Maine Lobstermen Keep Eye on Shell Disease

The disease causes black spots that often turn into deep holes in lobster's outer shells. Photo: Barbara Somers, Rhode Island Sea Grant & the University of Rhode Island
Lobster shell disease is caused by bacteria that grows on the shell of the crustacean, turning it mottled black. The disease does not affect the meat of the lobster, but renders the animal unmarketable. Photo: Barbara Somers, Rhode Island Sea Grant & the University of Rhode Island

PressHerald.com: A shell disease that has plagued the southern New England lobster industry for years by making lobsters unsightly and in some cases unmarketable appears to be creeping northward to the lobster-rich grounds off the coast of Maine.

The number of lobsters suffering from shell disease remains tiny in Maine — only three out of every 1,000 lobsters sampled last year had the disease. But scientists and lobstermen are concerned because the prevalence grew fivefold from 2010 to 2012.

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