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Catching Stupid Lobsters

Take a moment to set aside your assumptions about lobsters -- that's what researchers at the University of New Hampshire did, and the results are surprising.

While the government warned for years that lobster stocks could be depleted by overfishing, lobstermen in the northwest Atlantic instead have been enjoying an ever-increasing catch.

The UNH researchers realized that what came up in the lobster trap was probably not the whole story. So they attached an underwater video camera to a trap set in the waters off of Portsmouth, N.H.

The lobsters people eat, it seems, may be the stupid lobsters -- or at least the unlucky ones. The researchers were surprised to learn that the vast majority of lobsters that enter the trap were easily able to escape.

All Things Considered host Robert Siegel talks about the study with University of New Hampshire zoology professor Win Watson about the findings.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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