New research suggests that warming ocean temperatures hurt the crustacean’s chance for survival.
The study found that baby lobsters – the larvae – have a hard time surviving in water five degrees warmer than the typical temperatures in the Gulf of Maine.
Not only does that not bode well for the future, but Jesica Waller with the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center says we’re already seeing the effects of warmer water temperatures on the crustaceans.
“Here in Maine the water’s still cool enough that the lobsters still really like to be here, but down at the southern end of the American Lobster’s range, down in Rhode Island, Connecticut, that area the water’s already begun to get too warm for them, and so they’re moving northward,” Waller told KCBS.
Waller says the warmer temperatures are predicted to hit the Gulf of Maine by the end of the century, but she adds that this study is just the beginning.
“There’s still so much to understand,” Waller said.
Lobster fishing plays a large role in Maine’s coastal economy.