Lobster populations in southern New England have collapsed to levels never seen before. The lobster catch in RI is 1/3 of what it was in the 1990s while CT’s lobster population has all but disappeared. Southern MA is feeling the pinch as well. Meanwhile, Maine is having its fourth straight year of 100 million pound lobster hauls.
As you can see in the above chart, the lobster population in southern New England (SNE) peaked in 1999 and has been on a steep downward slide since.
Why are they dropping so fast?
Some of the reasons suggested as to why the population of lobsters are declining include overfishing and climate change resulting in warmer waters in SNE. Lobsters prefer cool waters.
A science committee of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is expected to release a report addressing this problem along with suggestions which might include a moratorium on lobster fishing until stocks are replenished.
Lobster prices are high right now even with record hauls in Maine, the king of lobster producing states.