Phys.org publishes UMaine news release on lobster molt timing, ocean warming
Phys.org published a University of Maine news release about a new study that found variation in lobster molt timing has been increasing in recent years and is related to changing ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Maine. The study was prompted by an extreme shift in timing of lobster landings in 2012, when they landed much earlier than usual. This shift was attributed to early molt and coincided with a warming trend that began in 2012, and directly impacted lobster fishing communities, the article states. The research team was led by then UMaine graduate student Kevin Staples, who was pursuing a dual master’s degree in marine biology and marine policy, and also included UMaine School of Marine Sciences researchers Yong Chen, David Townsend and Damian Brady. Lobsters molting earlier than expected could become the new normal as variability in ocean temperature continues to increase, according to Staples, who is currently contract staff for the Northeast Regional Ocean Council. Penobscot Bay Pilot also published the release.