Letter: Lobster tale reveals consequences of warming

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To the editor:

Due to climate change, the temperature in the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99 percent of the rest of the world's oceans, according to Earth and Space Science News, and has had economic and ecological implications here along the Northeast seaboard. The current of deep cold saltier water flowing south from the North Atlantic to the Gulf of Maine has decreased due to the massive amount of fresh water runoff into the sea from melting glaciers in Greenland. The relatively shallow depth of the Gulf of Maine and ocean warming have also contributed to the increase in temperature in the Gulf of Maine.

Lobster is one of the most important single species fishery in the U.S. but due to climate change the distribution of lobsters has been shifting north, now favoring Maine with about 80 percent of the catch, compared to Massachusetts' 10 percent. Increasing temperature increases the likelihood of disease, decreases reproduction capacity, overall health of lobsters and has caused the lobster productivity in southern New England to significantly decrease along with the collapse of lobster fisheries there.

Tensions between U.S. and Canadian lobsterman have been escalating due to the northward shift of lobster population at the border with accusations of gear stealing and sabotaging lines in an area claimed by both countries and is detailed in the documentary "Lobster Wars" by David Abel. The lobster population continues to shift northward and most of the lobsters may be in Canadian water within 30 years according to Business Insider. Climate change has real consequences in terms of jobs, profits and food resources as well as relations between countries.

Timothy Wright,

Pittsfield

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