Lobsters Release on the House Reef

Basil, Tom & Alana with the Lobsters
Releasing lobsters is a surprisingly slippery process. They squirm, wiggle, and slide from the grasp of the hand. But before the lobsters can be released onto TRACC’s House Reef, the lobsters must make it to Pom Pom Island – wrapped in newspaper, placed on ice, and snuggled into a cooler.

When the body temperature of a lobster drops the metabolism and heart rate slows, allowing lobsters to survive for 2-3 hours in a significantly cooled state and induces a kind of hibernation, which reduces the stress caused by transportation. When they arrive on Pom Pom we unload the cooler from the boat and wade into the shallows to unwrap the newspaper parcels of lobsters. They emerge from they cold in an unexpectedly alert state and flail in our grasp, legs and antennae gesticulating rapidly. As quickly as possible we place them in the wicker baskets to be taken deeper. Yet, the
Lark & Tom Prepped to Release 
especially fidgety ones escape from our grasp and Tom must mission to retrieve them from the shallows.

Next, we don our scuba gear and form buddy pairs to bring the basket’s full of lobsters to what we hope will be their new home, carefully we place the baskets on the ocean floor near our newly crafted and placed artificial reef of a “lobster house” and tires. Lobster baskets safely placed we wait and watch. The lobsters test their new environment, peeking over the edge and testing the water with their antennae before clambering out of their baskets to explore the crevices of the tires and lobster houses as their new home. 

Lobster Basket
Over the next few days the lobsters disperse across the reef, sometimes spotted by eager TRACC divers. And sometimes, to entice the lobsters to make a permanent home, Tom goes back down to lay little sausages down by the tires and houses.

TRACC hopes that by releasing the lobsters into our house reef, we not only add biodiversity and beauty to the reef, but also balance our ecosystem. In addition to hunting for urchins and clams, the lobsters scavenge and feast on detritus. Playing as essential role in cleaning the reef and keeping it disease free.


If you want to help with any marine conservation activity, please 
check our website http://tracc.org or e-mail info@tracc-borneo.org 

For more updates on TRACC check out our Facebook, Twitter or Google +

Reef conservation would not be possible without generous financial support from
GEF /SGP for Malaysia who are helping our community activities and coralreefcare.com who generously provided materials to build the new reefs.

If visits to TRACC are not possible then please help with financial support and follow their projects on Facebook.