No baloney: Global Warming creates a largesse of lobster

Lobster plate

Lobster plate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who says “global warming” doesn’t have some positive value? Well I guess if you are a tofu chomping green that recoils at the thought of eating lobster, you wouldn’t see this in a positive light, but many people do.

Miguel Rakiewicz submits this in WUWT Tips and Notes today:

Newly abundant and much cheaper lobster thanks to Global Warming.
———————————

A story published in The Toronto Star in print on Saturday, 07 July 2012, and on the web on Friday, 06 July 2012, (06 July 2012) http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1223031–lobster-is-now-cheaper-than-cold-cuts-in-some-places-mclobster-anyonereveals that lobster prices have gone down substantially enough to make it much more accessible to the average consumer.

On Friday, oversupply pushed the price to fishermen down to $2.50 a pound in Maine and $4 in Canada.

As the text proceeds, it eventually gets to the reason for this economic and culinary miracle:Global Warming.

” [ Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada ] blames global warming and increasing water temperatures for the current oversupply. The Maine lobsters have come to market a month early, because of the warm spring temperatures, he said. ”

A lobster, or more, in every pot is the gift of Global Warming. An interesting new slide for
Al Gore’s next show.

==============================================================

Of course a warm spring doesn’t prove anything and we should remember that seafood is not climate. OTOH, we’ve been lectured that this warm spring is a likely signature of global warming, so I suppose we can posit a connection.

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72 thoughts on “No baloney: Global Warming creates a largesse of lobster

  1. Sounds to me that Geoff Irvine of the Lobster council blamed warn spring temperatures and the author of the article, Francine Kopun, turned that into Global Warming. Which, in and of itself, says a lot.

  2. More than likely the price has dropped due to less spare dollars more than anything else as we in the west go broke subsidising looney green schemes. That said the price of crustaceans may as well be the next proxy evidence for AGW in AR5 for all the accuracy it offers.

  3. Let’s work for a green bringing global temps down….lobsters must
    stay exclusive for us gourmees, and is no food for Jim and Joe…

  4. [SNIP: This had nothing to do with the thread. Please do not abuse guest priviliges by trying to lure readers to your site this way. -REP]

  5. What a load of rubbish!
    Warm spring does not warm the oceans and lobsters who live in the bottom of the sea (or at least some meters below the surface) are not subject to weather like that.
    More probable cause is low demand for the product bring the prices down .

    • Its economic: I read that lobsters breed and need 11 C constant
      temps and dont want higher and lower temps….. they could have
      migrated South/North on the sea floor if they liked it warmer or
      colder….

  6. And if there had been an unusual delay because of a cold spring, there would have been nary a word.

    Pooh. It has to be AGW to provide an excuse for statist meddling and the elimination of economic freedom.

    In many ways the Green Economy is nothing more than 21st century mercantilism for the politically connected. If we do not get a handle on that reality, mercantilism will squelch widespread prosperity.

    And then it will be visible serfdom.

  7. This is good news if you like eating the large “insects of the sea”. For my palate I’ll take shrimp, fish that’s good with tartar sauce, and “chicken of the sea”. I’ll accept clam chowder, New England style only, hold the grit.

  8. “Well I guess if you are a tofu chomping green that recoils at the thought of eating lobster, you wouldn’t see this in a positive light, but many people do.”

    It’s sentences like this that really let one know they’re reading one of the best “science” blogs on the internet.

  9. ISTR reading that in colonial America, lobster was considered “trash food”, and that jailed prisoners in New England complained of being forced to eat it.

  10. As we all know, global warming is the certain cause of almost any minor aberration in the weather, animal/bird/insect behaviour, and God knows what else – the list seems endless.

    So Todd, as there is virtually no real science in ‘climate science’, it is fun to point out the stupid statements and beliefs of the CAGW faithful. It is much less fun to constantly have to decipher and expose the fraudulent practices of the CAGW cult leadership, which include massive data manipulation to ‘prove’ their beliefs – but it has to be done.

    If it was not for blogs like WUWT, Jo Nova and Climate Audit, the purveyors of fraudulent ‘climate science’ would never have been exposed. I find that thought totally scary.

  11. One would have to assume that the lobsters cares little about the average global ocean temp and rather more about the local temperature around him.

    Must be cool in Croatia as I just forked out a good US$100 for to fine lobsters…

  12. Following the 1999 lobster die-off event, six years of research concluded that the die-off was driven principally by high bottom water temperatures throughout the western and central Sound. These stressful temperatures were only 1-2 C warmer than the Sound’s long-term average, but were above what is now known to be the upper thermal stress (20 C or 68 F) for lobster and possibly other cold adapted species such as winter flounder. The cause of rising water temperatures are not known but global climate change has been implicated as a factor.

    See http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/fishingfisheries_management/022609_lobster_volunteer_termperature_survey.pdf

  13. I’m just waiting for the paper that says the delicate eco balance has been put on a tipping point due to the bigger lobsters putting other species under possible threat of extinction, and it’s all our fault, blah blah blah. [/absolutely no sarc]

  14. I thought I read somewhere that the lobster population is up because codfish populations are down due to the heavy fishing. Codfish love to feed on baby lobsters. So less codfish, more baby lobsters survive. Sounds more believable than global warming.

  15. Don’t believe everything you read. Here in New Hampshire the lobster prices are close to double what they were just 6 months ago.

  16. Cinaed, your link does not work.

    A lobster die-off or just the lobsters moved from the sound with increase in temp. Same would go for the flounder.

    Did Global Warming cause the water temp increase?

  17. Rob-Supposedly the Indians brought lobster to that first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims were horrified at the idea of eating such a thing.

  18. Apparently higher water temperatures can cause lobster populations to rise or crash . ;-)

    June 13, 2010
    Too hot for a lobster? The imagination leaps to boiling water, followed by lots of melted butter.

    But the water temperatures that are killing off far more lobsters than make it into a cooking pot are of a much lower order……………

    In fact, the modest temperature increases that have been seen in the Gulf of Maine, might help to explain the remarkable population boom experienced by Maine lobster stocks, said Glenn. Faster growth and sexual maturity can help to replace those lobsters that are caught each year. That may also have been behind the lobster boom south of the Cape from 1989 to 1999. But as the temperature increase moved past the point where it was tolerable for lobsters, those populations and landings crashed.

    http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100613/NEWS/6130340/-1/NEWS01

  19. Todd says:
    July 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Did you read that as a pejorative? I thought it was a pretty accurate description of my vegan relatives. Hardest part is not finding food, you can grow the food, it’s finding decent shoes!

  20. I am a global warming skeptic, but last week, we could have cooked the lobster and melted the butter on our sidewalk.

    REPLY: Butter melt, maybe…but no, you couldn’t cook a lobster. ABC made fools of themselves trying to cook an egg once: http://www.mrc.org/node/27164

    -Anthony

  21. Seafood is NOT climate? Now I really know that I am dealing with a bunch of denier lunatics. Speaking of seafood, pollution of the oceans and overfishing are huge problems that could be overcome if so much money was not wasted on CAGW snake oil and charlatanism.

  22. How much global warming took place, and how much warming was the specific locale subjected to that they can draw such ignorant conclusions?

  23. Re: REPLY: Butter melt, maybe…but no, you couldn’t cook a lobster. ABC made fools of themselves trying to cook an egg once: http://www.mrc.org/node/27164 -Anthony

    I prefer my eggs over easy and not on concrete, even if everything is better with bacon.

  24. Good to read that one additional species thrives with global
    warming:
    Now we have 2 survivors of the doom: The Penguin, which
    can breed on the rocks of Antarctica, holding up the eggs
    between the legs, and now the lobster….which will even
    thrive better, when, after doomsday, men won’t catch them
    anymore….

  25. R Campbell remembers rightly. The collapse of the cod fishery because of overfishing removed a major predator of and competitor of lobster. This changed the Grand Banks ecology and led to a lobster explosion. The change was enhanced by the fact lobsters can catch and eat cod fry, yet another example of the ubiquitous “positive feedback.”

  26. This is BS! Homarus vulgaris, the common lobster, thrives in the temperature range between the high and the low of the ocean temperature cycle. They are most scarce during the peaks of cold and warm. Lobsters are thriving right now as we are cooling and the midrange temperatures are good for them.

    Maine lobstermen told me of this pattern back in the early 1970s, it’s been obvious for years. During the cold 1970s, you could look off the coast and see the number of lobster pots increasing as the lobsters became more scarce. It’s called “lobstering effort.” It takes more pots to catch what is needed when they are scarce. When lobsters abound, the number of pots decreases.

    This is not global warming, as the common lobster’s southern limit is largely determined by temperature as is the northern extent of Palinurus spp., the rock lobster. The boundary between these species is at about Cape Hatteras. They complete in these areas, but the actual boundary moves up and down in that area based on the ocean temperatures.

    Another case in point is the lobster in Long Island Sound. They are more temperature sensitive as the waters are also often diluted with rain water and also depleted of oxygen. The lobster’s viable temperature range decreases as other stresses, such as low salinity and low oxygen, are imposed. Too much metabolic stress in toto can be lethal.

  27. So, the size of a lobster has nothing at all to do with good fishing standards and practices or the environmental conditions of it’s local habitat?, there are many other explanations for what can influence the size of a lobster other than a global temperature.
    Funny how we had giant lobsters in the past, that must be proof that global temperatures were much warmer in the past too! see how that works?

    btw I don’t eat lobster, crab or prawns myself, as a kid when I first saw them they looked like giant bugs to me.

  28. Tom Stone says (July 9, 2012 at 11:57 am): “I am a global warming skeptic, but last week, we could have cooked the lobster and melted the butter on our sidewalk.”

    With the right materials and little work, you don’t need a heat wave to cook with the sun:

    http://solarcooking.org/plans/funnel.htm

    And at night it becomes an ice maker!

  29. In and around the 1980s, various efforts were made to lobster the Continental Shelf, either with traps or by dragging. This was a big mistake and I believe that it was too expensive and largely failed. I think we are lucky that it failed.

    Lobsters around England are small and do not grow to legal length because they have been so heavily fished for so long. A population of slow-growing, smaller lobsters was selected for, which explains why there is no local lobster fishery in England today.

    The reason that the New England lobster has not suffered the same selection pressure is that the real breeding population of the lobster lives on the Continental Shelf and the lobster we fish are largely the overflow population. As long as the large original breeders live untouched out in the depths, we cannot ruin the gene pool and select for slow growing, smaller lobster.

    Lobster was so abundant in colonial times that there was a law that slaves or indentured servants could not be forced to eat lobster more than 3 or 4 times a week. It cut down on revolts from having such a boring diet.

  30. Funny how a “good” news is not really a “good” news. What they really want to say, is that GW will bring havock in another form…

  31. “Of course a warm spring doesn’t prove anything and we should remember that seafood is not climate. OTOH, we’ve been lectured that this warm spring is a likely signature of global warming, so I suppose we can posit a connection.”

    =============================================
    Perhaps the connection has something to do with bottom-dwellers?

  32. A favorite way of eating crayfish (what you call lobster but with slightly smaller front pincers) downunder (NZ) is placing thick chunks between two thick slices of white bread with lots of rich yellow butter, sprinkling of cracked pepper and a decent squeeze of lemon juice. I’ve been diving for these fish (both free diving and with a tank) around NZ and Southern Pacific sea for nearly 30 years and there has been a significant resurgence of the population during the last decade. Easy pickings like in the earlier years. Not sure if the prices have tumbled around these parts though.

  33. [SNIP: John, get a grip. The end is not at hand and this rant has nothing to do with the price of lobster in New England. -REP]

  34. Toronto prices have dropped mainly due to increased air cargo capacity between the Maritimes and YYZ/YTZ.
    Lots of new DH4\’s (Q400) operating these routes with larger cargo compartments than the RJ\’s they replace. With Porter Airlines operating non-stop flights YHZ-YTZ and one-stops YQM-YOW-YTZ that\’s door-to-door service for a time-sensitive live shipment. What’s the price of Atlantic lobster in CDG, PVG, TPE, NRT at the moment?

    http://www.flyertalk.com/acl/

  35. Toronto prices have dropped mainly due to increased air cargo capacity between the Maritimes and YYZ/YTZ.
    Lots of new DH4’s (Q400) operating these routes with larger cargo compartments than the RJ’s they replace. With Porter Airlines operating non-stop flights YHZ-YTZ and one-stops YQM-YOW-YTZ that’s door-to-door service for a time-sensitive live shipment. What’s the price of Atlantic lobster in CDG, PVG, TPE, NRT at the moment?

    http://www.flyertalk.com/acl/

  36. The bain of the food producer.
    Production up, prices fall.
    Prices up, production’s lousy.
    Just can’t win.

    Unless of course you’ve got a government so stupid that you can talk them into paying you to NOT grow stuff. But no one would have a government THAT stupid….

    Oh wait. Never mind.

  37. James Allison says:
    July 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    A favorite way of eating crayfish ….

    —————-

    We call them crawdads :)
    Loverly…. in jumbo or on wild rice. On big weekends we get our traps out divide into two groups one half catch…the other half peels them….And grownups do the cooking.
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Thank you Rep :)

  38. Oh no, not a link to the Star; they drank the AGW koolaid years ago. However, I do love lobster, especially Lobster with Ginger and Scallions (nice youtube vid with Ming Tsai making this delicious dish).

  39. A lie is a lie-no matter who is telling it.
    Show me where I can buy lobster for (anywhere near) that price.

    Otherwise: Bulls*it!
    I actually tried to purchase said beauties and got no closer than $35/lb. Thanks.

  40. He he, I sent this link to my brother, a lobster fisherman here in Nova Scotia, last week.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/07/06/thats-no-baloney-lobster-cheaper-than-deli-meat

    Nice to see the Star is still finding their story ideas elsewhere.

    My brother’s opinion is that this is the key sentence in the article, “Soft-shell lobsters—lobsters that have shed their hard shells—are easier to crack open and have less meat, so they typically fetch lower prices than their hard-shell brethren.”

  41. Well there is another explanation for the low Maine lobster prices. People have finally figured out that Maine lobster sucks when compared to a good rock lobster aka New Zealand crayfish. Those big clawed critters don’t hold a candle to spiny lobsters, and then stone crabs beat both of them hands down. In the end, the seller really knows what his stuff is worth.

  42. I see another hockey stick coming. It will be based on lobster price temperature proxy data.

  43. Very very funny. What do all of you who don’t give a rip about climate change propose we do when the warm water allows the lobsters evolve into THIS….

    Not so amusing now, eh?

  44. This is rather odd, Lobsters use Hemocyanin rather than Hemoglobin to transport oxygen because the poor low temperature off rate of hemoglobin. Lobsters therefore have quite a narrow growth window with respect to temperature. Indeed, the usage of Hemocyaninone by Lobsters means that they are highly copper limited. Many of their enzymatic systems have evolved to allow them to do without copper; they do not used the Cu-Zn cytosolic/extracellular superoxide dismutase, instead they have a gene duplication of the mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase, with one of the pair losing its targeting sequence.
    They have an oxygen transport system that has evolved to transport oxygen when the temperature is about four degrees. The kinetics of oxygen binding and temperature effects are will known. Elevated temperatures will reduce the efficiency of oxygen transport in an anoxic environment.
    I remember that high calcium and phosphate levels reduce metal bioavalibility in the marine crustaceans, not sure if that included copper.
    When did we put limits on phosphate discharges into the sea?

  45. DARN, you are making me hungry. I have not had lobster since I left New England. Too expensive in the sunny south. So I have to eat crawdads instead.

    If I recall the temperatures in the North Atlantic have peaked and turned….
    GRAPH: NOAA monthly running average for North Atlantic

    Anthony, I am surprised you did not have this graph up under the article.

  46. “Irvine [executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada] blames global warming and increasing water temperatures for the current oversupply.”

    I think there are plenty of confounding variables that determine a lobster population, including overfishing/fishing management and quotas, number of predators, disease (e.g. bacteria, parasites), location (lobster population not always in the same place – they have legs), salinity, temperature, food supply, toxins (natural and from humans), etc.

    This article from NOAA several years ago blames lower lobster population on global warming: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/ecosys/ecology/Benthos/ See Figure 7. Hmmm. So rising temps caused the population to decrease a few years ago but increase now.

    http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd0911/#3 “Temperature is one of the most important governing environmental factors for marine organisms. Marine organisms have minimum and maximum temperatures beyond which they cannot survive. Additionally, they have preferred temperature ranges. Within the bounds of these thermal limits, temperature influences many processes including metabolism, growth, consumption, and maturity. Thus, changes in temperature will have far-reaching impacts on species in the ecosystem and on the ecosystem itself. Temperature in the NES LME has varied substantially over the past 150 years (Figure 3.5). The late 1800s and early 1900s were the coolest in the 150 year record. This relatively cool period was followed by the warmest period in the record: 1945-1955. There was a rapid drop in temperatures through the 1960s followed by a steady increase to the present. Current temperatures are not as warm as experienced during the early 1950s, but they are within half-a-degree. Temperatures from specific coastal sites along the U.S. northeast coast follow this same pattern.”

    Let’s look at the ocean temps at the depth the lobsters live: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd0911/images/f3-5.gif

    http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd0911/images/f3-8.gif – habitat range also varies over decades

    http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd0911/images/f3-11.gif – salinity changes

    http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd0911/images/f5-1.gif – lobster population (lower left panel)

    While I don’t have data through 2012, it is quite clear that natural cycles + fishery management are the primary determinants of lobster population and these dominate any possible component from CO2.

  47. One reason for the low prices presently (I think I saw $6/lb for small lobsters a day or two ago) is that the when the lobsters molt, their new shells are bigger and suddenly many become legal to catch. Before they molt, their flesh can get a bit chalky, afterwards it becomes very tasty, but there’s so much new space in the shell that there just isn’t much meat. You’re paying quite a bit for what is essentially sea water!

    Sweet spot – 1.75 lb lobster in September or October.

  48. I’ll add to what Ric Werme said. Buy the very biggest lobsters you can find. Sure, they cost more, but you get more meat per dollar than with small lobsters.

  49. kim2ooo says:
    July 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

    [REPLY: Good. I like it. -REP]

    Ha. Ha. Very carny!
    Was that club “The Vegetarian Meat Market”?

  50. Go Home says:
    July 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I thought acidification of the ocean was doom for creatures of the sea with shells?

    Only dead ones. Their shells dissolve back into the water faster … where the calcium is easier for the living ones to access and use, so they grow faster! As usual, the Alarmist Narrative is 180° opposite to reality.

  51. Rick is correct- they are molting and that drives the price down. Nothing new here, move along.

  52. Brian H says:
    July 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

    kim2ooo says:
    July 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

    [REPLY: Good. I like it. -REP]

    Ha. Ha. Very carny!
    Was that club “The Vegetarian Meat Market”?
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Ha ha ha ha

    Dono…it must have been some sort of vegetarian meat and greet :)

  53. Must be like real estate: location, location, location. Here in Alaska, the state fisheries biologists claim that when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) goes into the cold phase (which it did starting in 2005), it tends to favor shellfish growth and tends to not favor finsfish. Sure enough, the dungeness, snow and king crab populations are doing well. OTOH, king and coho salmon returns have crashed the last several years, with the kings being particularly bad statewide this year. Interestingly enough, red (sockeye) and pink returns have been pretty good the last few years, likely due to what they are eating.

    Now here’s the bizzaro part, PDO in cold phase seems to favor finfish returns in the Pacific Northwest leading to pretty good king salmon returns. There’s a lot going on out in the Big Water that we have not yet a clue about. More data. More data. Cheers –

    http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fed/oeip/ca-pdo.cfm

  54. Lobsters aren’t as stupid as global warming fish resource experts. If they liked it warm, they would have walked down to Florida. Sheesh. Maybe polar bears like ice and snow, they could have walked to Florida by now too.

  55. clipe says:
    July 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Here’s what happens when you forget about the lobsters “in the boot”. Paris ORY.

    http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/kevster1346/badloadaircraft.jpg

    Just to clarify, it was a load of lobsters on the “upper deck” that tipped the aircraft in the above link.

    B744-combi at Orly for heavy maintenance. It was a ferry flight utilised to move a large shipment of live lobsters (packed in heavy brine) from Halifax directly to Europe.
    The Orly ground crew ignored the offload sheet and/or were unaware of Air Canada’s standard use of a “pogo stick” (tail stanchion).

    And I’m betting all of those formerly live lobsters made an unexpected return trip to YHZ.

  56. “And I’m betting all of those formerly live lobsters made an unexpected return trip to YHZ.”

    All the ones on the upper deck that is.

  57. Die Zauberflotist says:
    July 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm
    Very very funny. What do all of you who don’t give a rip about climate change propose we do when the warm water allows the lobsters evolve into THIS….

    Any guesses if trilobites tasted like lobster?

  58. Oi Anthony – don´t lump all of us tofu eaters with the radical greens, like Paul Bain lassoing ¨deniers¨ in one herd. ;-)

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