Warmer Waters in the Gulf of Maine

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Meredyth Eufemia

The Gulf of Maine gets cold nutrient rich water from the Labrador Current making it colder than other places on the east coast, because of this many commercially important species have been very successful in this area historically. This year, 2012, we are seeing warmer then normal water temperatures across the gulf.

Ed Monat has worked in Bar Harbor as a seasonal tour boat operator and a scallop fisherman for more then two decades. This summer Ed reports seeing much warmer then normal water temperature on his many dives. Along with these warmer temperatures he has also seen changes in the species that live on or near the bottom. For example an abundance of lobsters, a huge algea bloom and changes in sea star behavior. Others are reporting warmer then normal water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine as well. Some researchers blame these warmer waters for causing lobsters to shed a month earlier then normal this spring. Jeff Runge, an oceanographer here at GMRI says there are multiple species in the gulf that scientists think could be affected by warmer water temperatures. Copepods, a kind of plankton that is a very important food source for many other species, is just one of those species of concern. Exactly how those species may be affected is hard to predict.Copepod photo by Uwe Kils

For more check out the full story: http://bangordailynews.com/slideshow/alarmingly-warm-water-in-gulf-of-maine-bringing-changes/

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