We now know what a lobster does inside a lobster trap, thanks to “The Lobster Trap Cam” in Halifax harbor. The live lobster trap web cam was recently placed inside a lobster trap in the popular Nova Scotia fishing town so the curious could go online and watch. The cam shows the lobster that wander into the trap to have a free meal on the bait and then can’t get out.
Today on the Lobster Trap Cam the lobster in the trap is quite active, facing the camera, snapping the big crusher claw, and pressing itself into a corner. A large crab moves threateningly from the side of the trap and amazingly, appears to be going after the bigger lobster until the crab decides to leave. The remarkably clear Canadian harbor water gives web visitors an unusual view of life at the bottom. Fish, urchins and starfish can be seen passing through the trap. The picture refreshes every two seconds, with the visiting lobster in the starring role.
|A live lobster appears on a web cam on the bottom of Halifax harbor.|
The cam is jointly operated by Murphy’s On the Water and Nova Scotia Webcams. Murphy’s is a Halifax restaurant and tour boat operator. They report that the Lobster Trap Cam is going viral with more than 65,000 hits.
While the lobster in the trap may be a star, the truth is, there is little chance that this particular lobster will end up in a hot pot. A spokesman for the webcam said the lobster are pulled up in the trap and released after “three or four days.” So while this one will get away, rest assured there are plenty more lobster where this one came from, and many of those lobsters will end up on a stove.
Much of the lobster eaten in the UScomes from Canada. In fact, the lobster industry is just as important to the Nova Scotia economy as it is to the Maine economy. It has been no secret that lobster fishermen this year are again hoping for a record catch. According to state of Maine government data collected from the fishermen, landings were weak in the spring due to the cold weather but now appear to be catching up. Maine lobstermen landed a record 94.7 million pounds in 2010 so that is the mark to beat in 2011.
One of the reasons that Mainelobster is so abundant is that many of the lobster’s natural enemies are no longer around in any numbers, according to Robert S. Steneck, a marine biologist at the University of Maine. For example, Cod fish, which eat baby lobster, are largely gone from the ecosystem. Facts that lobster fisherman are not sad over. Dr. Steneck is quoted saying that reintroducing Cod fish to the ecosystem would be like “bringing the wolves to your flock.”
While the curious may watch the Lobster Trap Cam, September is a busy time for the lobster industry, with the Labor Day Holiday setting the pace for increased demand. This time of year, “Shedders,” or soft-shell lobster, are popular with local folks in Maine and Massachusetts. Hard Shell lobster is stronger than soft shell lobster and lives longer out of water so they can be shipped further. Live lobsters can also be shipped right to people’s homes anywhere in the US thanks to an online lobster service.
Now, thanks to the Lobster Trap Cam and home lobster delivery, a family sitting at a dinner table in Kansascan enjoy a meal of fresh Maine lobster while watching the lobster’s cousin cavort on the web for Lobster Trap Cam.
© Wayne Howe 2011