Remi Rochette - Atlantic Lobster Sustainability foundation

ALSF Lobster Symposium
26-27 July 2011, Moncton NB
Improved understanding of lobster stock structure:
industry leading academia
Presented by Rémy Rochette, UNB Saint John
5-year research initiative
 End year-1 December 31st, 2011
Large and evolving
 Industry
▪ fishermen and fishermen
associations throughout Atlantic
 DFO Science
 Academia
▪ UNB SJ, U. Moncton, U. Laval, UPEI,
U. Sainte-Anne
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
 Strategic Project Grant: Age Determination in Crustaceans
▪ Kilada, Rochette, Sainte-Marie, Campana
 Strategic Project Grant: Lobster settlement and coastal biodiversity
▪ Rochette, Hunt, Dufresne, Pohle
 Discovery Grant: Lobster ecology
▪ Rochette
New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
 Research Innovation Fund: Age Determination in Crustaceans
▪ Kilada, Rochette
 Research Innovation Fund: Lobster settlement and coastal biodiversity
▪ Rochette, Hunt
 Better define/understand
“lobster biological units”, or
“lobster stocks”, in Atlantic
Outcome of consultation exercise with industry:
 Better definition/understanding of ”lobster biological
units”, or “lobster stocks”, in Atlantic Canada
2007 FRCC report on a sustainability framework for
Atlantic lobster
 Identified this question as one of the major impediments
to best management of the resource
FRCC: Fisheries Resource Conservation Council
management units do not reflect biological stocks….
Overarching objective:
 Better define/identify lobster stocks, to assist the
development of best management practices
▪ Better understand how different areas are inter-connected
and inter-dependent
▪ Identify critical brooding (and spawning) grounds
▪ Identify critical recruitment areas
▪ Where to monitor sustainability metrics
2 How does larval
dispersal connect
lobster stocks and
fishing areas?
Does the model
successfully 3
predict larval
How does
movement of
benthic lobsters
contribute to
Is there spatial
variation in egg
and larval
Is there genetic
between lobster
Quantify the abundance and size of “berried”
females in different areas
Scientists and students involved: Patrick Ouellet, Bernard Sainte-Marie, John Tremblay, Michel
Comeau, Rémy Rochette, Julien Gaudette, Marthe Larsen Haarr
• Berried females from NF to BoF
• Abundance
• Size
• Egg development stage (timing of
larval release)
• Clutch condition
• Eggs and larvae (geographic variation?)
• Condition (lipids, RNA/DNA)
• Larval performance (growth,
Development of standard protocols, tools and data base
>4,500 berried females, and counting...
Large-scale individual-based bio-physical model to
estimate potential connectivity of lobster stocks
through larval drift
Current model (Chassé &
Miller 2010)
• expand to include entire
range (NEMO-OPA)
• improve biological inputs
Scientists and students involved: Jöel Chassé, Rémy Rochette, Brady Quinn
Does the model successfully predict larval settlement?
Determine whether there is significant recruitment on finesediment bottoms
Scientists and students involved: John Tremblay, Rémy Rochette, Peter Lawton, Gilles Miron, Gudjon
Sigurdsson, Kristin Dinning
Elucidate link between larval supply and settlement
Identify settlement hotspots
Estimate inter-annual and spatial variability in settlement
Scientists and students involved: John Tremblay, Rémy Rochette, Peter Lawton, Gilles Miron,
Gudjon Sigurdsson, Kristin Dinning
Movement (site fidelity, seasonal migrations) of
juvenile and adult lobsters
Traditional tagging studies and ultrasonic telemetry
Scientists and students involved: Michel Comeau, Rémy Rochette, Peter Lawton, Bryan Morse
1) Real-time position information
based on triangulation (RAPT)
100-200 m study triangle
25% of time out of shelter (daily average, n=10)
• Min: 3.5% (25 mm CL)
• Max: 62% (31.3 mm CL)
• Significantly more active during nightly high tides
20.3 mm CL
47 mm CL
2) Archived position information
based on triangulation (e.g.,
200-300 meters
Takes advantage of recent developments
in the field of molecular ecology
 Non-neutral genetic markers
▪ More likely to reveal finer spatial-scale genetic
structuring than neutral genetic markers
▪ More likely to reveal adaptation to local conditions
Scientists and students involved: Louis Bernatchez, Spencer Greenwood
Kenchington et al. 2009
1. Improve our
understanding of
lobster stock structure
and connectivity
2. Identify areas
particularly important
to sustainability:
1. larval production
2. larval settlement
3. Build the collaboration
and its research
1. We have developed a research agenda that will enhance
our understanding of lobster stock structure and
2. Our most important accomplishment to date is arguably
the large tri-partite collaborative platform we have
developed, as it is essential to the realization of this and
future research initiatives spanning the range of the
species in Atlantic Canada
3. We have identified inequalities in the ability of industry to
participate in the research, and acknowledge these
deficiencies need to be addressed
1. We are pursuing additional sources of funding, to deliver on
our research agenda and help industry fully participate
2. We have since the spring been elaborating a proposal to
ACOA’s AIF for this purpose
3. The AIF project would also involve research on the most
appropriate sustainability indices for the industry, and the
creation of self-financed system for the ongoing collection
and analysis of lobster sustainability data/indices
4. Discussions are on-going with different members of the value
chain to refine our proposal
Photo Brent Wilson
Marc Allain
Patty King
Kevin Squires
Leonard Leblanc
Mario Déraspe
Ginny Boudreau
Eugène O’Leary
Ashton Spinney
Christian Brun
Michelle Thériault
Maria Recchia
Peter Connors
Ronnie Heighton
David Decker
Darryl MacIver
Martin Mallet
Klaus Sonnenberg
Keith Paugh
Gordon MacDonald
Dounia Daoud
Sylvia Rumbolt
Jackie Baker
Rachel Long
Monty Way
Laura Ramsey
Nellie Baker
Norma Richardson
One of the largest research
initiative on American
lobsters to date
Rémy Rochette
Gilles Miron
Louis Bernatchez
Spencer Greenwood
Jean Lavallée
Michelle Theriault
Jerry Amirault
and more to come…
Bernard Sainte-Marie
John Tremblay
Joël Chassé
Patrick Ouellet
Michel Comeau
Louise Gendron
Robert MacMillan
Peter Lawton
Julien Gaudette
Rob Stephenson
17 industry organisations
5 universities
5 government research facilities

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