Jun 17, 2019 | Updated: 11:38 AM EDT

Baby Lobster Population Is Declining In The Gulf Of Maine

Jun 06, 2017 04:35 AM EDT

Isabel Schmalenbach, an environmental scientist with the Helgoland Biological Institute (Biologische Anstalt Helgoland), part of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Despite all efforts, the number of the baby lobster is decreasing in the Gulf of Maine. Marine Scientist Rick Wahle has revealed this important fact recently.

Every year marine scientist at the University of Maine, Rick Wahle, quantifies baby lobster population at the monitoring sites in Canada and New England. The recently released American Lobster Settlement Index of Wahle indicates lowest levels of the baby lobster population at some key monitoring sites. The sites had the lowest levels since the late 1990s or the early 2000s.

These sites begin from New Brunswick and stretch to Cape Cod. Lobster harvest is the main source of the fishery in New England and also the key focus of popular tourism industry there. But, the decreasing number of the baby lobster creates a huge concern for the lobstermen as it could affect their future years, ABC News reported.

The declining trend warns about the future of the popular lobster harvesting. Wahle says the egg production of lobster has been increasing for the last ten years. But, surprisingly the total number of the baby lobsters is decreasing.

Scientists and the fishermen are trying to understand the reason behind these changes in the population of the baby lobster. They are working to explore the outcomes of these changes. One key factor behind it is the reducing amount of the copepod that a baby lobster prefers to eat.

Another possible important factor is the rising number of the predators of the baby lobsters. Wahle opines that scientists should understand this important issue to prepare a better future for the lobster fishery. Every year Maine accounts for the huge percentage of the U.S. lobster catch that helps to bloom the industry in the recent years.

 Last year lobster catch reached to 130 million pounds. Notably, in 2015 the total lobster catch in the U.S. climbed to $620 million. It is the core or main industry in the Maine that needs utmost attention. The decreasing trend in the population of the baby lobster may affect the coastal economy of the state.

Wahle points out that the declining lobster production may impact the future coastal economy of the state. The president of the Maine Lobstermen's Association, David Cousens, also agreed. Cousens utters that they need to find out the reason behind the diminishing number of the baby lobsters. He also opines that efforts need to be taken to reduce the global warming.

The Guardian reported that it is difficult for the baby lobsters to survive in the warm ocean water. Scientists in Maine performed a study and discovered an essential fact. They revealed that the lobster larvae struggled for surviving in the water that was five degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the required temperature.

This discovery is no doubt a bad news as it could hamper the lobster industry. The study could be taken as the wake-up call to save the lobster fishery that is facing a looming climate crisis. The population of the baby lobster mainly helps to flourish the said fishery as well as the industry.

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