by Eric Randall | July 24, 2013 10:37 am
How’s this for a D-list horror plot? Off the coast of Maine, an odd atmospheric phenomenon called “climate change” has the sea temperatures warming, and the state’s ubiquitous lobster population is acting a little … strange. They’re breeding like bunnies. They’re growing to abnormally large sizes. And they’re … eating each other! Can a young marine biologist get to the bottom of it before the lobsters start craving … human flesh?!
That’s the winking premise (well, minus the human flesh part) of a new report by Climate Desk, a collaborative project supported by several national media outlets. In a video, reporters follow Noah Oppenheim, a marine biology graduate student at the University of Maine, who is documenting the lobster-on-lobster crime. In the video, Oppenheim puts a baby lobster in a contraption with a camera and infrared light shining over it, then drops it in the water to see what kind of creatures are feeding on it. In the past, the lobster’s predators have mostly been fish. Because lobsters have grown in size and number to such an extent that there isn’t much to eat them or for them to eat, there’s a new lobster predator in town: bigger lobster. Oppenheim’s camera witnessed one go Hannibal Lobster on the baby.
Campy horror film tropes aside, the serious story in all this, as ClimateDesk reports, is that Maine lobstermen are already suffering from the population boom’s effect on lobster prices. Worse, a similar population boom in the Long Island Sound in the 1990s was followed by a decimation of the lobster population there. If warming seawaters bring that same trend north to Maine, where the industry dominates, thing might get legitimately scary.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2013/07/24/here-is-a-video-about-cannibal-lobsters-in-maine/
Copyright ©2018 Boston Magazine unless otherwise noted.