Climate change is a very real and dangerous threat, U.S. Senator Angus King said this week at a press conference with twelve of his Senate colleagues. Citing the impact on Maine's lobster industry as an example, he spoke of the urgent need for Congress to take action.
According to statistics from the Maine Department of Marine Resources, lobstermen in Maine landed more than 125 million pounds of lobster in 2012 with an estimated value exceeding $340 million. The total economic impact on the State of Maine is approximated at as much as $1.7 billion. As coastal water temperatures rise, however, the most abundant point of the lobster population is migrating northward, which could imperil the lobster industry's future.
Senator King on Wednesday highlighted the hardship that Maine lobstermen face as he joined his colleagues to announce the formation of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, a coalition of lawmakers who are committed to raising the public profile of the issue and who intend to pursue legislative action to mitigate its effects.
"Congress may not know what's going on, but the Maine lobsters know what's going on because they're moving north," Senator King said. "The Maine lobstermen are about as conservative a bunch of people as you can find on this planet but they know that something's changing out there. They're finding seahorses in their lobster traps. That's change. It's climate change and it's having a direct effect."