In this Sept. 3, 2018, file photo, a lobster walks on the ocean floor near a lobster trap off Biddeford Pool. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Marine officials in Maine are going to try to find a more efficient way to examine the size at which female lobsters reach maturity.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources said the work will be funded by a grant of about $100,000 from the 2020 National Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative. The department said the work is important because regulators use the information to predict the growth of female lobsters and estimate egg production.

The department said it plans to use the Sea Grant funding to research a new method that uses blood drawn from lobsters to examine protein levels that indicate whether they are able to reproduce. The work could yield a more cost effective and efficient method of studying an important metric about the lobster fishery, the department said.