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'We live in a lobstocracy': Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change

Dec 8, 2018

The Guardian: Andrew Pershing, chief scientific officer at GMRI, says it is tempting to think that lobster populations are migrating with temperature, but that is not the case.

“It’s more that the populations that are here can become more or less productive. So lobsters in southern New England, they just can’t produce baby lobsters at the same rate our lobsters can and they have higher mortality, so fewer of them survive to reproduce,” he said

“If we don’t get carbon under control and we’re looking at three degrees [celsius] of warming by the end of the century, Maine starts to feel like best case Rhode Island and worst case New Jersey,” said Pershing. “And nobody is putting lobsters on license plates in New Jersey.”

“We can see the effects. We can see different species coming up in the traps,” said Genevieve McDonald, a Stonington lobsterman. “Climate change is real. If you work on the water you can see it. Data is real, science is real, temperature is real.”

Senior GMRI Scientists Involved in the Project: