Undercurrent News cites Wahle in report on Maine lobster decline
Rick Wahle, a research professor at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, spoke with Undercurrent News for the report, “Maine lobsters still hard to find, but prices climbing back for harvesters.” Wahle said it’s not yet clear what’s behind the low harvest. He has been investigating whether climate change may be responsible, causing lobster settlements to spread out into warmer water now found deeper and farther out from shore, according to the article. Wahle launched his annual survey of lobster settlement areas in 1989, which the state has since taken over, sending divers to as many 80 sites every fall. Using a new approach to expand the survey, researchers have recently confirmed lobsters are living as deep as 80 meters down, Wahle said. Juvenile lobsters are in low numbers and the deeper settlements are scattered and small — all findings that do not bode well for future harvests, the article states. “The jury is still out, except for the fact that we have been seeing a pretty consistent downturn in settlements,” Wahle said.