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Gulf of Maine Fishermen Face Warming ‘Double Whammy’

Jan 13, 2016

Climate Central: The changes projected by NOAA’s model were published last week in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. They suggest there will be a “real transformation of this ecosystem,” said Andrew Pershing, a Gulf of Maine Research Institute scientist.

Pershing has studied temperature changes underway in the waterway, linking them to what scientists have described as the “collapse” of the cod fishery. He was not involved with the new research.

“It’s really challenging when you think about managing the fisheries,” Pershing said. “We’re going to have to start to look forward, and not be managing for the past.”

Warming waters are expected to continue to reduce populations of cod and northern shrimp in the gulf, Pershing said, and to expand those of squid, black sea bass and hake. Lobster populations are also being affected, rising in some areas and falling in others.