Wahle’s lobster research featured in Down East magazine

Down East magazine published an article focused on research conducted by Richard Wahle, a professor in the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and director of UMaine’s Lobster Institute. After more than 30 years of ever-increasing landings, the Maine lobster catch plunged 16 percent in 2017, and scientists and fishermen are concerned that it may prove to be a grim turning point, according to the article. “A lot of the work we’re doing is trying to understand how environmental and fishing pressures are influencing trends in the abundance of lobsters, both geographically and over time,” said Wahle, a marine ecologist who has been studying lobsters around the world for 30 years. Scientists like Wahle believe a combination of factors contributed to the lobster boom, but the biggest contributor appears to be climate change, the article states. “We’re interested in testing nursery monitoring as a forecasting tool or early warning system for the fishery: do ups and downs in baby-lobster settlement translate into ups and downs in the fishery?” Wahle asked. “The value of having a predictor tool is greater than ever because we’re so precariously dependent on this single fishery right now.” Saving Seafood also published the Down East article.