Monday, July 16, 2012

Global Warming-Fueled Maine Lobster Boom: A BAD Thing?

Maine Lobster from EricI've covered how global warming will be bad for lobsters from Massachusetts to Virginia, stressing them out with higher temperatures. But further north, warmer water has been great news for Maine lobsters, who've been booming in population. You'd think that would be good news for lobstermen, but instead the global warming-fueled Maine lobster glut has sent prices tumbling:
Harbors up and down the coast of Maine are filled with idle fishing boats, as lobster haulers decide that pulling in their lobster pots has become a fruitless pursuit.

Prices at the dock have fallen to as low as $1.25 a pound in some areas—roughly 70% below normal and a nearly 30-year-low for this time of year, according to fishermen, researchers and officials. The reason: an unseasonably warm winter created a supply glut throughout the Atlantic lobster fishery.
What about consumers, aren't they enjoying lower prices? Not unless you live in Maine:
Retail lobster prices in Maine have started to fall along with the glut, and Mr. Bayer said that some fishermen have begun selling lobsters out of their trucks for as low as $4 a pound. But consumers elsewhere in the U.S. aren't likely to see bargains. The Maine lobsters that currently are in season can't be shipped long distances due to their soft shells, and retailers have other fixed costs that limit big price drops.
While warmer ocean temperatures are clearly tied to man-made global warming and June was the 4th-hottest on record globally, the article in the Wall Street Journal (motto: "Fox, Print Edition") doesn't even mention climate change.
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