Long Island Sound Lobsters Dying

According to a report in the Stamford Advocate, Connecticut fishermen claim a massive lobster die-off may be underway in western Long Island Sound. The lobstermen say local lobsters are dying at a rate not seen since the fall of 1999, when 95 percent of the lobsters in the sound died. According to the article, the number of lobsters trapped in Long Island Sound has declined by nearly 90 percent since 1998, but local lobstermen saw a slight uptick in numbers last year and said they have been seeing signs of a rebound this summer.

Fishermen and state environmental officials aren’t sure what is causing lobsters to die off in large numbers now, but many local lobstermen suspect the use of pesticides to kill mosquitoes are to blame. Others say the hot summer, combined with recent rains and winds, are churning the waters of the Sound, causing the bottom to heat up to temperatures lobsters cannot withstand.

An official from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Marine Fisheries Division says what is particularly disturbing about this die-off is that it includes more than lobsters. Other species, such as blue and green crabs, have also been turning up dead.

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The Stamford Advocate