There are several anecdotal reports of the American lobster Homarus americanus moving to deeper water, or suffering increased mortality, in response to storm events. It has also been reported that changes In salinity and temperature, similar to those result~ng from storm events, can elicit avoidance behaviors. In 1991, during an ongoing lobster study, Hurricane Bob caused a substantial drop in salinity in the Great Bay Estuary, New Hamphlre, USA. This freshet, and possibly related environmental perturbations, was associated with increased movement of lobsters down the estuary toward the coast and a rise in catch in areas closer to the coast. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that storms can induce movements of lobsters and subsequent transient shifts in the demographics of the lobster population.
Marine Ecology Progress Series
Inter-Research Science Publisher
Jury, S.H., W.H. Howell and W.H. Watson, III. 1995. Lobster movements in response to a hurricane. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 119:305-310.