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Lobster Mystery - molting season way ahead of normal schedule


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Gulf of Maine lobstermen are seeing soft-shell (shedders) in their catch three months early. This has never happened in recorded lobster season history.

story here:


Carl Wilson, a marine research scientist and lead lobster biologist with the state Department of Marine Resources, said the early arrival of shedders could just be an early kick-off to the season. But, it could also signify a change in the normal lobstering schedule.

Wilson said that if the season comes without a big shedding boom, it could mean confusion and volatility in the industry, even if the total volume caught is about average.

This is a quiet period for lobster fishing. Most harvesters are on shore fixing gear and painting their boats. Normal harvest is about 2 million lbs versus 20 million in August/September.

We had an abnormally warm winter this year, so the ocean temps (about 48F now) could be bringing lobsters to shallow water to molt early. Will they all be done shedding three months early too?

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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When I cruised into eG earlier, and saw the header line on this, my initial reaction was that it must be due to the unnaturally warm winter in most of the country, so I'll cast my vote for that as well. In which case, I agree that everything will be accelerated in areas where this condition had an impact. Here on the West Coast, we were colder and drier than normal, so we're on the other side of the pendulum.


"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

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