European Lobster - Homarus Gammarus
Latin: Homarus Gammarus
English: European Lobster, Common Lobster
German: Der Europäische Hummer
French: Le Homard Européen
Italian: L'astice Europeo
Spanish: El Bogavante
Croatian: Hlap, Karlo, Jakar, Rarog
About: European Lobster, also known as Common Lobster, is a species of clawed lobster of the Nephropidae family.
Maximum length is around 60 cm and a mass of 6 kilograms. On average, it grows around 30-35 cm in length, but this depends on location and fishing gear.
It has a pair of strong claws, usually right claw being slightly bigger and stronger than left claw. The lobsters are indigo-blue, transitioning to the pale-reddish on the lower side. For camouflage, they have numerous dots and specks on upper side.
Mating occurs in the summer - females with eggs can be found year long. It is territorial animal.
American Lobster, Homarus Americanus, is very similar to European Lobster and can be even crossed artificially - in nature, their habitats do NOT overlap, so it is unlikely for hybrids to occur. But, given the fact that global warming (or new Ice Age, whatever is actually happening) is influencing seas and oceans more and more every day, it is not impossible that one day someone will somewhere catch a hybrid!
Habitat: Homarus Gammarus can be found from the eastern Atlantic Ocean, in the Mediterranean Sea and parts of the Black Sea.
It ranges between 0 and 150 m, but usually not deeper than 50-60 m.
This nocturnal lobster prefers hard substrates and rocky bottom, where it can find holes and crevices for shelter.
Fishing period: Fishing is possible all year long. Note that females with eggs are protected almost globally, so after being caught, they MUST be released. Females guard and protect eggs for almost a year - they really deserve to be released! :o)
European Lobster in its natural habitat. Beware of these claws, they can really hurt!
Photo with permission by Miro Andric, Croatia's Undersea World
Fishing rigs and tackle: There are several ways that recreational fishermen can catch lobsters like these.
Hooks on longlines, handlines and rods with reels are baited with various fish and fish chunks. Longlines are generally laid down over night, although attracted by the smell of the fish, lobsters will often leave their shelter during the day - but they will not travel much. Of course, many other marine species are caught this way - actually, lobsters are rarely prime target of fishing rigs with hooks.
Lobsters are often caught in lobster traps baited with various small fish and fish chunks and in various nets.
In the shallows, they can be caught with a speargun or even a small hand-net.
Cuisine: European Lobster is highly esteemed delicacy. It can be prepared as part of mixed fish stew, as part of a risotto, as salad, barbequed, boiled etc.