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Maritime

Gulf Stream Moved Farther North Last Fall

Written by  Stephen Rappaport Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 10:36 am
Glen Gawarkiewicz Glen Gawarkiewicz Photo by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

ELLSWORTH — Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) may have figured out why lobster prices fell to their lowest level in decades last spring.

Or maybe not.

Glen Gawarkiewicz, a senior scientist in WHOI’s physical oceanography department, and five of his colleagues recently published their findings that in October of 2011, the core of the Gulf Steam at the edge, or break, of the Continental Shelf had pushed 125 miles north of its usual position near Georges Bank. It was the farthest north at that longitude that the Gulf Stream had ever been observed.

This past spring when the lobster fishing season got under way, dealers were soon inundated by huge quantities of soft-shelled shedders lobstermen landed along much of the Maine coast. With Canadian processors dealing with their own glut of locally caught lobsters, the price of Maine lobsters almost collapsed and many desperate lobstermen were selling their catch to retail shoppers for less than $2 a pound.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport, Waterfront Editor of The Ellsworth American, has lived in Maine for more than 20 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats.

Website: ellsworthamerican.com
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