National Lobster Hatchery and UEA researchers develop new way to age lobsters.
We have recently been involved in some incredibly exciting new research and we are so pleased to be able to share it with you! Enjoy the read below written by our researchers, Jake Scolding and Dr Carly Daniels.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) with support from the NLH research team have identified a way of determining the age of a lobster based on its DNA. Lobsters are notoriously difficult to age. Nobody knows exactly how old they can get, and some experts have estimated they could live on the ocean floor for as long as a century or more.
Until now, a lobster's age has usually been estimated using its size - but this is inaccurate, as individual lobsters grow at different rates. For a long time, it appeared that there was no accurate way to quantify a lobster’s age. Lobsters have hard, inelastic shells and so in order to grow they must shed their old shell and replace it with a new one. However, lobsters of the same age don’t always grow and molt at the same time.