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As Fish Stocks Collapse, Overpopulated Lobsters Resort to Cannibalism 231

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the blame-rusty dept.
The Maine lobster population is booming, but it turns out that's bad news if you're a little lobster: "'We've got the lobsters feeding back on themselves just because they're so abundant,' said Richard Wahle, a marine sciences professor at the University of Maine, who is supervising the research. 'It's never been observed just out in the open like this,' he said." Abundance caused by populations of their predators collapsing.
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As Fish Stocks Collapse, Overpopulated Lobsters Resort to Cannibalism

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  • Next in the news: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyberchondriac (456626) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:10PM (#42193941) Journal
    Mad lobster disease.
  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:15PM (#42194013)

    Mad lobster disease, anyone?

  • Re:So then... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slew (2918) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:36PM (#42194291)

    Why is Lobster still so expensive?

    Originally, lobster was originally poor-people's food. In the USA New-England area in both pre-colonial times, they were so plentiful that native americans and early colonists could simply catch them from tidal pools along the shoreline. This made lobsters cheap food to serve toe prisoners and indentured servant (those that bartered for passage to the "new-world" with labor contracts). With the Cod populations crashing, it sounds like we are going back to those times...

    The reason lobster got expensive was that transportation costs used to be a large part of the price. Also over time, with most profitible businesses, often the infrastructure determines the price more than the supply. People that own parts of the infrastructure (fishing territories, relay-holding ponds, lobster gangs [google.com], etc) demand a price level to keep their profit margin the same even when the underlying commodity supply goes up which would nominally send the price down.

  • Re:Of course, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rickb928 (945187) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:55PM (#42194579) Homepage Journal

    Yes, it is. my mom, when were were young, and on food stamps, used to buy lobster on sale - and people would stare. But a 1 1/4 lb lobster actually goes a long way, better than steak. You get enough to keep 2 pre-teen kids happy, pick the carcass for all the leftover meat and get a nice stew for another meal minimum. We were 5 kids, so 4 lobsters would feed us for 3 dinners, about $12-15 on sale. Not that we complained much...

  • Re:Exactly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by denis-The-menace (471988) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:23PM (#42194935)

    And we will.

    I remember reading about a TV show with Dean Stockwell that predicted 911 and was predicting a massive reduction in world population.

    Now I know how it will happen:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/peak-phosphorus-and-food-production-2012-12 [businessinsider.com]

    This, add Monsanto and laws against keeping seeds and voila: Starvation.

  • Never been observed? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @03:56PM (#42195227) Homepage Journal

    Maybe you're too young to remember, or you can't find it easily on the Internets, but back in the 60s when I was a kid, my family used to own French House Island off Jonesport in Maine, and we'd be up there every summer.

    It had been observed then.

    Now, that said, there's nothing better than Maine Lobster. We used to make blueberry pancakes from the blueberries on the island, and eat fresh lobster in butter, as well as clams we dug up and mussels.

    But just because you can't find it observed this century doesn't mean it's "never been observed".

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