GMRI Scientists Predict Early Lobster Season

Tidings | May 9, 2016

A blue gloved hand holds a live lobster.

In February, our research team released their second annual lobster forecast. This forecast predicts the timing of when lobsters will move inshore from deeper waters to molt. This seasonal shift kicks off the high-landings period for the fishery each summer.

After releasing an initial forecast in February, the research team issued their final forecast in mid-April, when the predictive power of their model reaches its peak.

July 4 is typically considered a normal start date for Maine’s lobster fishery. The goal of our forecast is to allow the supply chain to anticipate when newshell lobsters will likely be available.

In 2012, unusually warm water temperatures caused a three-week early start to the season. The supply chain was not ready for this influx, leading to a challenging year. Temperatures this year are slightly below 2012 levels, and GMRI is predicting a start date around the middle of June.

 “Participants in the fishery and supply chain have learned from the 2012 experience and devised strategies to cope with an early start,” explains Katherine Mills, GMRI Associate Research Scientist. “We hope our forecast can give people in the industry advanced warning, so they can plan for what is shaping up to be a very early season.”

Explore the full details of the 2016 lobster forecast