Maine is often seen as a safe refuge: no hurricanes, very few tornadoes, no huge floods, no poisonous animals…
But Maine is not immune from climate change.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Lobster Glut Slams Prices,” shows one major effect. The warm winter of 2011-2012–which was 5 degrees above average– led to unusually high ocean temperatures this spring. “It allowed Canadian lobstermen, who typically fish in the early spring, to bring in large catches due to the mild temperatures. And the lobsters that Maine fishermen catch in the summer months—the ones that can’t be shipped live due to their softer shells—arrived six weeks earlier than normal.”
The result: lobster prices are at a 30-year low. Lobstermen aren’t getting enough money per pound to break even, and many have stopped hauling each day. The lobster industry accounts for $300 million per year in the Maine economy. People depend on the summer for a good lobster market.
Needless to say, this is a big issue that is reverberating throughout the state.