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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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  • Of course, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbstone (457308) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:05PM (#42193873)

    If you want to order lobster in a restaurant they will still charge "Market Price."

  • by calexontheroad66 (975611) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:10PM (#42193939)
    It's a worrisome development and means that overfishing is collapsing the local ecosystem.
    It's no joke, and it's happening all over the world, the scenario is converging for a catastrophic decline in fish populations.
  • Re:Of course, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:13PM (#42193991)

    There is a good, free market, reason for this. If you live outside Maine, the cost of shipping live lobsters is mostly keeping them alive (water is heavy, temperatures need to be maintained, etc.). If you live in Maine, then the restaurants aren't limited by the price of their food, but by their seating/serving capacity. They can charge their normal price, and still fill all their seats, so why lower the price?

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

    by mr1911 (1942298) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:14PM (#42193999)

    If you want to order lobster in a restaurant they will still charge "Market Price."

    Yes. Market price is what you, or the diner seated at the next table, are willing to pay. This price has nothing to do with their cost of procurement.

  • Re:Of course, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by omnichad (1198475) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:16PM (#42194025) Homepage

    You can have your Lobster Lobster, but you can't have Kobe Kobe. Kobe beef refers to more than just a specific breed of cattle. It refers to how they're fed, too.

  • Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:21PM (#42194095)

    We go to the market and see the fish case always stocked. But the thing to realize, that as species are being fished out, they fill the case with other species. And prices on some species are skyrocketing.

    Farming isn't very viable in many cases because they feed the farmed fish wild caught fish and the cages pollute the ecosystem so badly that the wild fish start to die out. Trout and Talpia are the only ones IIRC that are farmed sustainably - definitely not salmon.

    And the thing that kills me, the next time you look at the fish case in the super market, bare in mind that at least half of what's in there will be thrown away.

    We are so wasteful that it's just disgusting.

  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @02:29PM (#42194201) Journal
    It's no joke, and it's happening all over the world, the scenario is converging for a catastrophic decline in fish populations.

    Oh, come on, think of the bright side - This means great news for swarms of inedible poisonous jellyfish that can now thrive in the absence of their natural predators!

    You didn't like swimming, did you?
  • Re:Exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @06:06PM (#42196971)
    Or we'll develop some technology that makes the food-related cost similar to what it is now. That's another "invisible hand" thing that happens. Before we chicken-little maybe we should consider the availability of phosphorus outside of the obvious sources.

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