10:30 am - 11:30 am
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The American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery is not only Maine’s most valuable marine resource, it is also the most valuable species harvested in the United States. Maine’s lobster is perhaps the only species in the world to have been heavily fished for well over a century but is doing better in recent years than ever before with record landings in 2016. One might think this is a fishery with few worries now or in the future. However, challenges for this fishery have never been greater. Today, the economic impact of COVID-19, international trade problems, concerns about the northern right whale and bait shortages all weigh heavily on everyone who fishes for lobsters on the Maine coast. While many of those concerns will hopefully be resolved in the next several years, a less conspicuous but a longer-term concern relates to climate change. The warming Gulf of Maine has generally improved conditions for baby lobster abundance but big changes may be occurring to where lobsters live.