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The Enigma Behind America's Freak, 20-year Lobster Boom

Oct 6, 2015

Quartz: Finally, thanks to warmer seas and plum new habitats, more babies than before are surviving.

Statistics seem to bear that out: Even if you strip away the overall trend and focus on the discrete changes, the warming trend and the leap in lobster landings line up pretty clearly, says Andrew Pershing, chief scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI).
 
But the causal effect suggested in this relationship isn’t as obvious as it might seem.

“That [correlation] could be [a sign of] more lobsters over the 30 year period,” says Pershing, “But year to year, it’s also that in warm years we catch more lobsters—you basically have this period in the summer where it’s warmer and lobsters are active and you can catch them really quickly.”