Fishermen worry as black sea bass stake New England claim

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Some fishermen say the northward expansion of black sea bass is a potential threat to New England lobsters and they should be allowed to catch more of the sought-after fish.

Scientists say more black sea bass are appearing off of Maine and New Hampshire as waters warm. Black sea bass prey on lobsters, a regional staple.

Black sea bass are popular as food and as a sport fish. Federal statistics show black sea bass were worth an record of more than $8.5 million in 2013. About a quarter of that total is from New England.

Meanwhile, lobsters were worth an record of more than $460 million that same year. However, fishing managers say the population of southern New England lobsters has fallen to the lowest levels on record.