Scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute are working on a first of its kind "lobster forecast" to try and predict when the season will start.
Using a grant from NASA, the team plans to offer its first forecast in March. It will rely heavily on temperature data, since warmer water signals lobsters to molt and head closer to shore.
In 2012 the industry was caught off guard when lobsters molted before tourists arrived and processors couldn't handle the supply.
"What we would like to do is avoid the situations we had in 2012 where we had a lot of lobsters landed but getting a low price which is bad for everyone," Andy Pershing, chief scientific officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, said.
Scientists hope the weekly forecasts will allow the industry to better prepare for the upcoming season. Right now, the temperature in the Gulf of Maine is warmer than normal, and if it stays that way, it could signal another early lobster season.