Cape lobster industry faces crisis

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In what could be the first major economic blow to local fisheries pinned on global warming, regulators are contemplating shutting down the lobster industry from Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts to Long Island Sound for five years because of a drastic population drop brought on by temperature changes of just a few degrees in inshore waters.

Lobstermen south of Cape Cod have seen their catches drop for the past decade, from more than 20 million pounds in 1997 to less than 5 million last year. In the past, overfishing, water pollution, pesticides and an outbreak of shell disease were blamed for the failure of the fishery.

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