Your students can pretend they are a lobster gang (as the harvesters from a harbor or port are called).

  • Have each child decide how many traps he or she will fish (at $50 apiece).
  • Have them plot their territories on a chart of the coastal area. (Please don't say "map" when referring to the ocean!)
  • Make a circle around their fishing area that claims their part of the ocean floor. (This division remains unspoken but understood in lobstering society.) How large an area do they think they can cover in a seven-hour work day (moving at about 10-20 mph)?
  • Lobstermen may earn about $3.00 for every lobster sold to a lobster pound. How does that compare to what the consumer pays? Have students check on the current price of lobster at the supermarket and at restaurants.
  • Assuming they catch an average of two lobsters per trap per day, how long will it take to pay off the cost of their traps?
  • What is the lobsterman's hourly wage?
  • What other expenses does a lobsterman incur (boat, winch, license, fuel, lobster gauge, bait, barrels, rubber bands for claws, other gear)?
  • Add all these costs together and then find out how many lobsters a lobsterman may catch in one year. Figure out how much a lobsterman earns from selling his catch after he pays all his expenses.