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06 Feb 2015: Maine’s Iconic Lobsters
Face Threats From Ocean Acidification

clarkmaxwell/Flickr
A Maine lobster
Maine’s lobster fishery, worth $1.7 billion to the state and a vital source of employment, could be threatened by acidifying ocean waters and rising sea temperatures, according to a new report. The report, issued by a state commission, called increasingly acidic ocean waters — caused by the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere — an “urgent matter” that needs to be addressed by state and local governments and the fishing infustry. Facing the prospect that increasing acidity could interfere with the ability of lobsters to make their shells, the commission set forth a handful of goals, including a stepped-up research effort on the acidification of the coast’s waters and its impact on crustaceans. Maine lawmakers have already introduced legislation to combat ocean acidification, including limits on industrial and agricultural runoff, which contribute to acidification of coastal waters. “A lot of Maine has turned into a single-species fishery now,” said lobsterman and commission member Richard Nelson. “Lobster’s about the only game in town [and] a lot of communities are totally reliant on lobsters.”


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