Do you love the clean, tempting taste of freshly caught, freshly prepared seafood? When it comes to our favorite maritime meals, there’s no dish more delicious as both a delicacy and a down-home dinner than fresh lobster. From a plentiful shellfish used in abundance in […]
Author: Curtis Carr
New England overflows with ghost stories. From the Salem witch trials to the tale of Mercy Brown, Rhode Island’s vampire, the cold and forested New England states are a perfect backdrop for frightening events. Even small northern states like New Hampshire and Vermont have more […]
Lobsters, crab, fish, coral, turtles and other aquatic animals enrich New England waters, and for New England residents, life on the northeastern coast revolves around the sea — whether it’s having a friend who works at a fishery, having a regular appetite for delectable crustacean dishes, enjoying the sound of crashing waves or waiting for the next sailing adventure. The ocean is a center that many benefit from and many depend on.
Increasing shifts in sea surface temperatures alter this thriving area’s sea life. Lobstermen, marine biologists and residents of the region have noticed the ebb and flow of species in smaller pockets of the New England coast and in the overall region, and one thing is certain — temperature and sea level differences matter.
The temperature of the sea has been dutifully and reliably tracked since the mid-19th century. Since then, New England has been under close watch by scientists and continues to hold the attention of those interested in the climate and sea life. Because marine animals do react strongly to disruptions in their habitats and those organisms are so vital to New England’s structure and sustainability, efforts to understand the temperature patterns are worthwhile.
A Look at History: Are Temperatures Really Changing in New England?
Historical temperature patterns in New England have been measured and evaluated closely. However, the last century contains the most well-documented information available to us, and this data reflects a pattern of change. Ocean surface temperature measurements at two New England locations — Boothbay Harbor, Maine and Woods Hole, Massachusetts — show an overall temperature increase in the coastal climate.
Several factors have influenced the ecosystem around New England, including the typical atmospheric pressure fluctuations — or the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the presence of extensive carbon dioxide and air and water temperatures. The shifts in the strengths of what are known as the Icelandic Low and the Azores High in the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf results in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Essentially, sea level pressure responds to the movement and strengthening of pressure cells in this area.
The NAO’s nature yields positive and negative shifts that alter the state of New England and its neighboring area. A positive shift means wetter and warmer conditions for the New England coast, and a negative shift results in the opposite. In the 2000s, the NAO has been positive, and this means warmer temperatures have dominated the New England area. A positive NAO does not necessarily mean sea life is in a positive predicament, however. This is not isolated to the 2000s, either — in the past century, warmer temperatures have persisted in this specific region.
Air and water temperatures in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay demonstrate these higher temperatures. This region’s water and air has warmed by 2.5-3.0°F since 1960.
According to a National Climate Assessment, heat waves and an increase of wintertime storms and rain will occur in the New England area. The following years are expected to show seasonal changes and rising sea levels. However, spurts of negative NAO also are present in historical temperature records, and these drier, colder spans also alter ocean life.
But how do rising or falling temperatures make a difference for sea life in New England?
What Impacts Do Rising Temperatures Have?
The environmental significance of higher temperatures is in the rising of the sea level, flooding, stronger storms and warmer ocean temperatures. However, these changes also cause sea life to make drastic alterations in habitat or in their survival habits. Some species are showing these changes as lobster, crab and various fish are finding new homes in alternate waters.
Because many kinds of marine life thrive in a particular climate, they will react to rising temperatures by moving to different locations or suffering from the inability to relocate. The food chain will show the gaps that relocation will force because certain organisms may not find their main food source nearby any longer. Species populations will undoubtedly fluctuate if rising temperatures cause further redistribution.
Here’s a look at how temperatures changes have affected a few different marine animals:
Several types of fish have either declined in their typical habitats, along with their food sources, or they have transitioned to new locations that are either further north on the coast or in deeper segments of the ocean. A variety of Atlantic cod, and its favorite zooplankton, formerly frequented Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine. In recent years, the prey and predator populations have dropped.
Other fish with reduced populations include Acadian redfish, thorny skate and groundfish. The majority of fish in the Northeast U.S. Shelf are moving further northeast, and even a few southern fish are moving into New England. Billfishes and certain kinds of tunas could also shift northward, although this has not occurred yet. Yellowtail flounder, Atlantic croaker, American shad, red hake and alewife are a few of the fish climbing the coastline to cooler waters.
But unexpectedly, some New England fish are heading south. The reasons that fish are shifting southward are a bit of a mystery, but little skate, Adult spiny dogfish and offshore hake have taken to warmer waters. Atlantic mackerel and butterfish have turned to the Mid-Atlantic Bight and moved closer to the shore rather than seeking the depths or journeying up the coast.
2. Lobsters and Crabs
Lobsters in more south-reaching areas of New England have developed weaker systems and buckled under illnesses as a result of high temperatures. A shell disease correlates to high temperatures, and 35.52 percent of lobsters in southern New England were suffering from this condition at the highest point. Lobsters are beginning to stop growing at a smaller size, and the warmer climate has compromised their reproduction. Long Island Sound has lost a significant portion of lobsters, pushing the lobster population north into Maine waters.
Crabs are also transitioning to colder areas, and blue crabs have left Chesapeake Bay for Maine’s chillier gulf. Blue crabs are also a primary predator, and their dispersal from lower New England estuaries and lagoons has shaken the food chain they were once involved in. They are not limited to colder temperatures but have inhabited many places in North and South America. Yet the climate change has pushed them northward still. Interestingly, snow crabs have even become more prosperous in Newfoundland.
Carbon dioxide, a closely connected factor to rising temperatures, causes acid build up in oceans, harming coral. Deep coral, rather than coral reefs, flourish in New England waters. However, debilitating coral bleaching from warm water leaves these organisms brittle. They struggle to heal and rebuild in continuously higher temperatures. Their survival is linked to certain fish, and both fish and coral suffer during coral bleaching. Bottom trawling can also decimate deep coral.
What Impacts Are Falling Temperatures Having?
While rising temperatures seem to be the current trend in New England, falling temperatures also occur and have a viable effect on the environment and nature of marine life. Negative NAO causes ocean levels to decrease, cooling temperatures to become prominent and drier conditions to prevail.
Cold-water coral is abundant in Maine’s waters, and due to the influx of fish, lobster and crab in Maine, the coral is likely to become a protective tool for more species. Cooling temperatures would also provide coral with the chance to repair their exteriors from recent bleaching. The deep coral found in New England are in less danger than shallow coral to be harmed by low sea levels. However, if sea levels reached the point of exposing coral on the northeast coast, bleaching could occur from excessive sunlight exposure despite a cooler climate.
Lobsters are extremely sensitive to temperature, and dips in temperature can also harm them. They require body heat from other sources outside themselves. Normally, this thermal receptiveness keeps them in cooler water — temperatures that are too warm can lead to disease and stunted growth. On the flip side, temperatures that are too cold also have a negative effect. Below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, growth slows. But, at as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, lobsters continue to reproduce despite the slowed growth.
Stone crabs found in the ocean have more difficulty transitioning into colder temperatures, but given a gradual time period, they eventually adapt to cooler habitats. Blue crabs are able to quickly adopt new and cooler climates because their usual habitats are estuaries with rapid, short-lived turnovers.
A decrease in rainfall, and in turn, sea level, increases the salinity of various bodies of water — such as estuaries, bays and the ocean — which injures fish populations. A fall in temperature is connected to a decrease in storms but also fresh water from rainfall. Saltwater would infringe on fresh water sources, leaving fresh water fish with no place to live. The multiple bays of New England would be altered along with the inhabitants of estuaries.
Fishermen and Lobstermen
Fishermen and lobstermen must make similar decisions to predators when their biggest sellers relocate or decline — follow the fish, lobsters or crab to their new habitat or pick a more abundant target and adjust their capturing techniques. Help from authorities is also available in some areas with new standards for lobster, crab and fish sizes or plans to alter carbon emissions and other environmental impacts.
Many fishermen must pick a new type of fish to target, as southern New England fish introduce themselves into cooler waters. Fishery wars ensue, and competitions between regions become tenser as the climate changes. It is difficult to keep quotas in check and updated to match the population increases and decreases along the northeast coast.
Lobstermen in southern New England are catching smaller lobsters or ones with shell sicknesses. In fact, fishermen are picking up an excess of these infant lobsters who have been eaten by fish — they’re seeing the lobsters in the fishes’ stomachs. Sea bass, especially striped or black, is an alternative in the locations where lobster once thrived. As of 2017, only 35 lobstermen in Massachusetts retained their fishing permits. These permits allowed them to catch the remaining lobster between Nantucket Sound and Long Island Sound.
As fishermen adapt to the new species of fish in their waters, they must find the best techniques to catch unfamiliar marine life. New equipment also complicates the shift from one kind of fish to another or from lobster to fish. Preparing fishermen and lobstermen to target a new species has sparked many programs and training classes.
Fisheries, a source of income and an anchor for many New England communities, must also alter their nature. This restructures communities and has the power to revitalize declining communities.
However, some lobstermen relocate to their catch’s new point of abundance — Maine. Other fishermen must move even farther north, and depending on whether or not the climate pattern persists, their journey could continue. Fish tend to move toward the poles, but even these wriggly organisms have a limit.
A proposal to alter southern New England lobster size restrictions and amounts was rejected. The hope was that less activity in the waters would allow the lobster population to recover. Even proposals to nurture and propel lobster egg production have been attempted. Lobstermen in these areas are largely unemployed and without a new approach or new regulations.
Impact of Temperature Change on Quality of Seafood
The primary effect of climate alterations on seafood in New England depends on location. The warmer areas of the Northeast U.S. Shelf produce smaller kinds of many fish species, lobster and crab. The maturity of the seafood is consistent in many cases, but with more modestly-sized adult fish and crustaceans.
Upper New England seafood is larger and in more abundance, so the quality of fish in this area is richer and meatier. Regularity in climate and environment also produces a plentiful growth rate and more hearty seafood, especially in mussels.
Even the food that fish feed on react to warmer temperatures and an unstable setting. If the climate continues to compromise these resources, fish may lose their healthy qualities and taste.
Maine Lobster Now
Marine life is facing many challenges with shifts in temperatures, sea levels and uncertain ecosystems. The seafood industry is also attempting to stay current on best practices and how to provide for their seafood-loving customers. While many New England locations are struggling due to the migration of fish to cooler waters, Maine is booming with ocean life and producing delicious seafood for your table.
The haul of lobster in Maine in 2016 was 132 million pounds, significantly dwarfing their previous catches. Lobsters and other sea life are currently enjoying the cooler waters of Maine and the upper New England coast, making this area a notable source of seafood.
Maine Lobster Now has first-hand access to Maine’s abundance of fish, lobster, crab, shellfish, scallops and more. We purchase the finest lobsters from Maine fishermen and send them directly to you.
New England seafood ships to your door with our exceptional service and delivery. For those outside of Maine craving rich fish or succulent lobster, shop our selections from the comfort of your home. Fresh, quality products, perfect for your event or special meal, are only a few clicks away. Browse our selection, order your favorites and dig into a hearty seafood meal straight from Maine.
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Of the many gifts, you could give to someone, high-quality foods and beverages like beer and wine are among the few that won’t make its way to the trash can or donation pile. Since eating is a necessity and tasty treats are always desired, food can be an irresistible gift that everyone appreciates. Delicious foods and drinks are also great for all occasions — birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, promotions, congratulations — the list goes on and on.
Our Top 6 Food Gifts To Send in the Mail:
- Wine: chardonnay, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon
- Cheese: aged cheddar, grand cru reserve, bellavitani merlot
- Fruits: apples, pears, grapes
- Meats: bacon, smoked meats, jerky
- Gourmet: baked goods, craft beer, popcorn
- Seafood: Maine lobster, crab, scallops, oysters
- Subscriptions: meal prep, monthly wine, monthly cheese
Not only can many perishable foods and beverages be sent via mail, but most companies with an online presence also have shipping options available to save you the hassle of having to package the gift and deliver it to the post office yourself. This allows you to send your friends and family members housewarming presents, get-well-soon treats and many other food gifts for any reason imaginable.
You want to give an amazing gift and Maine Lobster Now wants to help. We’ve compiled a list of tasty foods that we believe will make unique and irresistible gifts that you can easily send from coast to coast.
Maybe you’ve heard it through the grapevine — people love wine. Americans enjoy hundreds of millions of gallons of wine each year. From vermouths and cabernets to dessert and sparkling wines, wine is a great choice for corporate gifts, special occasions or just because. No matter who you’re showing appreciation to, wine gift baskets are sure to please.
For the wine lover in your life, head over to Gift Tree and choose from their fabulous selection of wine gift baskets. Send the Royal Treatment to celebrate a promotion. Gift a bottle of luxury champagne to celebrate an anniversary. With plenty of wine options that come paired with cheeses, meats, fruits, and nuts, there’s a perfect wine gift set for everyone.
For a gift with a more personal touch, you can send single bottles that feature your own custom label or engraving design. Personal Wine makes it effortless. Simply select the wine you wish to send — red, white, rosé or sparkling — then customize the label with text and photos in their design template. In as little as three days, your custom gift can be enjoyed.
Trust us — this is one cheesy gift that anyone will love. Straight from the Dairy State, Wisconsin Cheese Mart has award-winning cheeses that are great mail-order food gifts to share with those close to your heart. Their impressive selection features over fifteen types of cheese in earthy, pungent and spicy flavors. From curds and small batches to wheels and loaves, these different cheese gift baskets make excellent gift ideas for coworkers, friends, and family.
With an array of options, Wisconsin Cheese Mart is sure to have a cheese package that’s perfect for any taste. Those who are strict cheese aficionados will enjoy the Nibbler crates which feature sharp, earthy, flavored, buttery, smooth, creamy or mild cheeses. Add some meat to the mix with a cheese and sausage sampler that may include tangy, smoky or creamy sausages. Whether you choose the Sweet Treats cheese board or the Wisconsin Artisan Award Winners package, these cheeses are fantastic gift ideas.
When you think of the typical gifts for holidays like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, chocolate immediately comes to mind. As more and more people are becoming conscious of their diets, however, sugary sweets may not be the perfect gift for everyone. If you’d like to send a healthy snack that will put a smile on anyone’s face, gift them a lovely package of fruit.
Harry & David is your destination for fruits and other gourmet gifts. Choose from a variety of seasonal fruits, dried fruits, organic fruits and more. All of their juicy offerings were picked at the peak of perfection to ensure that every basket, box and tower of fruit you send are ripe and ready to eat.
Don’t worry — if you’re sending a gift to someone with a sweet tooth, Harry & David’s selection of delectable pears, citruses, berries, and cherries can be paired with other scrumptious treats. Choose strawberries dipped in chocolate or have the apples coated in caramel. Bundle together a tasty trio of apples, pears, and cheeses. You can even send a creatively curated gift tote full of fruit, bread, olives, cheese, wine, nuts, spreads and so much more. With free shipping available, Harry & David’s fruit baskets make the sweetest gifts.
If you really want to outdo your gift-giving this year, send a smorgasbord of other meats to accompany your fresh Maine lobster. Picture your father-in-law, brother or a best friend enjoying a buttery lobster tail and a perfectly cooked tenderloin. When you combine the locally sourced seafood from Maine Lobster Now with a generous helping of steak, chicken or pork, your gift delivers phenomenal tasting surf-and-turf right to your friend or family member’s door.
- Bacon: Who doesn’t love bacon? The Loveless Cafe can conveniently ship your closest friend or family member a few pounds of their signature country bacon flavors. From peppered, apple smoked and spicy Cajun bacon to country ham biscuits and slices, The Loveless Cafe has a fine selection of specialty bacon and signature smoked meats that make mouth-watering gifts. Want to send the recipient to hog heaven? Send them some sliced spiral ham or even a whole country ham that will leave them with a stomach full of gratitude.
- Smoked Meats: Why stop at bacon when you can send the whole smokehouse? Burgers’ Smokehouse will deliver everything just short of the picnic table — ribs, pork chops, breakfast pork sausage, Polish kielbasa sausage, steakburgers and more. They’ve got enough turkey, beef, chicken and pork options to fill a butcher shop. Complete the gift by including some of their scrumptious sides like country green beans, potatoes and ham au gratin, or sweeten the surprise by choosing one of their pies or cheesecakes.
- Jerky: Looking for a unique gift by mail that’s sure to thrill the carnivorous connoisseur in your life? Then Jerky.com has the ideal gift from them. With over 100 kinds of jerky available, there’s surely a meat on the list that even your most adventurous of companions haven’t yet tried. Their beef, pork and poultry jerky varieties come in many different flavors like teriyaki, sweet and spicy, and whiskey barbeque. Jerky.com lets you create custom gift sets that are sure to tantalize the taste buds.
Unsure of which food or beverage would be the perfect gift — let an expertly curated gift basket help you decide! GourmetGiftBaskets.com has assembled exceptional gift baskets that feature foods and beverages made with the highest quality ingredients. Each basket contains handpicked items that together create a gift catered to every occasion. Whether you’re trying to find that perfect holiday gift or want to show someone you care on their special day, these unique gift baskets will light up the life of everyone you love.
- Bake Shop Baskets: The moment they close their eyes and grin at the smell of cookies, cakes, and brownies, you’ll know you picked the perfect gift. These delicious baked goods come in an assortment of flavors. Give the gift of world-famous Belgian chocolate with dipped cookies, macaroons, biscotti and madeleine cookies. Send a delicious cake or a sampler platter of cheesecakes. Whether you choose to send a tasty pie, crispy cookie or gourmet brownie, these bake shop baskets are sure to please.
- Beer Baskets: You probably know exactly who in your life would love their own basket of beer. If they appreciate craft over conventional, the microbrew bucket is perfect for them. If they prefer to fill their pint with international flavor then the Around the World bucket has their name on it. Available in three, six or 12 beers, these buckets are a fantastic gift that every beer lover will drink to.
- Popcorn Baskets: It’s hard not to smile when you have a giant tin of popcorn on your lap. Gourmet popcorn tins are stellar choices for gift giving occasions both large and small. Each tin features one or more delicious popcorn flavors including chocolate, caramel, triple cheddar, buffalo, sweet onion, salt and vinegar, and cinnamon and brown sugar. Once your friend or family member pops the lid on this packed tin, they’ll eat their way to the bottom before they know it.
- Healthy Baskets: Who says healthy food can’t be tasty? With the healthy gift baskets from GourmetGiftBaskets.com, you can give easily give someone a sweet treat that’s also healthy. Baskets may feature healthy snacks like peanuts, trail mix, tortilla chips, pretzels, crackers, and jam. They even have gluten-free baskets for those with dietary sensitivities.
Is there someone special in your life that you want to spoil? Instead of sending a single food item or gift basket, consider purchasing a subscription service so that you can treat them for weeks to come. There are dozens of vendors that will deliver both fresh and packaged foods to homes around the country. Whether you want to stick with a particular item or provide your recipient with a unique meal on a regular basis, a subscription service is a perfect gift that caters to any taste.
- Full Meal Subscriptions: Your options for recurrent meal delivery services are virtually endless. Blue Apron can supply two to four people with unique meals starting at less than $60 per week. If dietary restrictions are a concern, Home Chef provides nut-free, low-carb and low-calorie options. They even offer vegetarian options, some of which also qualify as vegan. For the serious cook in your life who loves creating their own culinary experience by hand, only Chef’d will do.
- Wine Subscriptions: Picking out the perfect wine can be tricky, especially if you can’t remember whether it was the cabernet or chardonnay that the gift recipient loved. Thankfully, the Wall Street Journal offers a wine subscription service that will cover all of the bases. With their introductory offer, you’ll be able to gift your friend or loved one a case of 15 bottles for only $69.99 before tax and shipping. As they spend months relaxing with each bottle of award-winning wine, you’ll drink in their gratitude.
- Cheese Subscriptions: Is there a cheese-lover in your life who would gleefully anticipate a monthly box of artisan cheeses from around the world? Then they belong in the Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club. This easy, affordable and memorable subscription features a variety of traditionally-made farmhouse cheeses sourced from their place of origin. All of these hand-crafted artisan cheeses will lead the mouth on a path of discovery as each new taste, texture and aroma are encountered.
If you truly want to surprise a friend or family member with a gift like no other, it has to be a fresh, hand-selected seafood dinner. Maine Lobster Now ships our locally sourced Maine lobster from the fisherman’s net straight to our customer’s front door. Our fresh and frozen lobster meat turns any recipe into an unforgettable dish. We can even ship live wild-caught lobster that is guaranteed to arrive alive at the door of your colleague who takes pride in preparing five-star quality meals for their family.
Jumbo lobster tails, gourmet lobster mac and cheese and homemade lobster rolls — if it’s got ‘lobster’ in the name, you know it’s going to be a great gift. When the special someone you’re shopping for just can’t get enough seafood, Maine Lobster Now has you covered. We’ve got a boat-load of other savory options including crab, fish, sea scallops, shellfish, soups, chowders, appetizers, side dishes and desserts. One bountiful box from Maine Lobster Now is guaranteed to bring the taste of the sea right to their kitchen.
The beauty of seafood is that it can pair well with virtually any other food gift. Imagine the wide smile stretched across your mother’s face when she opens up a box of fresh crab legs with a fine bottle of wine. Think of the joy your good friend will experience when you give them a fresh package of Maine lobster tails and salt water taffy so they can have the inimitable taste of New England seafood no matter where they are.
You Can’t Go Wrong With the Gift of Food
Why should you choose to send mail-order food as a gift? Sending a gift shows that you care. The time, energy and effort needed to select the perfect gift that arrives right at their doorstep are not lost on the recipient. Although every gift takes consideration, choosing a food gift also demonstrates how well you know the person. For instance, if you can find a gluten-free vegan pizza kit for a friend with severe dietary restrictions, that level of personal detail will speak volumes.
How far in advance you send your gift depends on shipping estimates provided by the retailer sending your gift. If you’re shipping the gift yourself, ensure each type of food is delivered appropriately. For example, the USDA suggests that raw meats and soft cheeses receive overnight shipping. Perishable foods, like bread, fresh fruit and other baked goods, should receive two-day shipping. Nonperishable items like candies or alcohol can be sent via regular mail. Also, confirm that your recipient is available to accept the gift on arrival.
Gift giving is a great experience and sending an irresistible food gift by mail is a great way to express your friendship, love, congratulations or gratitude to those in your life. Maine Lobster Now admires the sincere thought and care that goes into finding the perfect gift and we want to help make your gift truly unforgettable. Our fresh seafood bought daily from Maine’s local fisherman is a unique and exciting gift that is ideal for any occasion.
Delicious Maine lobster meat is a mouthwatering gift that will please every stomach. A box of our crab legs, lobster tails, scallops, and desserts turn an unbelievable gift into an unforgettable meal. Contact Maine Lobster Now today and let us put together the perfect gift package that will be impossible to top!