Lobster shell disease creeping northward to Maine

August 11, 2013 by Clarke Canfield

A shell disease that has plagued the southern New England lobster industry by making lobsters unsightly and in some cases unmarketable appears to be creeping northward to the lobster-rich grounds off Maine.

The number of lobsters with remains tiny in Maine—only three out of every 1,000 lobsters sampled last year had it. But scientists and lobstermen are concerned because the prevalence grew fivefold from 2010 to 2012.

About one in every three or four lobsters caught off southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island has the disease, which is not harmful to humans.

In Maine, observers a few years ago were finding one diseased lobster for every 2,000 sampled. The rate rose to four out of 2,000 in 2011, and to six out of 2,000 in 2012.

Explore further: Study: Like a tree, growth rings show lobster age

Related Stories

Pressure prepares lobsters for long-distance delivery

December 6, 2011

Autumn is the prime season for catching lobsters in the cold waters off New England, and the red shellfish will soon find its way into many winter feasts, from office holiday parties to Christmas dinners and New Year's Eve ...

Sea hares outsmart peckish lobsters with sticky opaline

March 27, 2013

Sea hares are not the favourite food choice of many marine inhabitants, and it's easy to see why when you find out about the chemical weapons they employ when provoked – namely, two unpalatable secretions, ink and opaline, ...

Unusual orange lobster saved from the pot

August 6, 2010

What's unusual about this orange lobster? Its alive! Lobsters are usually a brownish-green colour when living and turn orange when they have been cooked. But a rare live reddish-orange coloured specimen has been spotted in ...

Virulent skin germ grates on Maine lobstering isle

October 6, 2010

(AP) -- A strain of a drug-resistant skin disease that has afflicted sports teams, prisons and military units is now proving a persistent pest among lobstermen and their families on a Maine island.

Recommended for you

Mammal long thought extinct in Australia resurfaces

December 15, 2017

A crest-tailed mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial known only from fossilised bone fragments and presumed extinct in NSW for more than century, has been discovered in Sturt National Park north-west of Tibooburra.

Finding a lethal parasite's vulnerabilities

December 15, 2017

An estimated 100 million people around the world are infected with Strongyloides stercoralis, a parasitic nematode, yet it's likely that many don't know it. The infection can persist for years, usually only causing mild symptoms. ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
1 / 5 (9) Aug 11, 2013
Isn't it amazing how evolution causes a genetic drift towards unsuitable for being eaten?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.