FRIENDSHIP — As I gear up to head back out onto the ocean, hoping for another strong lobster season, I’m reminded just how much these waters have changed.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed the impacts changes in our climate have brought to our fisheries – differing molt cycles, lobster migration into deeper, cooler waters and the effects that warming waters have had on shrimp and other species. We’ve all experienced the increased severity of weather events and heard the warnings about an increasingly acidic ocean.

Now we’re also hearing the clamor of those who seek to use ocean space for their industries, including renewable energy production, offshore aquaculture and others. Many of these new users require leases that restrict access for traditional ocean users.

With all of this happening simultaneously, it’s become more important than ever to find a balance between existing and new uses while also protecting everything that our ocean has to offer for future generations.

Read the full opinion piece from Richard Nelson, a commercial lobsterman

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