WABI, PPH highlight findings that warmer, acidic ocean water stresses lobsters

WABI (Channel 5) and the Portland Press Herald reported on a University of Maine study that found lobsters living in ocean water as warm and acidic as the Gulf of Maine is expected to be by the end of the century will be less able to cope with stress or fight off disease. While higher water temperatures and acidification seem to hurt lobsters’ heart function and immune response individually, scientists Amalia Harrington, Robert Harrington, Deborah Bouchard and Heather Hamlin discovered the combined impact of both likely end-of-century environmental conditions will likely leave lobsters especially vulnerable. Hamlin, an associate professor of aquaculture and marine sciences, said this doesn’t mean lobster populations are on the verge of collapse but “it does suggest we need to continue to be vigilant in surveying our lobsters for disease outbreaks, and the possibility of other stressors.”