Lobster populations are declining in many key areas. In the past decade, Maine’s lobster population has decreased by 140%. Long Island Sound lobsters are also on the decline. One of the factors contributing to this population loss in the Northeast region is a disease that rots lobster shells, which first escalated during the mid-1990s. Lobsters become vulnerbale to this disease and other due to chemicals called alkylphenols (found in plastics and paints), which can affect development and increase the time needed to make a hardened shell (increasing the risk of contracting pathogens). Other threats include invasive species, pollution, climate change and oil spills. While the lobster industry is taking a hit, lobster populations aren’t quite endangered–yet.
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