Gulf of Maine Losing Lobster as Waters Become Uninhabitable

Maine lobster, cod, herring, and other commercial species of fish are being forced to migrate to escape rapidly warming waters in the Gulf of Maine
Flickr/Ted Van Pelt Lobster and other long-established species of fish are leaving the Gulf of Maine as the waters become increasingly inhospitable.

The legendary lobster population of Maine may soon be gone, according to some terrifying research from scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who warn that the waters of the Gulf of Maine are heating up 99 percent faster than the world’s oceans.

“Long-established species of commercial fish, like cod, herring and northern shrimp, are departing for colder waters,” reports The Associated Press. “Black sea bass, blue crabs and new species of squid — all highly unusual for the Gulf — are turning up in fishermen's nets.”

As these species depart for more hospitable waters, “the Gulf's unique ecosystem and the lucrative fishing industries it supports for three U.S. states and two Canadian provinces” are both at risk.

Although scientists are not sure why the Gulf of Maine is heating at such an accelerated rate, many researchers suggest that a series of atmospheric events make the Gulf home to a “perfect storm” of harmful conditions. Historically, the Gulf of Maine has been “one of the most productive marine ecosystems,” but is now increasingly unable to sustain the species it once supported.

For a time, warmer waters contributed to an abundance of lobster, but the same is no longer true, and lobster have been forced to move north, and with them, many commercial species of fish. 

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy

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