Catching Stupid Lobsters The lobsters people eat, it seems, may be the stupid lobsters -- or at least the unlucky ones. Scientists observing a lobster trap set in the Atlantic Ocean off Portsmouth, New Hampshire 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 with University of New Hampshire zoology professor Win Watson.
NPR logo

Catching Stupid Lobsters

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/918180/918378" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Catching Stupid Lobsters

Catching Stupid Lobsters

Study Finds Most Lobsters Intelligent Enough to Escape Traps

Catching Stupid Lobsters

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/918180/918378" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A lobster trap was fitted with a video camera to capture time-lapse footage of lobsters entering -- and quite often, leaving -- a typical trap. University of New Hampshire hide caption

toggle caption
University of New Hampshire

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.