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Lobsters: Biology, Management, Aquaculture and Fisheries



Lobsters: Biology, Management, Aquaculture and Fisheries

Bruce Phillips (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-99595-2 April 2008 Wiley-Blackwell 528 Pages


Lobsters are one of the most commercially important groups of animals harvested and farmed throughout the world. Bringing high prices on the market and the table, the results and yields of farmed species has seen continued growth.

Under the Editorship of Bruce Phillips an international team of authors provide exhaustive coverage of these fascinating creatures, stretching from growth and development to management and conservation, providing the reader with:

  • Key information for lobster farmers and harvesters

  • Organisation of the species by genera for ease of use

  • Coverage of parasites, pathogens and commensals; their impact, detection and measurement 

Fisheries scientists, aquaculture personnel, aquatic and invertebrate biologists, physiologists, ecologists, marine biologists and environmental biologists will all find this a vital source of reference. Libraries in universities and research establishments where biological and life sciences and fisheries and aquaculture are studied and taught will find it a valuable addition to their shelves.



Chapter 1.

Growth & Development: Understanding and Modelling Growth Variability in Lobsters.

Rick Wahle & Mike Fogarty.

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 Development, growth patterns and the moult.

1.2.1 Larvae & postlarvae.

1.2.2 Juveniles & adults.

1.2.3 Moult stages and endocrine control.

1.3 Measuring growth.

1.3.1 First moult in captivity.

1.3.2 Tagging.

1.3.3 Analysis of size-frequency distributions.

1.3.4 Physiological age markers.

1.3.5 Radionucleotide ratios to determine intermoult periods.

1.3.6 Indicators of growth potential.

1.4 Environmental influences on growth and maturity.

1.4.1 Temperature.

Larvae and postlarvae.

Juveniles and adults.

1.4.2 Light and photoperiod.

Larvae and postlarvae.

Juveniles and adults.

1.4.3 Food Limitation.

Larvae and postlarvae.

Juveniles and adults.

1.4.4 Density effects.

Larvae and postlarvae.

Juveniles and adults.

1.4.5 Space and shelter.

1.4.6 Behavioral and social conditions.

1.5 Modelling growth.

1.5.1 Continuous growth models.

Modelling growth in weight.

1.5.2 Moult process models.

Moult-probability and intermoult duration.

Size increase per moult.

Mean growth.

1.5.3 Scaling time.

Gnomonic Intervals.

Physiological time units.

1.5.4 Modelling variability in growth.

Distributed delay models.

Simulation and matrix representations.

Degree-day models.

1.6 Conclusions and future directions.


Chapter 2.


Alison B. MacDiarmid & Bernard Sainte-Marie.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Reproductive morphology.

2.3 Maturation.

2.4 Timing and duration of female receptivity.

2.5 Mate attraction, recognition, choice and competition.

2.6 Copulation and sperm transfer and storage.

2.7 Fertilisation and egg-laying.

2.8 Egg brooding and hatching.

2.9 Lobster mating systems and exploitation.

2.10 Conclusions.


Chapter 3.


Michael Childress & Steven Jury.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Sensory biology and regulation of behaviour.

3.2.1 The Senses.

3.2.2 Hormones and neuroendocrine control.

3.2.3 Activity rhythms.

3.2.4 Environment and behaviour.

3.3 Habitat selection and social behaviour.

3.3.1 Foraging and feeding.

3.3.2 Sheltering and den sharing.

3.3.3 Ontogenetic habitat shifts.

3.4 Competition and agonistic behaviour.

3.4.1 Antipredatory behaviours.

3.4.2 Shelter competition.

3.4.3 Aggression and dominance hierarchy formation.

3.5 Movement and migration.

3.5.1 Residency and homing.

3.5.2 Nomadism.

3.5.3 Migration.

3.6 Mate choice and reproductive behaviour.

3.6.1 Mate attraction and choice.

3.6.2 Copulation and spawning.

3.7 Behaviour and fisheries management.

3.7.1 Behavioural basis of catchability.

3.7.2 Movement and marine protected areas.

3.8 Summary and future directions.


Chapter 4.

Phylogeny and Evolution.

Sheila Patek, Rodney M. Feldman, Megan Porter & Dale Tshudy.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Lobster Phylogeny.

4.2.1 Lobster-decapod relationships (Nephropidae, Scyllaridae and Palinuridae).

Morphological phylogenies of lobster-decapod relationships: fossil and extant taxa.

Molecular phylogenies of lobster-decapod relationships.

4.2.2 Clawed lobster families:( Nephropidae, Thaumastochelidae, Erymidae, Chilenophoberidae, Chimaerastacidae, and Glypheidae).

Morphological phylogenies of fossil and extant clawed lobsters.

Molecular phylogenies of clawed lobsters.

4.2.3. Palinuridae and Synaxidae.

Morphological phylogenies of extant palinurid and synaxid lobsters.

Morphological phylogenies of fossil palinurid and synaxid lobsters.

Molecular phylogenies of palinurid and synaxid lobsters.

4.2.4 Scyllaridae.

4.3 Divergence Time Estimates.

4.4 Evolutionary Biogeography.

4.5 Conclusions and Future Directions.

4.5.1 Strategies for future phylogenies.

Morphological challenges and strategies.

Molecular challenges and strategies.

4.5.2 Conclusions.


Chapter 5.

Pathogens, Parasites And Other Symbionts.

Jeff Shields, Fran Stephens & Brian Jones.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Viral diseases.

5.2.1. Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1).

5.2.2. White spot syndrome virus.

5.3 Bacteria.

5.3.1. Gaffkaemia - Aerococcus viridans.




Control and Treatment.

5.3.2 Shell disease.



5.3.3. Vibriosis.

5.3.4 Limp lobster disease.

5.3.5 Fouling bacteria.

5.4 Water moulds and fungi.

5.4.1. Atkinsiella.

5.4.2. Lagenidium.

5.4.3. Haliphthoros.

5.4.4. Fusarium.

5.5 Protozoa.

5.5.1. Ciliata – Anophryoides haemophila.

5.5.2 Peritrich ciliates.

5.5.3. Hematodinium sp. infections in Nephrops norvegicus.

5.5.4 Microsporidia.

5.5.5 Rhizopoda - Paramoeba sp.

5.5.6 Apicomplexa - Gregarines.

5.6 Helminths.

5.6.1. Digenetic trematode infections.

5.6.2 Cestoda.

5.6.3. Nemertea - Carcinomertes spp. and Pseudocarcinonemertes.

5.6.4 Acanthocephala - Polymorphus botulis.

5.6.5. Annelida - Histriobdella homari.

5.6.7. Nematoda.

5.6.8. Miscellaneous helminths.

5.7 Miscellaneous metazoan symbionts.

5.7.1 Nicothoidae - parasitic copepods.

5.7.2 Amphipods.

5.7.3 Fouling organisms.

5.8 Diseases of noninfectious or unknown causes.

5.8.1 Ammonia/nitrite toxicity.

5.8.2 Air exposure.

5.8.3 Turgid lobster syndrome.

5.8.4 Shell blisters.

5.8.5. Nutritional diseases – Moult death syndrome and deformities.

5.8.6. Pink lobster syndrome.

5.8.7. Calcinosis.

5.8.8 Light damage to the retina of Nephrops norvegicus.

5.9 Lobster defense mechanisms.

5.9.1. Maintenance of exoskeleton integrity.

5.9.2. Coagulation.

5.9.3 Foreign agent recognition.

5.9.4 Cellular responses.

5.9.5 Repair of damage by toxins.

5.9.6 Organ-derived components.

5.10 Conclusions.


Chapter 6.

Nutrition of Wild and Cultured Lobsters.

Mathew M. Nelson, Peter D. Nichols, Andrew G. Jeffs, Charles F. Phleger & Michael P. Bruce.

6.1 From the wild.

6.2 Proteins.

6.2.1 Amino acids.

6.2.2 Protein to energy ratio.

6.3 Carbohydrates.

6.3.1 Nutritive carbohydrates.

6.3.2 Non-nutritive carbohydrates.

6.3.3 Structural carbohydrates.

6.3.4 Carbohydrate to lipid ratio.

6.4 Lipids.

6.4.1 Polar lipids.

6.4.2 Sterols.

6.5 Vitamins and minerals.

6.6 Attractants.

6.6.1 Low molecular weight compounds.

6.6.2 Suppression and synergism.

6.6.2 Food conditioning.

6.7 Diet format.

6.8 Feeding regimes.

6.9 To the table.

6.10 Conclusions and recommendations.


Chapter 7.

Larval and Postlarval Ecology.

Bruce Phillips, John D. Booth, J. Stanley Cobb, Andrew Jeffs & Paulette McWilliam.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Spiny lobsters and slipper lobsters.

7.2.1 Phyllosoma larvae.

Larval identification and development.

Food, feeding and predators.

Duration of oceanic life.

Larval behaviour and ecology.

Spatial scale of recruitment mechanisms.

Interaction of ocean processes and larval behaviour.

7.2.2 Puerulus and Nisto.

Metamorphosis to postlarva.

Movement to settlement sites.

7.3 Clawed lobsters.

7.3.1 Development.

7.3.2 Behaviour.

7.3.3 Factors affecting larval distribution.

7.4 Conclusions.


Chapter 8.

Juvenile and Adult Ecology.

Mark J. Butler, Robert S. Steneck & William F. Herrnkind.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Spiny Lobsters.

8.2.1 Limits to recruitment.

Postlarval availability and settlement.

Nursery habitats and demographic bottlenecks.

8.2.2 Post-recruitment patterns and processes.

The ecological role of sociality.

Movement and Migration.




Human and environmental effects.

8.2.4 Effect of spiny lobsters on benthic community structure.

8.2.5 Spiny lobsters and marine protected areas.

8.3 Clawed lobsters.

8.3.1 Limits to recruitment.

Postlarval availability and settlement.

Nursery habitats and demographic bottlenecks.

Bottleneck variability.

8.3.2 Post-recruitment patterns and processes.

Distribution, abundance and body size.

Competition and Predation.

8.3.3 Ghosts of predators past: a top-down to bottom-up transition.


Chapter 9.

Homarus species.

J. Stanley Cobb & Kathy Castro.

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Overview of the species.

9.3 Life-history characteristics.

9.3.1 Life cycle.

9.3.2 Growth.

9.3.3 Age.

9.3.4 Maturation.

9.3.5 Clutch size and fecundity.

9.4 Larval dynamics.

9.5 Population dynamics.

9.6 Sources of mortality.

9.6.1 Ecological role of predation.

9.6.2 Disease.

9.7 Harvest of wild populations.

9.7.1 Gear type and methods.

9.7.2 Landings and effort.

9.8 Mariculture and population enhancement.

9.8.1 Mariculture.

9.8.2 Stock enhancement.

9.8.3 Habitat Enhancement.

9.9 Management and conservation.

9.10 Conclusions.


Chapter 10.

Jasus species.

John D. Booth.

10.1 Species and distribution.

10.2 Reproduction, life history and growth.

10.3 Ecology and behaviour.

10.4 Predators and diseases.

10.5 Population dynamics.

10.6 Harvests of wild populations and their regulation.

10.6.1 South Africa and Namibia.

10.6.2 Australia.

10.6.3 New Zealand.

10.6.4 Other Jasus fisheries.

10.7 Aquaculture and enhancement.

10.8 Management and conservation.

10.9 Conclusions.


Chapter 11.

Panulirus Species.

Bruce F. Phillips & Roy Melville-Smith.

11.1 Species and distribution.

11.2 Life history, growth & reproduction.

11.3 Predators & diseases.

11.4 Ecology and behaviour.

11.5 Population dynamics and regulation.

11.6 Harvest of wild populations and their regulations.

11.6.1 Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Panulirus cygnus.

Panulirus ornatus.

11.6.2 Cuba.

Panulirus argus.

11.6.3 USA (Florida).

Panulirus argus.

11.6.4 Brazil.

Panulirus argus and Panulirus laevicauda.

11.6.5 Baja Mexico and USA (California).

Panulirus interruptus.

11.6.6 India.

Panulirus polyphagus.

11.6.7 Kenya and Somalia.

Panulirus homarus megasculptus (mostly).

11.7 Aquaculture and enhancement.

11.7.1 Aquaculture.

Larval culture.

Growout of pueruli and juveniles.

On-growing of legal-size lobsters.

11.7.2 Enhancement.

11.8 Management and conservation.

11.9 Conclusions.


Chapter 12.

Palinurus species.

Johan Groeneveld, Raquel Goni & Daniel Latrouite.

12.1 Species and distribution.

12.1.1 The south-east African species.

12.1.2 The North Atlantic and Mediterranean species.

12.2 Biology, ecology and life history.

12.2.1 Mating and fertilization.

12.2.2 Breeding period.

12.2.3 Fecundity.

12.2.4 Larval distribution and recruitment of pueruli.

12.2.5 Size at sexual maturity.

12.2.6 Moulting and growth.

12.2.7 Population structure, size composition and sex ratios.

12.2.8 Migrations.

12.2.9 Predators and natural mortality.

12.2.10 Diet.

12.2.11 Evolutionary phylogeny and genetic population structure.

12.3 Harvest of wild populations.

12.3.1 Palinurus gilchristi.

12.3.2 Palinurus delagoae.

12.3.3 Palinurus elephas.

12.3.4 Palinurus mauritanicus.

12.3.5 Palinurus charlestoni.

12.3.6 Bycatch and ecological impacts of fisheries.

12.4 Management controls and regulations.

12.5 Assessments and current status of the stock and fisheries.

12.6 Culture, enhancement and marine reserves.

12.7 Conclusions.

12.7.1 Biology.

12.7.2 Fisheries.


Chapter 13.

Nephrops species.

Mike Bell, Frank Redant & Ian Tuck.

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 The species.

13.2.1 Species description.

13.2.2 Geographical distribution.

13.2.3 Habitat requirements.

13.2.4 Similar species.

13.3 Life history and population dynamics.

13.3.1 Moulting and growth.

Moulting pattern.

Growth curves.

Variations in growth rate.

Methodological problems to establish growth.

13.3.2 Reproduction.

Size at maturity.

Reproduction cycle.

Potential and effective fecundity.

Larval development and confinement.

13.3.3 Burrowing and emergence behaviour.

Structure and densities of Nephrops burrows.

Diurnal activity patterns.

Seasonal activity patterns.

Effects of hypoxia.

13.3.4 Food and feeding.

13.3.5 Predators.

13.3.6 Parasites and diseases.

Shell and muscle necrosis.

Larger parasites.

Dinoflagellate infections.

13.3.7 Population regulation.

Stock-recruitment relationships.

Natural mortality.

13.4 Harvest of wild populations.

13.4.1 Fishing methods.

Nephrops trawl fishery.

Baited traps.

13.4.2 Patterns of catchability.

13.4.3 Economic importance.

13.4.4 Species caught alongside Nephrops.

13.4.5 Impacts of fishing.

Effects of fishing on seabed and benthic communities.

Nephrops discarding.

13.5 Monitoring and management.

13.5.1 Data collection programmes.

13.5.2 Assessment methods.

Trends in fishery statistics.

Trawl surveys.

Annual larval production method.

Underwater television surveys.

Analytical assessment methods.

13.5.3 Management measures and management structures.

13.5.4 Status of stocks.


Chapter 14.

Scyllarides Species.

Ehud Spanier & Kari Lavalli.

14.1 Introduction.

14.2 Taxonomy and systematic hierarchy.

14. 2.1 Features of the genus.

14.2.2 Species & distribution.

14.3 Anatomy.

14.4 Life history.

14.4.1 Phyllosomas.

14.4.2 Nistos.

14.4.3 Juveniles.

14.4.4 Adults.

14.5 Behaviour.

14.5.1 Feeding Behaviour.

14.5.2 Sheltering behaviour and substrate preferences.

14.5.3 Predators and antipredator behaviour.

14.5.4 Mating behaviour.

14.5.5 Movement patterns.

Daily and seasonal horizontal patterns.

Swimming behaviour (vertical movements).

14.6 Diseases.

14.7. Harvest of wild populations.

14.7.1 Scyllarides nodifer fishery.

14.7.2 Scyllarides latus fishery.

14.7.3 Scyllarides obtusus fishery.

14.7.4 Fishery Concerns.

14.8. Aquaculture & restocking.

14.9 Summary.


Chapter 15.


Bruce Phillips.



  • Key information for lobster farmers and harvesters

  • Organisation of the species by genera for ease of use

  • Coverage of parasites, pathogens and commensals; their impact, detection and measurement