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In the News: March 2015

Maine lobster popular export during Chinese New Year Chinese New Year, which took place in February this year, is on the verge of becoming Maine’s second-biggest lobster shipping week of the year, behind the week of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, according to industry officials. China imports lobsters from Canada, Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere, but the market for the U.S. variety is exploding, with the demand strong year-round, not just at New Year’s. Federal export statistics show that American exports of live or processed lobster to China climbed from $2.1 million in 2009 to $90.5 million in 2014. China bought about 12% of U.S. lobster exports in 2014, up from 0.6% in 2009.

Ocean acidification focus of proposed bond measure A state panel on ocean acidification wants the state to borrow $3 million so scientists can collect data about increasing ocean acidity along the Maine coast and its impact on key tourism drivers such as the Maine lobster. The panel spent several months last fall studying published science on carbon dioxide emissions and in February released its recommendations on how the state should address the problem. Among those suggestions is creation of an standing Ocean Acidification Council to address impacts of ocean acidification on Maine’s commercial marine species.

Parasite in green crabs affects lobsters A parasite found in green crab is causing some concern among Nova Scotia lobster buyers after research showed the parasite can be transferred to live lobsters caught in traps using green crab as bait. Researchers at Dalhousie University and the University of Prince Edward Island published a study in February showing the parasite Profilicollis botulus, normally found only in green crabs, was found in significant numbers of lobsters caught using green crab bait. The scientists said the parasite affects the lobster’s behavior, making it more susceptible to predators. It does not affect humans, however, or the taste of lobster meat.

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