Thursday, June 21, 2007

Again With the Pesticides and the Lobsters!

Amazingly, the pesticide myth popped up again in an article in the Stamford Times about the v-notch program Connecticut has started in an effort togive female lobsters a couple of extra years to breed:

... Frate said parts of the Sound have experienced smaller die-offs, which he links to continuing pesticide use.

"They spray it by helicopter. They put that stuff directly into the storm drains," he said. "We saw more dead lobsters last year. This West Nile scare. It just keeps bringing it back."

So as a friendly reminder, I'll repeat the quote from the government report on the lobster die-off that was released last year (the link and citation are here):

Sixty-five scientists at 30 institutions and agencies nationwide participated in the research initiative, investigating the effects of environmental factors, mosquito control pesticides, and disease on the physiology and health of American lobsters. The results indicate that the physiology of the lobsters was severely stressed by sustained, hostile environmental conditions, driven by above- average water temperatures. A new lobster disease, paramoebiasis, was identified as the proximate cause of death for the majority of lobsters examined by pathologists. Laboratory studies demonstrated that the pesticides used for mosquito control have sub-lethal or lethal effects on lobsters, based on concentration and time of exposure; however, modeling exercises indicate it is unlikely that the concentrations of individual pesticides in western Long Island Sound were high enough to cause the mortality event.

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