Friday, October 31, 2014

Scientists: Cancel Maine Shrimp Season Again Because Of Rising Ocean Temperatures | ThinkProgress

We won't be waiting for the Margaret E to come in, low in the stern, heavy with shrimp on a snowy winter evening.  Not this year - and perhaps not for several years to come. 
Unfortunately Maine's Tea Party climate-change skeptic Governor Paul LePage is likely to be re-elected because Eliot Cutler - who claims to be a progressive - has not had the courage to quit the race.  he could have had the Democratic nomination but refused to seek it.  Instead he thought he could go the independent route.  But, snubbed by Cutler, the Democrats put up a strong candidate - Congressman Mike Michaud.  Now Cutler has only the spoiler role to play.  Maine's fishermen will have blunt talk but no friend in the State House. if LePage wins out over the divided opposition. - gwc
Scientists: Cancel Maine Shrimp Season Again Because Of Rising Ocean Temperatures | ThinkProgress:
"After an alarming report of a collapsed fishery cancelled the shrimp season in the Gulf of Maine last year due to higher water temperatures, it seemed unthinkable to locals that it would happen again. “There are definitely still people that were holding out hope that we might be able to get in a bit of a season this year,” said Ben Martens, who runs the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. But that’s exactly what a team of scientific experts told the federal regulators who will make the call next week in a draft report, according to the AP.

The scientists on the Northern Shrimp Technical Committee told the regulatory body known as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that “the depleted condition of the resource” — meaning the shrimp population — can be blamed on “long term trends in environmental conditions.” And the culprit, according to the AP’s take on the draft report, is “rising ocean temperatures.”

Maine’s collapsing fisheries are on the bleeding edge of what climate change could look like in many places around the world. A study being conducted by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute has found the area’s oceans are warming up faster than 99 percent of the planet’s oceans, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.
The institute’s Chief Scientific Officer, Andrew Pershing, said that “the trend we have in the Gulf Of Maine Right now over the last ten years, is about 8 times faster than that global rate.” Pershing pointed out the appearance of species that normally live in warmer, southern waters, like the Black Sea Bass and long fin squid, as signs of warming waters off Maine’s coast. “The decline of the shrimp fishery, I think that’s another one that has a very strong finger-print of warming,” he added. Maine’s Northern shrimp catch has declined sharply since it hit a high of around 12 million pounds in 2010, essentially bottoming out at 563,313 pounds in 2013. Regulators estimate that the total shrimp population dropped even more sharply — by a factor of 14."

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