The Gulf of Maine Research Institute is receiving $220,020 in federal funding for a NOAA Sea Grant project it was announced today by the office of Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) office. The total amount of the funding is $559,181 and the Gulf of Maine is one of four Maine organizations splitting the funding to do research on the future of the American lobster industry in the face of the global climate crisis.
This research will address critical gaps in knowledge about how American lobster is being impacted by environmental changes in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and southern New England.
The grant for the Gulf of Maine is for “understanding and improving spatial distribution projects for lobster; considering predation and building expert consensus.”
The other 3 reciepients are the University of Maine, Orono, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Boothbay Harbor.
“Maine relies on the lobster industry for our economic livelihood; abou 5,000 Mainers are employed by the industry, which brings in $1 billion to our states economy every year. Lobster is booming in Maine and we’ve seen record hauls in the past few years. But the Gulf of Maine is warming at a rate faster than 99% of the rest of the world’s oceans, and we must know how the climate crisis will affect the future of the lobster industry,” said Pingree. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I fought for this funding because we must understand and to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of the crisis on Maine’s economic future. Sea Grant’s….. will go far to make sure the lobster industry understands the challenges to come, said Pingree.