The devastation felt by Maine’s lobster industry was an alarming warning that climate change is happening so fast, and with such seemingly cruel precision, that the scale of recovery may need to be greater than anyone had realized.
“It just came up shockingly high,” said Allison Melvin, of Greenhead Lobster [Stonington, Maine], who watched as the ocean surged several feet in what seemed like a matter of seconds, buckling a conveyer belt that normally extends from its wharf down to the dock below, inundating forklifts, and lifting a tractor trailer truck used for refrigeration. (Source: Boston Globe)
Maine's Governor, Janet Mills, is warning that things will be going from bad to worse for what is an important industry in her state.
“The ocean is warming, the sea is rising, the winds are wilder, and, perhaps even more importantly, we all know that more storms like these will follow,” Mills said at a special meeting of the state’s Climate Council, which advises the governor and legislature on ways to mitigate the climate crisis. “We have got to act now.”
And addressing the climate change that represents an existential threat to lobstering will not come cheap. Or instantaneously.
But Mainers - especially those who work in tough and dangerous industries like lobstering - are nothing if not resilient. They're survivors. But will the lobsters they catch be? After all, as the waters warm, how will cold water lobsters survive. Those warm water lobsters are just not the same as cold water lobsters, which is what we get locally - a lot from Maine. Our lobsters have claws. Our lobsters taste better. Our lobsters look like lobsters. (C.f., what do you think is pictured on lobster bibs?)
I may not eat a ton of lobsters, but I don't want to see them go.
Just one more thng that climate change is f'ing up.