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Baby lobster numbers low off New England as waters warm

The count, part of a trend, is raising concerns about the size of future commercial hauls.

PORTLAND, Maine — Editor's note: The video above aired Nov. 12, 2021.

New data show the population of baby lobsters off New England is below average, raising concerns about the size of future commercial hauls of the valuable crustaceans as waters warm.

The baby lobsters settle at the bottom of the ocean, take shelter, and grow.

Members of the fishing industry closely watch trends about lobster settlement because they provide an insight into what adult lobster populations, which are trapped by fishermen, could look like in future years.

University of Maine scientist Rick Wahle, who has documented baby lobster density for decades, said a trend of below average settlement numbers in the Gulf of Maine extended into 2021.

Credit: AP
FILE - Scientist Diane Cowan reads a caliper while measuring a juvenile lobster on the shore of Friendship Long Island, Maine, in the s August 2014 file photo. Studies have shown a steady decline of baby lobsters at New England sample sites over the last several years. Lobsters take about five to eight years to reach maturity. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files)


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