Lobster Cannibalism Now Linked to Climate Change

New research suggests that increased water temperatures from global warming could be causing lobsters to eat each other in the wild
flickr_BernstRostad New research points to climate change as the cause for increased lobster cannibalism in the wild.

New research suggests that climate change could be at the root of lobster cannibalism.

We’ve revealed to you that lobsters can adopt cannibalistic behavior under certain conditions such as crowded captivity in restaurant tanks, but this new research shows that more and more lobsters are turning on each other and their young out in the wild, as well.

The statistics are disturbing: Repeated experiments have revealed that young lobsters are 90 percent more likely to be attacked and eaten by fellow lobsters than by any other type of fish. 

Researchers like Noah Oppenheim, a biologist studying the New England marine ecosystem, blame the rising ocean water temperatures for the increase in lobster cannibalism.  Over the past ten years, the average temperature of the coastal waters has increased by more than three degrees, which is an alarmingly large jump.

Oppenheim stated that, as water temperatures rise, lobsters produce more offspring and grow larger. The lobster cannibalism thus occurs when there are too many lobsters and not enough natural food for them to share. 

This isn’t merely a problem for the baby lobsters, either. Lobster fishermen are experiencing the lowest market prices they’ve seen since the Great Depression.

Faced with high labor and production costs and low market returns, lobster fisherman could be facing a tough year ahead. Keep this in mind the next time you check out the price of a lobster dish at your favorite seafood restaurant.

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