PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A University of Maine marine scientist says the number of young lobsters is declining in the Gulf of Maine despite years of record-breaking harvests.
Rick Wahle quantifies the population of baby lobsters at monitoring sites in New England and Canada every year. His American Lobster Settlement Index shows monitoring sites from New Brunswick to Cape Cod had some of the lowest levels since the late 1990's or early 2000's.
He says there's been a 10-year trend now of high egg production but declining numbers of baby lobsters. Scientists and fishermen are working to better understand it.
Wahle is co-chairing an international conference on lobster management this week in Portland, Maine. The state accounts for the largest percentage of the U.S. lobster caught yearly.