by Marnie MacLean
(NECN: Marnie MacLean, Portland, Maine) – A Maine environmental group is warning that climate change may be causing problems for the state’s lobster business.
In 2012, lobstermen caught nearly $340 million dollars worth of lobster, and the industry contributed $1 billion in economic activity to the state.
Lobster is a valuable commodity, but according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the resource may be in danger.
“We are beginning to see the effects of climate change in the Gulf of Maine, and what we are seeing should make us worried,” said Emmie Theberge, a member of the NRCM.
In an effort to curb the damage, the NRCM has launched a campaign to educate people about the impact of climate change on lobsters.
Scientists have referred to lobsters as the ‘canary in the coal mine’s of the ocean. When warmer temperatures last summer led lobsters to shed early, the supply spiked sharply, sinking prices and hurting the industry.
This year, things appear to have returned to normal patterns, but scientists warn the overall trend indicates rising temperatures may impact the entire ecosystem of the ocean.
The new campaign to raise awareness kicked off on Thursday, and included posters asking people to “Help Maine lobsters keep their cool, stop global warming.”
The NRCM’s goal is to educate and encourage people to support federal efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to be aware of their own consumption.