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Climate Change Blamed For Pushing Lobsters Out Of Long Island Sound

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Global warming is being blamed for lobsters leaving the Long Island Sound and moving up to cooler waters off of Maine.

Commercial lobster boats in New York landed 112 metric tons of lobsters in 2013, a record low, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported. In 1996, boats hauled in more than 4,000 metric tons.

"The Long Island lobster population is in a tragic decline," said Adrienne Esposito, exeuctive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "One of the leading factors is the water temperature increase in the sound. And as it increases, it makes it inhospitable for the lobsters. They're a cold-water species."

Climate Change Blamed For Pushing Lobsters Out Of Long Island Sound

At a power plant in Long Island Sound, there were more than 75 days with a recorded average water temperature above 68 degrees Fahrenheit in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Between 1976 and 2010, that happened only twice.

The trend is also driving lobstermen in Connecticut and Rhode Island out of business, ending a centuries-old way of life. Meanwhile, Maine fishermen have landed more than 100 million pounds of lobster for four years in a row, by far the highest four-year haul in the state's history.

"We're very concerned," Esposito said. "What's happening, we see, is that the lobsters are in failure. They really have declined in population to the point where the lobstermen (in Long Island Sound) are really depleted and almost going out of business themselves.

"The only thing we can do is get serious about climate change," Esposito said.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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