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How Does a Lobster Trap Work?

Updated April 17, 2017

A lobster is an animal or crustacean that lives on the floor of the ocean. It is an invertebrate, meaning that it has no backbone. The lobster is a carnivore, or meat eater, and contrary to popular belief does not eat dead things. Its diet consists of fresh food, such as small fish, crabs, clams, mussels and sometimes other lobsters. There are different types of lobsters. The most common one is the Maine or American lobster, which is found from Newfoundland down to North Carolina along the east coast of the United States.

Lobster Behavior

The lobster is a nocturnal animal meaning that it hunts and moves around mostly at night. A young lobster usually lives in seaweed and rocky habitats, while an older lobster typically lives in the deeper waters on the ocean floor. The older lobster crawls instead of swims. The older lobster uses its walking legs and moves along by contracting and retracting its tail. Hunting and capturing a lobster requires the use of a lobster trap since it cannot be caught like fish.

Makings of a Lobster Trap

A lobster trap can be made of wood, metal or plastic. There can be various looking traps but all lobster traps have one basic design on the inside. All have a funnel type entrance in which the lobster can crawl inside but makes it harder for it to crawl back out. The inside has two sections, the kitchen and the parlour. The lobster enters through the funnel door into the kitchen, where the bait is tied. After taking the bait, the lobster not being able to exit back through the funnel door, goes into the parlour where it is trapped until it is released. There are small vents in the parlour so that a smaller lobster can get out and a larger lobster stays trapped. A buoy is tied to the trap before the trap is dropped into the water, so that the traps can be found. After a day or two, the lobster fisherman come back to check on the traps and release any lobsters inside. The lobsters are measured and if they are not of regulation size will be thrown back.

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About the Author

Amy Hannaford teaches childbirth education classes and a healthy pregnancy series in Southern Oregon. Hannaford holds an Associate of Arts degree, a certificate in medical assisting, and has been a childbirth educator and birth doula for 20 years. She has been writing articles for Demand Media since 2008.