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Researchers Discontinue Annual Lobster Season Forecast After Complaints From Industry

Photo by Rex Sorgatz via Creative Commons

A Portland-based research institute is dropping its yearly forecast of when lobster landings in Maine will begin their annual surge.

The move comes after criticism from Maine’s lobster industry about the report’s timing and accuracy, and its effect on lobster prices.

In June 2012, lobsters off the Maine coast began to shed their hard shells, becoming more active and moving inshore earlier than their usual first-week-of-July migration.

“We had record warm temperatures, we had an early start to the summer lobster fishery, lots of lobsters coming inshore almost a month ahead of what they normally do,” says Andrew Pershing, chief scientist at Portland’s Gulf of Maine Research Institute. “The supply chain wasn’t ready for them and the price collapsed that summer, and it was very scary and stressful time on the coast.”