Berried Lobster Tagging Project in Grand Manan

Help Us Track Berried Lobsters!

Call or Text Heather: 910-232-9567

10/25/20 – We are continuing with our berried lobster tag study this year. Thanks to everyone who has participated so far – we couldn’t do this without your help!

As of October 24, 2020, we have put out >1500 yellow tags, and have had almost 600 tag reports, from 369 individual lobsters. Many lobsters
were recaptured close to where they were tagged, but we did have a few
(see map) who went a bit farther afield…
One female traveled 260 nm (> 480km) during Nov 19 to August 8, moving SW into the Gulf of Maine (purple dot in left bottom corner of map). We heard from more than 60 boats in LFA 38,36,35,34 and Maine.

What’s Next

This year: we will continue to deploy yellow ziptie tags, each with a unique number. This year the tags say “GMWSRS TXT 910-232-9567” which is Heather’s iphone (we learned this was the easiest way for most people to report tags.) If you see a tagged lobster, please text her with the tag number and location of capture at that cell number. The easiest way is to take a snapshot of the tag number (see photo right) and one of your plotter, and text those to Heather’s phone. You can also call the research station landline at 506-662-3804, or email Heather at

New This Year

we are trying to see exactly which bottom temperatures berried females prefer. We are going to attach small temperature loggers to some females. WE NEED TO GET THESE TAGS BACK TO GET THE DATA, so if you see one of these grey thermal tags, please remove it from the lobster and text Heather at 910-232-9567, and we will figure out how to get the tag from you.

What we started in 2019

GMWSRS (Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station), phone # (506-662-3804) is conducting a berried lobster tagging project that will be carried out this fall/winter in LFA 38. Each tag has GMWSRS contact info and a unique number, one for each lobster. They are interested in knowing where lobstermen might see these females. Please record (or take a photo) of the number, and the location, and send them to us (by phone or or email they would be very appreciative!

Please leave the tags to on the lobsters and throw them back again with the tags on after they see them.

The last full-scale study like this was done in the 1980s. Berried females were shown to move from Grand Manan to Nova Scotia and even as far as Cape Cod. We would like to see if these patterns are still similar.

What are we doing?

  •   Attaching yellow numbered zip ties to claws of berried females from around Grand Manan
  •   Asking lobster fishermen to report when and where they see which band number if females come up in traps – and to leave the band on the lobster (to see where she will go next)!

Why are we doing this?

  •   Determine where berried females of different sizes migrate to throughout the fall/winter/spring
  •   Follow up to 1980’s tagging work, which showed some berried females can move >100 km, as well as some tagging we did in 2011-12
  •   Ocean temperatures and the fishery have changed in the last 30 years – do berried females still move around as much?  Or are they more restricted?

How are we asking you to help?

  •   Let your crew know about our study and keep your eyes out for numbered yellow bands on females – they look like this:
  •   If you see one, please note the number on the tag, the date, and your location, and toss her back with the tag still on
  •   Report your information:  data sheet (available from fisheries association) or by phone (506-662-3804) or email –

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