WALPOLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- 2016 was another record year for Maine lobster. Fishermen brought in over one hundred and thirty million pounds of lobster, with a value of five hundred and thirty-three million dollars at the dock.
Scientists tasked with figuring out the future of the industry say while Maine is currently the "Goldilocks zone for lobster" with water temperatures between 54 and 68 degrees, the ocean is warming and that will have an impact on future landings.
"Our indicators are we may be falling off this bubble in Eastern Maine in the next few years," said Rick Wahle, a research professor at the University of Maine's Darling Marine Center in Walpole.
Wahle says they are seeing a lot of lobster larvae hatching but fewer making it to the nursery as lobster babies. They can't explain the disconnect just yet but it could be related to warmer ocean waters that impact the food the larvae eat or perhaps new predators.
Scientists say their current data shows the record breaking landings may start to decline in the next few years, but even with warmer ocean waters Maine should continue to have a healthy lobster industry into the next century.