December 15, 2017
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Why are lobsters increasingly turning to cannibalism?

By Tony Reaves, BDN Staff
Updated:
LeeAnne Thayer | LeeAnne Thayer | BDN
LeeAnne Thayer | LeeAnne Thayer | BDN
A lobster can be seen inside one of the tubes of a Habitat Mooring Sytem as it sits in Sand Cove off South Bristol in August of 2012.

Lobsters attacking and eating one another, especially in captivity, is nothing new, but a University of Maine marine biology student says these days, lobsters are more likely to be killed and eaten by one another than by any other predator.

In a report by the international climate journalism project Climate Desk, UMaine student Noah Oppenheim says he attaches a waterproof, infrared camera to young lobsters and drops them to the sea floor to see who would come out to eat it. The answer: Lobsters, more than 90 percent of the time.

The report says that the warmer waters in recent years, along with overfishing of lobsters’ natural predators, have made lobsters grow larger and produce more offspring. Lobstermen have noticed the difference, as haul sizes have increased and the price of lobster has dropped.

Watch the video above but beware: Anyone already a little creeped out by lobsters may find it gruesome. The lobster-on-lobster mayhem starts about 2 minutes in.


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