Home > Man-Made Disasters, Mass Animal Deaths > Connecticut: Chemicals and Pesticides Draining Off Into Coastal Waters Are Killing Lobsters, ‘It’s a Complete Disaster’

Connecticut: Chemicals and Pesticides Draining Off Into Coastal Waters Are Killing Lobsters, ‘It’s a Complete Disaster’

By Douglas Kennedy – “‘Look at that,’ said Mike Kalaman as he held up a juvenile lobster that appeared limp in his fingers. ‘That is not normal.’

Kalaman was on his lobster boat, ‘Dark Horse,’ on Tuesday, hauling traps and setting bait in the middle of Long Island Sound. It’s something he’s been doing for more than 30 years.

But lately, the Connecticut lobsterman says his pots have been empty, or filled with sick lobsters like the juvenile he tossed back.

‘Yeah, I know what the problem is,’ he said. ‘To me there’s no doubt.’

Kalaman points his finger south toward New York State.

‘It’s methoprene,’ he said. ‘Everyone who works in this industry knows it’s methoprene.’

Methoprene is the pesticide of choice for New York counties that border Long Island Sound, including Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester. All three counties have been adding it to storm drains since 1999 with the blessing of New York State, to kill mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile Virus.

Kalaman says it’s no coincidence that 1999 is the year lobsters started disappearing in the Sound.

‘Every summer,’ he explained, ‘when we have our first heavy rainfall of the year, these chemicals leach into the Sound, and the lobsters get sick.’

He said storm runoff brings the pesticide from the drains directly to where the lobsters mate.

‘It sinks to the bottom of the sound and travels like a fog bank, killing all the lobsters.’

Twelve years ago, there were more than a thousand people working in the Connecticut lobster industry. Today there are less than 80.” Read more.

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