Scientist: baby lobster population falling amid big catches

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A marine scientist with the University of Maine says the number of young lobsters is falling in the Gulf of Maine despite years of record-breaking harvests.

Rick Wahle’s American Lobster Settlement Index quantifies the population of baby lobsters at dozens of sites in New England and Canada every year. Wahle says most monitoring sites from New Brunswick to Cape Cod reported some of the lowest levels since the late 1990s or early 2000s.

Wahle says a trend toward high egg production but declining numbers of baby lobsters has been going on for about ten years. Scientists and fishermen are working to better understand it.

Wahle is co-chairing the 11th International Conference & Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management this week in Portland. Marine environment’s a focus of the conference.

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