Maine Fishing Industry May Be Too Dependent on Lobster

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Working Waterfront: The city’s harbor shimmered in the late July sunlight as more than 100 scientists and fishery managers and a handful of fishermen gathered by the waterfront July 31 [2013] for the Island Institute’s 2-day “A Climate of Change” conference. The goal of the gathering was to examine the state of the Gulf of Maine and its fisheries from multiple perspectives.

Outside, the beauty of a Maine summer day on the water reined. But inside at the conference, scientists and fishermen shared their knowledge and observations, redefining the postcard view of the harbor outside the window.

The famous Maine lobster is responsible for about 65% of the value of Maine’s seafood industry. Scientists and fishermen have observed warming water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine and along the coast, which have led to shell disease in lobsters and changes in the molting cycle. The effects of warmer waters could wipe the lobsters out of Maine or shift stocks farther north into colder waters, potentially destabilizing the economy of Maine’s islands and coastal towns.

Read more about Maine’s dependency on lobster.