Maine, Maryland institutions to study warm waters, lobsters

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — A group of institutions from Maine and Maryland is using a National Science Foundation grant to study the impact the warming of New England waters is having on baby lobsters.

The grant is for $860,000 and a spokesman for the University of New England said the school will share it with Hood College in Maryland, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine and the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The work will focus on the Gulf of Maine, which is a critical fishing ground for the lobster industry and is warming faster than most of the world’s oceans.

Markus Frederich, the lead scientist for University of New England’s part of the project, said the work will focus on “studying how temperature influences how larvae settle, where they settle, and how successfully they settle.”

Baby lobsters settle at the ocean bottom so they can begin to grow into adults. Fishermen can trap them when they reach legal size.