This article examines two important components of measurement of fecundity in the European lobster Homarus gammarus: (i) comparing the traditional gravimetric dry weight fecundity method against two non-invasive depth gauge methods initially developed for Homarus americanus and (ii) utilizing the depth gauge method to determine egg loss during the brooding period and its impacts on effective fecundity estimates. No significant difference was observed between fecundity estimates derived using either the traditional or depth gauge methods. Derived fecundity estimates from the two depth gauge methods differed by −0.31% (±2.7 s.e.) for cylinder and −1.1% (±2.4 s.e.) for ellipsoid fecundity estimates compared with the traditional method. This highlights the utility of the depth gauge method for providing fast, reliable and low-cost estimates without sacrificing lobsters or their egg masses. Egg loss is estimated to be as high as 44% from initial extrusion to hatching. The application of the non-invasive methods for estimating fecundity to other fisheries and stocks is discussed along with the importance of understanding egg loss in this commercially valuable fishery.
- Homarus gammarus
- egg loss
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science