The Problem With Cheap Lobster

Jul 23 2012 @ 3:45pm

Lobster_GT

The latest victim of climate change's economic impact: Maine's 5,000 lobstermen. Prices have fallen as low as $1.25 a pound – 70% below their usual rate. Yale Environment 360 explains:

Warmer Atlantic Ocean temperatures off the coast of Maine have caused the state’s bountiful supply of lobsters to shed their shells and come onto the market six weeks earlier than normal, creating a glut that has driven prices sharply down.

Cheap lobster might sound like a "nice problem to have" for consumers. But apparently not:

If you’re thinking "Yummy, cheap lobster rolls for everyone!" or guiltily conceding that maybe climate change isn’t all bad, what with warm winters and "too many lobsters," you might want to slow your (lobster) roll. Because the fact is, while this lobster glut issue is good news for a few people in Maine who can currently buy lobsters off the truck for $4 per pound, it’s bad news for lobstermen and nature, and no news for us, as the young lobsters being harvested have shells so thin they can’t be transported.

(Photo: A lobster roll is seen at Benny's Famous Fried Clams on July 21, 2012 in Portland, Maine. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)