster can be very beneficial for sustainability. Researchers from England believe they have found a way to understand a lobster’s age and it could create a more sustainable fishery. Many living beings have markers that specify their age, fish have tiny stones in their ears with rings that can be counted to figure out the age.
However with lobster, there is no decisive way to determine the age, so most fishers estimate using their size and weight. Martin Taylor, one of the authors of a new study on lobster aging, explains it is not an accurate measurement.
Taylor said “Lobsters have got very different growth rates among individuals. So individual A might grow very, very rapidly and then individual B might grow very, very slowly… So it’s really almost impossible to age lobsters currently.” Other methods do not work on living lobsters, because they require examining proteins in the lobster’s brain, or growth rings in the eye stalks.
Taylor’s research team published a study recently in the journal Evolutionary Application of a new method to find their age. They developed a DNA-based test that pinpoints the age of younger lobsters within 1.6 months.
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