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"They Came By Sea"
Lesson 3: Lobster Roll!
Game Rules

Starting Out:
  • Each team begins the game with 1 boat, 200 traps, and $5000. Enter your beginning totals on your spreadsheet.
  • Traps cost $20 each (they are only sold or made in units of 100).
  • Maintenance costs for traps are $3 per trap, per year.
  • Boats cost $25,000 each.
  • Maintenance, gear, and crew costs are $3500 per year, per boat.
  • Each boat can carry a maximum of 600 lobsters. Each trap can hold one lobster. If you have between 600 Ė 1200 traps, you must own 2 boats. If you have between 1200 and 1800 traps, you must own 3 boats, etc.
  • The maximum number of days that a team can fish is 150.
  • As teams make money, they have the option of growing their business by buying more boats or more traps. If teams lose money, they have the option of having several traps or boats sit out a year, during which they may catch fewer fish, but they also pay lower maintenance costs. If a team goes out of business, it is out of the game.
  • A fishing season may be either Unregulated or Regulated. In an Unregulated season, teams can fish as much as they like, up to the maximum of 150 days. In a Regulated season, the Maine State government regulates the number of days each team can fish, based on the advice of biologists. Biologists decide how many fishing days will be allowed each year, based on the lobster population of the previous year. The formula is as follows:
# fishing days = (# lobsters/# traps)/10

For example, in a regulated season, when each team has 200 traps and there were 930,000 lobster remaining at the end of the first year, there would be 116 fishing days in Year 2 [(930,000 fish / 800 traps) / 10 = 116].
Rules of Play:
  1. First, decide whether the round will be regulated or unregulated. Make sure you play at least one round of each.
  2. Then, each team rolls the dice to determine its rate of success for that year. Use the table below:

    Roll Success Rate
    2-4 75% (3/4 of traps are full every day)
    5-7 50% (1/2 of traps are full every day)
    8-10 25% (1/4 of traps are full every day)
    11-12 10% (1/10 of traps are full every day)

    Using your success rate, figure out how many lobsters your team caught. For example, if Team 1 rolls a 5, and they have 1 boat and 200 traps, their total catch for an unregulated year is 22,500 lobster (75% success rate x 200 traps x 150 days). If the year is regulated, the total catch for Team 1 will depend on the number of open fishing days that season. If Team 1 rolls a 5 in a regulated year in which there are 116 days of fishing, their total catch will be 17,400. Enter your teamís success rate and catch in the appropriate columns on your spreadsheet.

  3. Choose one person in the class to roll the dice in order to determine the wholesale market price of lobster for the year. Use the table below:

    Roll Price
    2-4 $1 per lobster
    5-7 $.75 per lobster
    8-10 $.50 per lobster
    11-12 $.25 per lobster

    Write the price per lobster on your Class Spreadsheet, under Market. For example, if the market roll is 6 in Year 1, lobsters are worth $1 each.

  4. Calculate your teamís profits for the year, based on the market price of lobster and the number of lobsters you caught. Make sure you subtract the cost of maintenance for your traps and boats. For example, Team 1ís profits in the unregulated Year 1 (market=$1/lobster) would be $18,400 [(22,500 lobster x $1) - $3500 boat costs - $600 trap costs)].
  5. Then, calculate how much cash you have by adding your profit to the amount of cash you began the year with. Depending on how your team did that year, you may wish to buy more traps or another boat. More traps will allow you to catch more lobster. But keep in mind, they will also cost more every year to maintain.
  6. After you have made any purchases you wish to make, prepare your teamís records for Year 2. Enter the number of traps and boats you now own on your spreadsheet. Enter the cash you now have (accounting for what you may have spent on traps or boats) in the column under Cash for Year 2.
  7. Taking the Class Records:
  8. Calculate the total number of lobsters caught that year by all teams. Subtract that number from the total lobster population at the beginning of the year to find the lobster population at the end of the year. Mark those numbers in their appropriate columns on your spreadsheet.
  9. Choose one person in the class to roll the dice in order to determine the rate of growth for the lobster population for that year. Normally, the rate of growth (r) is 0.1 (10%). But certain environmental conditions can affect the growth rate. If the dice show a 3, environmental conditions have made it a good year for lobster reproduction, and the rate of growth doubles (r=0.2). If the dice show an 11, it is a bad year for lobster reproduction, and the rate of growth is 0 (r=0). Enter the environmental factor of 1 (normal), 2 (a good year) or 0 (a bad year) under the column labeled Environment on your Class Spreadsheet. Enter the rate of growth (r) in the appropriate column.
  10. Then, determine the lobster population for the beginning of the next year, using the following formula, where r=rate of growth:
  11. Lobster population for next year = (r) x (lobster population at end of year) + lobster population at end of year

    For example, if there are 1,000,000 lobsters the first year, and a total of 70,000 are caught, there are 930,000 lobsters at the end of the first year. In order to figure out how many lobsters there are at the beginning of the second year, when r=0.1, use the formula:

    Lobster population at end of year = 930,000;
    Lobster population for next year = 0.1(930,000) + 930,000;
    0.1(930,000) = 93,000;
    Lobster population for next year = 93,000 + 930,000;
    Lobster population for next year = 1,023,000

  12. You are now ready to begin playing for Year 2. Repeat all of the steps above, entering all the information you gather in the appropriate columns on your spreadsheets.
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