R-04-01 An Agent-based Model of the Maine Lobster Industry

James Wilson
School of Marine Sciences

214 Libby Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

David Hiebeler
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

326 Neville Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Yong Chen
School of Marine Sciences

225 Libby Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Maine’s most valuable commercial fishery, the American lobster fishery, has experienced periodic boom and bust cycles that have dramatically affected the economies of many coastal communities. Although scientific models designed to guide lobster management have predicted a decline in the population, lobster landings (and the apparent population) continue to increase. Many anomalies exist in the behavior of the lobster population, over the past 50 years in particular, that are not explained by accepted scientific models. The researchers will use a new conceptual approach, complex adaptive systems theory and agent-based modeling, to begin developing a new model of the lobster fishery.

2-year project, 2004-2006
Year 1: $31,000
Year 2: $31,000
Total: $62,000