The goal of this synthesis is to highlight some of the major findings of the New England Lobster Research Initiative (NELRI), provide a context for these findings based on previous research, discuss the potential impacts of this important emerging disease on the dwindling lobster populations in southern New England (SNE), and provide suggestions on avenues for future research. Most of the research funded in this initiative focused on epizootic shell disease (ESD), the emerging syndrome severely impacting lobster populations primarily in coastal waters in Rhode Island, southern Massachusetts, and eastern Long Island Sound (ELIS), but some new information about other forms of shell disease in lobsters is included. We also discuss how these novel findings on lobster shell disease should be used to inform management of lobster populations.
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