About 200 biologists, oceanographers, industry members and fishery managers from more than a dozen countries are expected to attend the 11th International Conference & Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland from Monday, June 5, through Friday, June 9.

UMaine marine scientist Rick Wahle and Kari Lavalli, a marine biologist at Boston University, are co-chairing the conference, which will focus on the impact of the changing ocean environment and the global economy on the biology and business of lobsters.

Wahle, whose lab is at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, says the timing is perfect for Maine to host the conference. 

“It was about time,” Wahle says. “It’s been hosted all over the world, but never in New England, which we all know to be one of the world’s lobster hot spots.” This will be only the second ICWL to be held in the United States — the first was in 2000 in Key West, Florida — since the conference began in 1977. 

Markets for live lobster in Asia and Europe are at an all-time high, but after American lobsters escaped from holding pens in European waters, Sweden proposed a European Union ban on future imports on grounds the American lobster is an invasive species. The EU panel denied the proposal for a ban.

Sen. Angus King will open the conference on Monday, June 5. Three keynote speakers will highlight scientific sessions. Jelle Atema, professor at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will present “Secrets of Lobsters Revealed” on Monday, June 5. Paulo Prodohl, professor at Queen’s University in Ireland, will discuss the pioneering use of genetic tagging to assess the impact of V-notching on Tuesday, June 6. On Friday, June 9, Malin Pinsky, assistant professor at Rutgers University, will talk about “Ocean Animals on the Move: Consequences for Ecological and Human Communities.”

Thursday, June 8, will be Industry Day, during which commerce leaders will conduct sessions for harvesters, dealers, distributors, biologists and fishery managers from Newfoundland to New Zealand. Discussion will include strategies employed by lobster fisheries around the world to sustainably and profitably manage the resource. A special session will focus on merits of collaborative science-industry research.

Participants also will share perspectives on how to confront and adapt to challenges and uncertainties of doing business in a changing climate and global economy.

“Our lobster has become an icon of marine fisheries and a poster child of a changing ecosystem,” says Wahle.

To register and for more information, visit 11thicwl.com.