The Baymen’s Nightmare: All the Scallops Are Dead

There have been lean years in Peconic Bay, on Long Island. But fishermen have never seen a failed harvest like this one.

Comments: 263

  1. Wow. Back in the ‘80s at a dinner party my parents friends trashed about 15 bay scallops on Martha’s Vinyard during cleanup. We thought that was a tragedy.

  2. This is just the beginning. Anyone that is happy about the birth of a grand child should realize that that kid will live in a dystopian world, hardly a reason to celebrate.

  3. @Paulie I'm thinking the same.

  4. @Paulie Deliberately having a child in this day and age is just about the most selfish and irresponsible action any sane person could possibly make. What are they thinking!

  5. @Leslie That maybe that kid will save us? I don't know. Not having a child is a way of giving up. There is hope - maybe the worship of mammon will become as scorned as deniers will soon be.

  6. Not to sound like a broken record, but are they also Trump voters? His moves on climate change will devastate all their fishing plans

  7. @RP Look, as much as I detest Trump's ignorant and destructive environmental policies, I have to point out that global warming is a result of human activity seriously underway since the beginning of the industrial revolution. And any reader of the NYT should have known since the 70s or at most 80s that this was the case. Yet we've all put the issue on the back burner, at the very least. And as long as it pays to pollute the environment with CO2, we'll keep doing it. Because capitalism.

  8. Yes

  9. @Carlos Fiancé Right: And since the 1970s, one political party in particular has been making the facts you note public knowledge and advocating for something to be done about it—while another political party has done all they can to prevent any change. I'll leave it to you to identify which is which.

  10. When lobstermen and scallop men complain about climate change, you know it's real. By profession conservative, both they and their haul are proverbial canaries in coal mines. (My paternal grandfather is labeled a "clam man" in an early 1940s census. He was the old guy behind the clam bar at Lundy's in Sheepshead Bay.) Who can't tell the climate has already changed? Flowering trees budding weeks early, jellyfish in early July, a paucity of small birds once common in my backyard. Darned depressing.

  11. @B. True, but also typical. Conservatives only care about global issues when they are directly effected.

  12. And like the canary in a cage who hasn’t a clue about what’s happening until it’s too late.

  13. Two details in this article that are affecting shellfish as well as fish along the coasts (and inland as well). "But New York’s bay scallops are living close to the edge, unable to tolerate water hotter than the mid-80s. They are particularly stressed by temperature spikes that also stimulate them to spawn." This affects corals, too. Tropical shallow-water reef corals tend to live very close to the top of their temperature range - risky, but it had been worth it until temperatures suddenly began to increase in recent decades. Global bleaching events, once unheard of, are becoming common. "Mr. Tettelbach believes the cause of the collapse from Flanders Bay to Orient Harbor is high water temperatures and the accompanying low oxygen levels." Warmer water holds less oxygen. That's bad for everything in the water column, because it reduces what's living in the water, while the warmth speeds the metabolism of what's still there. So fish are stressed from low oxygen, yet need to eat more to support a faster metabolism. One difference between fish and shellfish. Fish can, and do, migrate to where the temperatures and oxygenation are still healthy. But there's less ocean the farther north they go.

  14. I'm tempted to share this article with my extended family. All but two are for Trump, however, and mistake climate change for weather. They would tell me that this devastating news is only a temporary aberration. All will be right in a few years. Interestingly, they have kids and grandchildren. I don't. Yet I mourn the passing of a halcyon age gone by, when our seas teamed with seafood and our shores sheltered abundant wildlife. Our future generations will hate us for squandering their earthly heritage, and rightly so.

  15. @Vic WHAT 'future generations'? I must say I admire your optimism.

  16. @Vic I could have wrote your post as I also have no children and have family who are all in with Republicans and Trump. I don't try to engage them anymore. They have been brainwashed by whatever news sources they use. I only wish they would write in journals as I do so their offspring will know where to direct their anger.

  17. @Vic Future generations will breed like rabbits, so they will contribute to their own end as well. Nothing can stop the breeding cults.

  18. And the beat goes on ....

  19. This is a sign of mass extinction on a scale that will devastate all life on Earth, including our own lives.

  20. There was a time that between striped bass and scallops, you could make a semester's college tuition. " It's not fish ye're buyin , it's men's lives. Sir Walter Scott

  21. scallops too? many ecosystems seem to be collapsing, and many birds, bees, butterflies, bears, bats, big cats.... and so on are at risk, and its not just the big fool that says to push on, its all who drive and fly everywhere, eat lots of meat, have large families, turn up the AC all the time... and so far little change in politicians' policies or peoples' behavior even as things start to unravel

  22. You can avoid reality for only so long. When you vote for people who deny reality (human induced climate change), reality eventually catches up with you. Keep voting for the science deniers and reap what you sow. Empty shells, in this case.

  23. An interesting question is omitted from the article... Do the FISHERMEN associate the disappearance of scallops with global warming? And if so, do they associate this problem with the current administration? It seems that these obvious questions were missed. I'm guessing that some Long Island fishermen are reading this article about their industry. I hope that they might comment on this.

  24. @ShenBowen The current administration?? If it were only that simple. I hate Trump, but even the most dedicated environmental administration isn’t going to change much now.

  25. @T this is not true. there are many things we can do to help the future become more stable.

  26. @T I agree with Francine. People need to stop consuming, even in the "Blue States." After this ongoing mass extinction, the Earth and glory of the Cosmos will adorn the planet once again with diverse life.

  27. Each child’s birth changes the world, adding to the world scene, but we have cut ourselves from nature, blindly denying our interdependence to all things. What will you teach your children and grandchildren of the world they will inhabit and inherit from you? Will you teach them the same dangerous behavior towards self-annihilation? This is no longer a hypothetical question. The effects of climate change are an evident struggle for millions of people worldwide. With ongoing mass extinctions of species, will people remember animals and birds as mythical beings — like a unicorn?

  28. 99% of the scallops are dead and yet there is still a season? Why are we harvesting the live one which may be the ones left who may be adaptable to the changing climate?

  29. @Ken Floyd Great point! When limits are imposed the fishermen complain that the regulators are taking away their livelihood. It's already on the way out or gone.

  30. @Ken Floyd Our bay scallop only lives to about 20 months or so. If these adults, that only (for the most part) spawn once, aren't harvested, most will die by April/May of 2020. The juveniles (that are plentiful) aren't harvested (legally, at least) until they have gone through a winter and have spawned. So all of this talk about taking the last scallop is nonsense, as is the writer above who decries dredging: the dredges the baymen use (if used properly) do not destroy the bottom, even with eelgrass present- the eelgrass' roots are safe below the sand. I'll also mention that this fishery has always been boom/bust, ever since records have been kept. The life history (spawning once per generation) is the cause. If next year's water temperatures are a little lower or the warmest water doesn't coincide with spawning, there are no harmful algal blooms (there weren't any this year) and predators don't have a party, it could be a great November 2, 2020.

  31. Comment continued: This is not to diminish the fact that our waters are warming and that this species is at the southern end of its range- like lobster here on Long Island. And by the way, the oyster farmers I work with are saying this is one of the best years for growth and survival of their crop, and that's from Islip to Montauk- different species entirely as are clams- both can close tight to avoid anoxia for days if necessary. Scallops can't. I say all this from my office overlooking the Peconic Bay and who has been involved with this and other shellfish species here for over 30 years.

  32. Bushels! Bushels? Really? Amazing. I had heard that in some parts of the US they still used feet and inches - but bushels? Wow. The rest of the world stopped using bushels around about the 1700s. I remember a school history lesson in about 1965 that went over the medieval systems such as 'chains', 'pecks', 'furlongs' and 'bushels' but I never imagined that anyone still used them. Hilarious.

  33. That's your take away? Seriously? The collapse of an ecosystem, and its hilarious? Well, not to worry; they'll never use "bushels" as a unit of measurement again. That's all in the past now. Along with their livelihoods, and our being able to reliably count on the seas as a source of food. I don't think it'll be hilarious when you're grandchildren go hungry, but that's the nature of climate change; what's happening now is the result of carbon dumped into the atmosphere 10, 20 years ago. As we have only increased our folly, with corrupt leadership in the United States and Australia, just imagine the near future.

  34. @Leslie “Bushels” is a common usage term in agriculture in areas in the US which refers to a type of basket - a bushel basket - as in a “bushel of corn.”. “Feet” and “inches” have a different meaning.

  35. If we aren’t smart enough to grasp the metric system do you think we can figure out what we are doing to our oceans!!!!

  36. I have spent my summers in Greenport since 1976. There were many years that the bay scallop harvest was beyond sensational.The article points out what happened with the brown tide blooms. Consider the famous Blue Point Oyster from the late 1800s. They were so prevalent, bars almost gave them away to lure customers. Today, true Blue Points are gone. Probably the last signs of them in top NYC restaurants occurred in the 1950s. Loss of species has been going on for a very long time. How the massive development of the East End has affected water quality is often not discussed. And the motorboats and yachts everywhere probably have an impact too. Turning the clock back is impossible. Bay scallops will most likely never be available in volume like they were many decades ago. This the unmeasured cost of population expansion in what was a rural area coupled with a hot summer.

  37. @Boat52 Oysters disappeared from Great South Bay after hurricane '38... possibly salinity shock. By 1960s the Blue Point Co lost hope in restoration, since newly transplanted immature oysters tended to get sick, I believe from a disease called MX (likely viral, and now an issue in Delaware Bay). As recently as late 90s, some few knowledgeable baypeople could find some wild ones, but not a commercial source. Some other folk are commercially growing oysters in cultured format in floating beds....

  38. @Boat52 Actually oyster farming on the east end has rebounded, as there are over a dozen growers in the Peconic Bay and Sound, including LIttle Creek, Widows Hole, Oyster Ponds...they are doing quite well. Last year's bay scallop harvest was one of the best. To see it crash this year is a shame. Would've made sense to have a moratorium to give the remaining population some recovery time, but saw the boats out dredging up Orient Harbor on Monday, which doesn't help for next year.

  39. As is becoming apparent to everyone, climate change and politics are intertwined from California to the east coast. If any of those folks affected by the end of scallop "season" voted Republican in the past few decades, they have only themselves to blame. Al Gore as president and we would be in a much better place vis-a-vis climate change. Alas, it is little comfort to folks who believed in science, in climate change policies to know we are and have been right for decades. Republicans who deny and denied climate change have killed us all as certainly as they have killed the scallops.

  40. @Dean Hall I lived in Shelter Island for three years and know that most are Republicans. I could never understand how they could support a party that was helping to put them out of business

  41. @Dean Hall Republican friends that have spouted climate change denial for decades seem to be free of introspection while finally accepting it is indeed happening. Their new schtick "nothing we can do about it" or "it's a natural process" is sickening. Don't vote republican ever. That party needs to disappear from the face of the earth. At least a few years before the rest of us have to.

  42. ive lived part time on Little Peconic Bay for 60 years and remember as a kid walking thru the creek at low tide in october -back in those days the season opened in October - and "harvest" scallops by hand . it didnt take long to fill a bucket that when shucked provided the sweetest dinner. thru the 70' & 80' it was harder to do and now there are no scallops in my creek. this is another sign along with degrading salt marsh and fewer weakfish -another local favorite- that show the dramatic change in the Bay. the only thing i notice getting better are the sea robins- a mollusk eating throw away fish- which have gotten huge.

  43. Dredging, as a way of fishing for scallops, is destructive. It scrapes the bottom, disturbing habitat and destroying those organisms that can’t get out of the way. It transforms the benthic zone, once rich and complex, into a wasteland. This kind of destruction snowballs. But it’s not something the majority of the fishing industry thinks or cares about. But every time one species goes extinct, it takes a dozen other species with it. Just we don’t notice unless it has an immediate impact on our wallets. Buckle up your seatbelts one and all. The evolutionary bottleneck (of our own making) looms ever closer. What are the odds than humans will squeeze through to the other side?

  44. @Ellen B "The evolutionary bottleneck (of our own making) looms ever closer. What are the odds than humans will squeeze through to the other side" Must we wait until it affects us, the apex predator? Can't we fix this because we care about the environment, instead of caring only about a pleasurable meal or a paycheck?

  45. @we Tp "Can't we fix this because we care about the environment, instead of caring only about a pleasurable meal or a paycheck?" Only if we can overcome millions of years of evolution, where we developed brains that value short term gratification over long range planning. One of the reasons that we have been so successful as a species is that we could always adapt to a changing or depleted environment, simply moving on to the next virgin territory. "Use up all the resources, then move on" is pretty basic human nature, along with "I'll worry about that later."

  46. My heart breaks as I read this story. I lived in this area during the summers from the late 40s thru the 60s and just visited it a few weeks ago. I find the fact that within the past week Trump formally withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord and the fate of the Peconic Baymen to be deeply disturbing. Our future, our children’s future and are grandchildren’s future depend on addressing climate change issues. The scallop collapse is further proof of the urgency of the problem confronting all of us.

  47. What’s the “human caused climate change” that is the reason behind the lousy scallop harvest? An explanation rather than evidence-less bleating would be helpful.

  48. @Cjmesq0 Water Temp changes, about a one Celsius increase over the last decade. It doesn't seem like much, but it could make an area that was once on the edge of that Scallop's habitat uninhabitable because it is too hot. We are also seeing this with the bulk of the lobster catch moving north into Canada. Think of it like the tree line on a mountain, where trees simply can no longer grow to the cold. As the temperature warms, the tree line will move up the mountain. In this case, the scallops are dying off as the warmer water moves north.

  49. @Cjmesq0. It’s really time for deniers to quit the pseudo-intellectual skeptic posture. The scientific literature is drowning in research and documentation of global warming and its connection with climate change and its effects. It’s like being skeptical of the science underlying the operation of the computer you’re using to post your comment. Additionally, it would be impossible for any article related to any matter to restate the foundational basis of every assertion. With global warming and climate change it’s all out there for you to research. Make America Think Again!

  50. 2019 was the hottest summer on record.

  51. The way Americans fish and eat scallops is disgusting.And they have no sense of ecology like the British. There was a war on the coasts of Brittany, with guns on boats (the British ) because French fishermen were trying to impeach British industrial fishermen with huge boats to come catch the scallops in French waters when the French law prohibited the catch for population recovery at a certain time of reproduction ( but the European law was authorizing the fishing ) . Scallops are wonderful delicate shell fish that we eat in the shell in France, with the corral ( the genitals -the best part). You buy them for 2 euro each in season and about 3 or 4 of them in full flesh ( not just the muscle ! ) are enough to feed one person .The anglos destroy the scallops, fish them industrially, only eat the muscle, discard the rest , then keep them soaking in buckets, freeze them and eat them by the dozens . A sad waste and a sad ignorance of the laws of nature and taste that will conduct to extension without doubt . It is like crabs. The anglos don't know how to eat crab in the shell and eat everything , so they fish them industrially destroying entire population and process them in factories to can only the white meat.

  52. @JPH sorry extinction. don't know what the correct engine was thinking...

  53. @JPH When your only 'talent' is industrialization and temporary promotion of 'quantity', not 'quality', that is the unfortunate consequence. 'Anglos' only care how much money they have and how much 'stuff' their wealth can buy, as a signal of their sad 'self-worth'.

  54. @JPH We are all waiting for the French to come and save the world with their enlightened ways.

  55. I just finished reading a long article about lobsters in Maine. The warming water up in the bays of Maine has cause a 20 year boom in the lobsters harvest up there (the warming water is good for the baby lobsters). But the water is still getting warmer and now its getting too warm for lobsters. They are moving into colder water, they are moving deeper and further North. The lobster industry is in trouble and they know it. It appears the scallop industry is in the same trouble. Reality is a slap up the side of the head,isn't it.

  56. An excerpt of an Oct. 31, story in The Guardian by DP Carrington: “The research is the first to reveal the knock-on effects of insecticides on fish. Harm to bees is well known, but previous studies in Europe have linked neonicotinoids to die-offs in other freshwater species including mayflies, dragonflies and snails and also to falling populations of farmland bird that feed on insects, including starlings and swallows. The insecticide has also been shown to make migrating songbirds lose their way." It’s not just neonicotinoids- Suffolk County has been spraying our wetlands with pesticides for years calling it ‘nuisance control’ when scientists have proven the inhabitants of those wetlands would naturally take care of any so-called nuisances by having them for dinner. Now the price is being paid and the County is still dropping poison over our waters killing everything from the top down.

  57. @Bambi Much of the wetland spraying for mosquitos these days is with BT. It is a naturally occuring bacteria. It is harmless to anything but Dipteran insects (flies and mosquitos). Neonicotinoids are not used in aerial spraying for mosquitos. It is a systemic insecticide it is used in ornamental plants mainly.

  58. We need to step back from everyone’s go to explanation for any anomaly (global warming and climate change) and realize that population is the ultimate cause. We will never slow anything down until the world population goes to zero growth. More people require more resources and more energy and there is no denying that.

  59. @Jim Zero growth isn't going to happen because well-to-do westerners decide that is best strategy to save the planet. The most immediate and practical solutions they can implement is to seriously modify their own lifestyles, and abandon a culture of materialism for a more sustainable one. And, yes, this includes a major reduction of the consumption of animal products.

  60. @Jim Climate change and population growth are two prongs of the same fork that humanity seems intent on putting straight into themselves.

  61. FACT: there is no safe amount of sea food to be harvested. Because of the oil companies all governments have been lying over and over about the effects of each and every spill. Big oil has almost decimated our oceans and the sea life in them and if we don't back of over fishing our oceans are doomed then we as a people as doomed. This is just a tiny example of what's going on everywhere.

  62. Here in RI I know several commercial fisherman that are hesitant to accept that the ongoing onslaught of the seas will have consequences. Why hasn't this industry accepted that the party won't go on forever? Cape Cod was named because the cod were so abundant you could scoop them up off shore. Now there are virtually none on the Cape. Until these fisherman agree to invest in re-sustaining the stocks, in the manner of reforestaton or oyster cultivation, this pattern will only worsen.

  63. Day by day we see ever more signs that we are altering the support systems for life on this planet. We won't be the first to go, but the facts point toward mass extinctions. More and more we will be eating our "seed corn" and human existence will be in crisis. It won't be a good time to be alive when scarce resources will be battled over.

  64. Another episode of climate decay. And the hits just keep on coming as our politicians abide the wishes of big oil, and the media tell us how oil producing nations increasing production and creating a glut “complicates” efforts to slow climate change.

  65. The underlying problem is inherently human; we want it all. We don’t need to eat scallops to survive yet, even knowing many years ago that climate change would impact marine life, we continue to devour wild seafood and shellfish. Many folks insist on wild-caught and sneer at eating farmed fish but that’s what I eat. Sure, there are issues with aqua-farming but my sense is it’s better to leave wild marine life alone and give it a fighting chance to survive. In the end, it’s all about the sacrifices we are collectively willing to make.

  66. @Dave Bee Farmed raised is corporate raised. Never healthy and it takes away from the small commercial fishing unit. You should rethink what causes all of this. Until we make the hard choices that will ultimately benefit us rather then short term profits for the big guys we lose. I disagree with your premise. Not against some types of aquaculture but it should NEVER replace a well managed wild caught product.

  67. @Dave Bee : Yes, the problem is with humans "wanting it all". But the real issue isn't with humans wanting *scallops*. It's with them wanting all the things that are contributing to climate change -- individual cars, suburban homes, cheap grain-fed industrial agriculture cattle, plane flights to exotic locations for vacation. The fact that humans want *food* is *not* what caused the climate crisis. The climate crisis is what's causing the decline of the scallops. Yes, it would help right now to cut back on consumption of marine products for food (if you don't live somewhere where you live depends on fish for survival). But the bigger help will be doing all the things we need to do slash our carbon output.

  68. @Dave Bee Peconic Bay Scallops, even at their healthiest, live for 18-24 months or so. 1-year olds (juveniles) are not harvested, since they have yet to spawn. 2-year-olds (adults) are harvested as they will die off anyway. Feel free to eat corporate farmed fish, but "leaving them alone" will do nothing to solve this tragedy.

  69. We really need to up the effort to identify keystone species in as many ecosystems as we can. It may be one of these keystone species that wakes us up to being too late. Hopefully Scallops are not a keystone species.

  70. The impact of climate change may be a slow mover, but it looms over the future of important ecosystem services like commercial fisheries like nothing else. Previous issues that have been dealt with through changes in regulations and establishment of marine sanctuaries, like overharvesting, pollution, or physical habitat degradation pale in comparison. We can't be reactive like we normally are with regard to issues, we must be proactive, because once those impacts get here they will be difficult or even impossible to turn around. If the habitat isn't there, there's no hope for those organisms to return.

  71. At one time, perhaps it is still the case, 70% of breathable oxygen came from the sea. I can't think of anything more dramatic to add to that

  72. @shrinking food it still comes from the sea. The problem is that the warmer water gets the less oxygen it can carry in solution. A small temperature increase can mean a rapid loss of dissolved oxygen.

  73. Great story brought to life by Johnny Milano's beautiful photos.

  74. How is it possible the fishermen who went out on opening day in spite of knowing the number of scallops were at a record breaking low, decided to dredge up the few that were there? Did they not consider for one moment that perhaps they should think about how to help the scallops recover?

  75. @Lorraine, profits over consequences on an individual level - these people need to survive. It's the same mind set that drives multi-national corporations and mega pharma companies to put profits over people. People who can't afford this thing they need to survive die as a consequence. Food, clean water, medicines - it doesn't make any difference. No pay, no play. The people at the top don't CARE about the consequences - they in general aren't affected by them because they think the money they have will always protect them, no matter what. But it wasn't the elites who survived the last bout of global climate change, terminating in the last Ice Age about 11,500 years ago.

  76. @Lorraine Do you fish for a living? Some fisherman have to give it a go and really see what's going on in the water. Sometimes predictions can be off. This years early predictions for Long Island bay scallops, as dire as they were, appear to be optimistic.

  77. @Lorraine as you probably know, the crab in beautiful northern CA have had a tough time of it these past few years. The crab fishing folks devote time, energy and sacrifice to preserve this beautiful species. Crab lovers (like me) have simply moved away from eating crab-- maybe if and when they heal, I will try again.

  78. It is all inter-related and climate change affects the ocean by making it warmer and more acidic (via CO2 absorption). The effects ripple out by first affecting the most vulnerable species. It then expands out. Another example I heard about is lobsters seem to be moving to colder waters and there are less of them in traditional areas. So the evidence of the the start of impacts starts to accumulate and time will show how these impacts will affect others - scallop draggers may be the first in a long line of potentially affected industries. For example, the Bay of Fundy scallop fishery is extensively managed according to a plan between the industry and the government. Bad years lead to reduced activity to bring stocks back to some sustainable level. Not sure if such a plan with quotas exists in NY and whether they would have seen it coming. Or whether it is too late as per what happened to the Atlantic cod fishery in Canada.

  79. Another example of an industry doomed by modern day challenges, in this case climate change, but not letting go until every last one of the scallops have been dredged for human profit. Coal, oil, palm oil, etc....

  80. The uncomfortable truth about climate change is that there are simply too many human beings on this planet. Human existence brings increased carbon footprint with known consequences. I'm afraid we're swimming upstream against the tide of human reproduction. There's not a lot that science can do about that.

  81. Actually, according to UN population projections (which have an excellent accuracy history), the world population is set to level of somewhere around 12 billion people. Moving people out of extreme poverty and educating women are the predicted drivers of the leveling off. What we need to do is plan for a population of about 12 billion, and figure out the best ways to minimize and adapt to climate change. Hint: the solution requires people in the US to change their consumption and living habits, which is already an uphill battle.

  82. You say 12 billion like that is a sustainable number as long as it “levels off” and remains steady somehow. 12 billion is going to be an ongoing catastrophe, especially when ALL of them are educated to want and expect electricity, automobiles, air travel, air conditioning, heating, pesticide-grown food, all the consumer entitlements of a middle class life, including the daily tonnage of trash that your average middle class person adds to landfill. There will never be enough quality food and enough untouched nature and enough clean air and water to make human life look anything like it did in the good old days of only 3 or 4 billion.

  83. @Patricia The U.S. is not the problem; if you want to focus on the problem, look at the millions of crop burning farmers in India, or the industrial plants in China which operate without scrubbers spewing Mercury into the air and polluting farmlands with upstream industrial waste. Bribery is traditional in both countries. Look at the offshore pollution destroying communities in West Africa. Now look at Trump's fight with Gov. Newsom regarding auto emissions and off shore drilling for oil. The outdated Electoral College negated the popular vote and put a corrupt, greedy grifter in the WH. Trump is not only uneducated with a Business Degree purchased by a wealthy father, he is willfully ignorant showing all the signs of Early Onset Dementia: lack of short term memory, narcissism, sudden incoherent rages, and willingness to put his country at risk from adversaries: Putin, Duterte, Erdogan et al. Those who voted for him in the farm belt will see their small farm communities die off, unable to compete with Big Ag and tariffs. Those in the rust belt have seen their factories either closed, or run by engineers and robots. Unemployment is now ending for long term unemployed. Dollar Stores with low pay and no benefits offer jobs which will not sustain viable communities. Wal Mart pays low, and offers no benefits for other than management. Wal Mart imports cheap products made in China and Vietnam. Cheap clothing fades, and is made in toxic environments.

  84. and today, Trump has just allowed dredging in protected waters. Oh well, Let them eat cake!

  85. The big question is, 'How many of these Scallop fishers voted for Trump.' It's either the pollutants or the ocean's warming and Trump is bad news on both. Trump is dialing back the EPA and refuses to believe in global warming. How on earth any intelligent person can identify with this disgrace is the even bigger question.

  86. @Issac Basonkavich Just for the record, Trump /believes/ in climate change as evidenced by the permit application he filed to protect his golf course in Ireland (see Politico article from 5/23/16) which explicitly cited "global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure." But he is doing the bidding of the petro-oligarchs who own the politicians like Pence whispering in Trump's ear and who are not ready to get off the gravy train of fossil fuels.

  87. We are killing ourselves to live the way we all have since the mid 1800s. This is so sad.

  88. Let’s hope these fishermen remember this when they vote in 2020.

  89. Mr. Sweat is not a fisher. He is a fisherman. A fisher is an animal in the family that includes ferrets, otters, weasels, minks and some others: long skinny carnivores.

  90. @Jonathan Katz You will be cancelled for that blasphemy.

  91. Your story says scallops were plentiful last year and are plentiful in Massachusetts waters this year. Is it likely global warming finally kicked in this year and caused an entire species to become extinct? Let’s see what happens in coming years before we push the panic button.

  92. @Never Trumper Biology is like that. The only reason the northeast still has hemlocks (unlike the Virginia hills - which are devastated - visit Skyline drive in the winter to see) is that the winter temperatures are still cold enough to keep the woolly adelgid at bay. It's a change measured in single-digit degrees. Current projections even with lower achievable carbon emissions can have VA winters in CT by 2025. The lobster fishery in Long Island sound is commercially collapsed, ostensibly from temperature rise, but also possibly from recent spiked pesticide use on the shoreline. All of this is predictable. We have reversed the effects of human activity on ozone and acid rain by concerted efforts. It will cost more to fail than to succeed in climate efforts.

  93. 2017, 2018 and 2019 each hottest years since records started to be kept. Facts are stubborn things. Bivalves and lobsters can’t live in water temps that are now consistently too hot

  94. @Never Trumper Global warming is increasing the chances in any given year that the water temperature will be too high (causing the oxygen content of the water to be too low) for the scallops to survive. That won't happen every year, but the odds keep going up. If it happens a few years in a row there will be no scallops left to reproduce, and the species will in fact be extinct, at least in that area. It won't do any good to push the panic button at that point.

  95. If only we could do something as a species? Perhaps join in an international effort to combat environmental damage and improve sustainability. If only there were a way to prevent overpopulation and overharvest. If only there were a way to use the power of economics to address environmental damage. Maybe science can help? If only. None of this.. not one tiny piece, is unprecedented or unexpected. And at the end of the day, ....well, never mind. This IS the end of the day. "Canaries in the coal mine" are dropping all over the place. And we human "miners" look around like it's a surprise. What's really chilling is not a bunch of dead sea bugs. They are just the latest thing to get some air time on the pages of the NYT today.... it's that adult humans are silly enough to elect people who destroy even the inadequate efforts we have been making. Yeah, you know who that is. Whatever, just blame it on brown people and get your sea bugs from the next state up. Nothing to see here.

  96. And our politicians do nothing or worse. I feel sorry for my grandchildren

  97. Do most of these salt of the earth fishermen deny climate change and if so, do they vote Republican. If the answer is yes, than I have to be honest, I don't care about their plight.

  98. The article is heart-breaking, but the photos are...stunning. Sublime, perfectly toned. they literally transported me to the nighttime boat journeys and the plight of the baymen and baywomen. Thanks Johnny Milano.

  99. Get used to it. Adapt or die. Move away while you still can, or stay and suffer the consequences. Harsh words, but MANY, perhaps ALL of us, may have to face that reality due to the consequences of global climate change - sooner than we think.

  100. Weird. Biologists warned against overfishing and climate change, and said it would cause decimations in mollusk and crustacean populations. And now fisheries are collapsing. Almost like reality doesn’t care how much human politicians choose to ignore reality...

  101. I’m curious. How many have been voting Republican all these years? If so, this is what they voted for. Elections have consequences

  102. After the interviewing should be asking each baypersons (there are woman fishing also?) - some of these questions - do you believe in The Clean Water Act? Which president signed the Clean Water Act (Nixon)? Did you vote for Trump? What do you think about cutting environmental regs by Trump? Do you think more nitrogen from lawn fertilizers and septic systems is a good idea? Did you know the Clean Water Act in the courts where has been going after point source pollution including from septic systems? Do you believe man is the cause of global warming? Long island sound lost its lobsters with warming and the scallops are gone and with record temps won’t be coming back probably . Global warming is no longer theoretical. Scallops go up and down with year ‘sets’ but they won’t be up with record temps . They need eel grass which does not like cloudy water from nutrient caused blooms. Bye bye scallops. I’m guessing based on my friends who commercially fish and acquaintances who fish that a poll of these fellows will show numbers skewed heavily that voted Trump. Temper the empathy. Own your vote. Look your kids in the face and say I give you a cr*p future . 2050 median sea level rise of 1.5 feet, warmer water holds more co2 which acidifies water and kills spawning shellfish .warmer water helps things like red tide really take off. It’s not just warm water in itself.

  103. Thank you!

  104. @John Louisiana has allowed oil barges to transit the Gulf, spilling oil. The wild grasses which protected New Orleans are dying, as are the old fishing communities. Mitch McConnell supports the coal mining industry which has produced a mountain of coal mining sludge on mountain tops due to mining there. It is only a matter of time before that sludge breaks through barriers burying rivers, streams, and the communities below. No one wants to see their jobs disappear; however, McConnell et al ensured that Clinton's offer of financial support for job retraining was defeated. Trump and his corrupt Cabinet have removed Nixon's EPA regs. Trump will not live to see the day when Mar a Lago is underwater.

  105. Put "climate crisis" in the title of the article and any other that is about the effects of it.

  106. Life these days is a torturous awareness of the consequences of human greed and stupidity and gross malevolent negligence. We have been made aware for decades, but chose to live in the banquet of our times. Consume, party, and consume some more. And have more children to fill that good old baby moment. Well, here it is. Time to pay the Piper.

  107. They need to stop dredging the scallop and let them recover. May be the one that survived the high temperature were able to evolve to withstand the harsh environment, but they were being dredged up and eaten. Please give the scallop a chance.

  108. @Joe Well the reporting did indicate that they stopped dredging and went home. Clearly this problem is not one of over-fishing. Blaming it on that just masks the issues here.

  109. @Joe Umm, evolution takes a bit of time, the one thing we don't have. Actually that's the whole point of human-caused climate change - it's too quick for nearly anything to evolve to deal with it.

  110. @Salix The one that survived can withstand the harsh environment and their offspring will most likely to survive. An individual won't evolve in his lifetime but an population does in the long run. The scallops that are alive might able to live in hot environment and their offspring are most likely as well.

  111. Hopefully, they’re voting for the party that’s trying to address climate change and pollution.

  112. The few remaining scallops are the most hardy and represented an evolutionarily select seed population for next year. So why catch them?

  113. For profit of course. Money comes first, last and always. Vision and responsibility not so much.

  114. @Richthornley How do you know that? They may have just spawned later by happenstance. Jumping to an optimistic conclusion with zero data or science is called denial.

  115. @Rob richthornley is 100% right you are 100% ignorant Read a book about evolutionary biology (SJ Gould is a good place to start)

  116. The feces are in the fan, fellow peeps. The warning lights are all flashing red and the sirens are sounding the alarm. Do we care enuf' to change our evil ways? All signs point to No. In '18, we drove and flew record miles, built bigger McMansions and bought more urban 4WD SUVs and pickups, WASTED a record &age of the energy and food we produce… How 'bout you? Do you know what your Carbon Footprint is? Or how it compares to, say, the average Brit's? Have you ended your pleasure driving and ego travel? Insulated your house and sealed the leaks? Installed LEDs and powerstrips? Yada and yada… Or maybe it's better to just wait for "them" to do something first? Waddya think?

  117. @Miss Anne Thrope How many of us have seriously curbed our airplane travel? I understand that to be the single most effective thing an individual can do to reduce greenhouse emissions.

  118. @Barney Wolfe The single biggest impact on the environment is repopulating. We are adding another billion humans every 8 years. It took us 150K years to reach 1 billion. Then 100 years to hit 2 billion, since then it's been geometric 'growth.'

  119. I can't help but wonder who these fishermen vote for? I have fished in the pacific all my life, and watched as the salmon population dropped to all time lows. BTW, Patagonia has a special out about saving the pacific salmon fishery (worth a watch). Water is a big topic here in Ca., so is climate control (anyone who is awake should be aware of the battle between Trump and Ca on auto emission and climate change). I fish with several Trump fans (though the salmon demise didn't start with Trump). As we fish and talk, its always baffling to me how environmental policy is not directly tied to fish population and management. I still cannot wrap my head around how my friends can let their hate of democrats short circuit their ability to drive their party to maintain a healthy earth. Reminds me of the farmers here in Ca that support Trump and Republicans who make Mexican laborers out to be boogeymen, while their farms and lives AND WEALTH depends upon that cheap labor.

  120. Aren't those who harvest lobsters in New England waters facing the same eventual fate?

  121. @Andrew Porter How did this happen all of a sudden from last years' surplus? Climate change has been slowly affecting the waters for years but this seems so drastic. There must be other factors involved such as pollution, algae, etc.

  122. @breezyvalley It can take a long time to walk to the edge of a cliff. How long does it take to fall over the cliff?

  123. Green New Deal anyone, especially my so-called conservative trump voting friends? Conservative actually means "to conserve!"

  124. Another hard fact to take in, somewhat pointing at global warming, the elephant in the room. Once again, there will be denials and blame aplenty to be thrown around when finally the chances are that, both in the short term and down the line, business will just resume, as usual, with the overfishing of the oceans until there is nothing is left off while in the process the industry will silently hope that some invisible hand will reinvigorate the stock overnight hence save the next season. Such a bleak outcome has long been in the cards, supported by scientific data who have been sending warnings for decades now. Mostly to deaf ears. It's just too bad that the ones most directly impacted by it here aren't necessarily the ones most guilty for, meanwhile, at this point, everyone is on the same boat. The slow and steady undergoing process of acidification of the oceans is already directly impacting the seafood chain, killing coral reefs, hampering, on a large front, sea life's development, for instance by weakening their exoskeleton.

  125. News alert for Sawyer Clark -- this is not sudden. Scientists have been warning about this for years, but people haven't been listening. Or they like their habits too much to adjust them. Or they buy into the lies of certain politicians and corporations. But don't call it sudden.

  126. @Paula S An example from a May 30, 2014 Daily Mail: "Oystars, clams and mussels could be disappear fro menus if their habitats are affected by climate change, researchers have warned. A new study found half the marine mollusk species looked at are projected to lose a big slice of their North Atlantic habitat to global climate change in this century. Researchers say the animals are unable to shift their habitats - and instead will simply die out in many areas." A prediction from little over 5 years ago and you are right, there were so many more.

  127. @Paula S We have been aware since the book Silent Spring which predicted where we are now. Scientists do not all agree that this can be reversed; some of them believe we have passed the tipping point. I hope for future generations they are wrong. We owe it to our children, grandchildren et al to stop pretending that the use of fossil fuels will not eventually destroy the ozone layer which now protects our air. It will do that unless we change. Our planet cannot sustain life without oxygen to breathe. That includes wild life, human life, and Marine life in the oceans which are becoming acidified and polluted.

  128. The human-created climate crisis (in the air, on the land, and in the waters) and its rapidly approaching dire consequences to all life on the planet, sadly reminds me of this quote: “How did you go bankrupt?" “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises Our collective moral bankruptcy and material greed has negatively affected every corner of this planet and every species to which this Earth will always be our only home.

  129. Thanks for making this story more prominent in today's online edition. Its an extremely important example of what is happening to all of us.

  130. @KATHLEEN People are not reading paper edition. Main edition is online edition anymore. You are addressing this is a app like. no This is it, it is NYT. Give up paper save the trees .

  131. @su I understand the point you are trying to make but consider that cutting down trees locks up their carbon, as long as you don't burn them, and makes room for new, growing trees which lock away more carbon. The server farms that deliver digital content use huge amounts of electricity and, unless that is generated from renewable sources, probably contribute more carbon on net. Its all so complex.

  132. @Ken As we have been fighting this battle in Western MA for quite awhile, and continue to do so: Older, mature trees sequester way more carbon than immature trees.

  133. Everyone of them a Republican who goes home to watch Fox demonize a little Swedish girl who dares complain about the earth she’s inheriting.

  134. You have no idea this is true so why do you find it necessary to spread it? Don't be like Trump!

  135. @Steve You paint with an awfuly wide brush -- and I'm not a Republican.

  136. Another vote for Trump will solve all of their problems.

  137. Scallops grow just fine here on the West Coast of Florida where summer water temperatures are in the upper 80’s so it’s not warming so look for pollution.

  138. @James it’s a different species of scallop. Just because a brown bear can thrive in temperate climates, doesn’t mean a polar bear can.

  139. @James not all scallops are the same. Peconic bay scallops cannot survive such warm temperatures . The water reached 85 degrees for 5 days straight this July. NEVER seen before. The stress of spawning in such high temperatures resulted in mass die off. Water temperatures have been abnormally high for the last five years here as result of global warming/ climate change. And people are being directly affected in all kinds of ways. Me and my father are out of work for an entire season now because of this. And so many families will be affected.

  140. Not the same kind of scallops.

  141. When it became clear that scallops would not be available in sufficient numbers to support commercial fishing, at least this year, the scallop-men should have been encouraged to leave the scallops alone, so that the shellfish might produce heartier offspring. That, after all, is evolution, and that's all we've got at this point.

  142. You people have no idea what your talking about. The adult scallops were plentiful until about July, when there was a mass die off during spawning and abnormally high water temperatures for too long of a period. There was no harvesting of any scallops. Scallops season opens in November.

  143. @Lisa Zamber From the article: "Ken Homan of Braun’s, a longtime distributor of bay scallops, has seen years that were down, but never a year when his best suppliers decided to skip opening day. By the end of the day Monday, Braun’s had sold 24 pounds of Peconic Bay scallops, down from 2,000 pounds on opening day last year." So there were a few scallops harvested. But unfortunately those "abnormally" warm water temperatures are perhaps the new normal, and if so, the scallops will either adjust to them via evolution or disappear from Peconic Bay.

  144. @Lisa Zamber Seems that you are in error. Had a Gourmet Seafood business in LA for 20 years. Maine day boat scallops, were 80%of my business. The last few years, were incredibly difficult as scallops just dried up during the inshore season. Season used to open in November, but has been pushed back till Dec. Even with the strict quotas now in place, ask the fisherman (women) how the future looks to them.

  145. It's hard to have sympathy. Do these people give back to the ocean, protect it in any way? From this story, all I see is plunder for generations. I don't expect any positive stories on the environment for the rest of my life, although I'll work for it and I'll hope. All over the planet, increasingly desperate people are ravaging the earth's bounty with no effort to understand and nurture it. Humans have become scavengers rather than protectors.

  146. @Allison I’d say that most subsistence fishermen are more attuned to conservation efforts. They understand what a bad year can do to their livelihoods and are more willing to participate in restoration efforts - as mentioned in the article you are commenting on.

  147. For many years I lived in a saltwater community on the coast of Maine that was rife with small, independent commercial fishermen, and I can tell you that blaming such fishermen, while easy, isn’t the answer. This is a far more nuanced and complex problem then that. Nobody works harder and on more faith than these men and women do, or is more vulnerable to well-meaning but crippling and often baffling regulations. Now they have the indelible and irrefutable effects of climate change literally affecting their livelihoods. The fishermen, who in my experience were all stewards of their environment (and to a man in love with it), are just one thread of a complicated web, and too easily targeted.

  148. Daniel and Robyn, thanks for the correction. I reread the article and noted this time the restoration efforts.

  149. Climate change , may be. The real understanding of this new era is unpredictability. Get used to it. Tomorrow there WILL BE A SECOND SANDY AND THAT IS IT .

  150. In the parable of the rich man and the beggar, the soul of the rich man pleads with God to send someone to warn his relatives of the errors of their ways before it is too late. He is informed that they already have Moses and the Prophets and that further warnings should not be needed. With the virtual extinction of the Peconic bay scallop population, mankind has received another very clear warning from Mother Nature. If anyone believes that life 50 years from now will be like life now if we do not change our ways dramatically they are guilty of a very misplaced optimism. We need to radically restructure our economies, ethics, and populations if life is to remain viable for humans. We have been warned in so many ways. This is only another clear signal.

  151. The saddest lesson from this story is that things are going to get bad before they get even worse. Please get out and vote next year. Our future and our very lives are at stake.

  152. Disappearance of aquatic species is the new normal and sadly scallops are just the latest example. Humans are killing the planet faster than it can heal. My teenaged grandson will never have so many of the experiences that made life in the US special for me growing up. Environmental criminals like Trump who steal our children's futures should pay for their crimes.

  153. @Ken Solin I am just curious, Mr. Solin, if you would answer. What do you think about immigration into California?

  154. @Wan, are they letting environmental criminals emigrate into California now? Just asking for a friend.

  155. The failures related to climate change seem to be most dire along the coasts where temperature related effects like oxygen sea, algae blooms, salinity, acidity, species invasion, and temperature ranges are beyond our control. The oceans are going to get hit the hardest from this disaster and will take the longest to recover.

  156. I remember seeing so many stories about voters along the entire northeastern US coast (mainly fishermen) who voted for Trump because they thought he'd improve their livelihoods. Little did they know he would do things that exacerbate a decline (via inaction over climate change). The question is, are they ready and willing to vote for someone who believes in climate change and will, therefore, enact the changes necessary (no matter how painful they'll be) for the future of all inhabitants of this planet?

  157. Yet in 2018 Suffolk county bucked the blue wave and voted climate change denier Trump's enabler Lee Zeldin back into Congress. Yes, indeed, elections do have consequences!

  158. What's odd is how many fisherman out here vote for trump and local GOP climate change skeptics. Please, can anyone explain how my neighbor who is a professional fisherman in the Sound can be such an avid trump supporter. Btw, I live 5 minutes from Peconic Bay

  159. @anthony holbrooke, Check the color of their skin

  160. @anthony holbrooke The same way many in unions vote for Trump and the GOP, which has for years been fighting to bust up all the unions from steamfitters to teachers. Oh, except the cop union. The GOP are fine with that one.

  161. @anthony holbrooke The same way someone who has an unfaithful and abusive spouse or partner will reject every sort of sensible advice and stay with them... they close their eyes and ears to truth and follow only the advice of people who tell them what they want to hear... The same way a patient with an incurable illness will desperately fall for the claims of snake oil salesmen and swear by their “miracle” cures even as their sickness gets worse... Its the same with most people who vote for these GOP lowlifes... coal miners, assembly line workers, steel workers, fishermen... they know the end of the line isn’t far away but they are willing to embrace those that make outrageous promises that are obviously the most egregious lies from the very people who’ve been exploiting them from the beginning... simply because the other side is telling them change must come and your way of doing things is no longer a viable sustainable option. They are willing to take a chance with the conmen because on that one and in billion chance they deliver, they get their happy ending. The only other option is a flat out change or an end to their legacy. The conmen know this and prey on the desperation, plying these folks with pretty lies and empty promises.

  162. This gave me chills. A harbinger of the future of pollution and climate change.

  163. What do they expect when the water is overheated, polluted, and the area has been over-harvested for years. Regulation that isn't strong enough, global warming, the baymen, and consumers are all at fault.

  164. @J Coletti over-harvested? There are strict limits on how much you can take and the season is short. There were plenty of adult scallops this year until the water temperatures got too high for too long in July. This is global warming. The baymen are not to blame for this. You are just wrong.

  165. @J Coletti Maybe you should read the articles you comment on.

  166. Just think, when all the wildlife is gone, at least we’ll have money to eat.

  167. I used to live on the North Fork on the East End and so looked forward to scallop season. They are truly one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Clearly climate change will cause far greater disasters than me missing my scallops, but the ignorance with which we move forward is genuinely disheartening. Though the current Administration has a long list of terrible actions, those on the environment most affect the future of my children and should get those who feel the same to vote them out!

  168. To those of you who question the fisherman and their contributions to ecology. They have been the canaries in the coal mine so long that when they first complained in the 1940’s REPUBLICANS were seen as the environmental hero’s, and the Republicans actually tried against the duck industry. Of course now they are Trump zombies. But the collapse on Long Island has been going on my entire life

  169. @John I guess that must be why some people felt the need to still harvest every last scallop they could find. If anything it will increase the chances of them not returning.

  170. I wonder how these fisherman will vote in 2020?

  171. @k richards Well they saw fit to take the last of the scallops out of the bay rather than leave them and allow them to reproduce so my guess is they will vote for Trump again.

  172. @Mark Potter So sad-I'm afraid you're correct.

  173. @Mark Potter according to others it doesn't work that way. The scallops have a two-year life cycle. The higher temperatures are killing the scallops. Leave them in the water and they will die because it's too hot. If the water temp comes down, they can reseed with young scallops later. They had previously reseeded after some other catastrophe and had some excellent seasons.

  174. the billionaires and corporations are making more money than ever. They are very happy. But what will they buy when there is nothing worthwhile left. Perhaps artificial reality will be so good by then that everyone will be permanently hooked in so there is no need to look at the filthy dying planet left behind. But the earth will have the final word and destroy humans and most life on earth so she can begin again from scratch.

  175. @bobby The billionaires will get in their private rockets built by Tesla and go off to other planets to survive. There are many good novels on future apocalyptic societies, but one of the most vivid for me (hate to say"my favorite") is "The Parable of the Sower" by Octavia Butler.

  176. Awful story. Thank goodness these baymen and baywomen have Lee Zeldin, their congressman, to help fight their fight against man-made climate change. Oh wait, apparently Zeldin has a 10% score from the League of Conservation voters, supported withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement Treaty and said this a couple of years ago "It would be productive if we could get to what is real and what is not real...I'm not sold yet on the whole argument that we have as serious a problem as other people are." Clearly the baymen, their neighbors and friends will get rid of a congressman whose positions and votes are accelerating the destruction of their livelihood. Right? Right?

  177. @JS Don't think they are getting rid of their congressmen. Do they connect the dots when it comes to the environment and politics? Don't think so.

  178. @JS Suffolk County voted for Trump in 2016 and they will do the same, most likely, in 2020. Keeping the White Man as top of the heap is more important than ensuring clean air and water for their children.

  179. What happens when market values dominate and democratic values are replaced by corporate values. Oh well, the ocean was nice while it lasted.

  180. So even though the fisheries is in the state of collapse they still took the very last ones just to make sure they were ALL gone???

  181. @Mark Potter that’s not how it works. These adult scallops already spawned and only have a life span of two years. Harvesting them wouldn’t have an impact on the next generation at all. You can’t harvest young scallops, that are only a year old.

  182. @Lisa Zamber How much damage does dredging do to the young scallops? As I noted above, in the small cove I live on, dredgers totally destroyed the scallop population in 1-2 days of dredging over 50 years ago.

  183. I cannot believe the baymen were allowed to harvest ANY scallops this year. The few survivors carry genes that contributed to their survival, and we need those genes to make it into the next generation. There should have been a moratorium placed in advance of the season. It's possible that I am not understanding their life cycle, but even if the harvestable adults don't spawn, there are other arguments to be made for a harvest moratorium. Certainly whatever wildlife feeds on them is in mortal danger if we harvest all that remain.

  184. @Heidi They died because it got too hot for them. Any progeny will also die so it's likely that scallops in that place are gone for good no matter what anyone does. There's a thing called functional extinction. It means that there are too few breeding adults to replace themselves so each generation becomes smaller and smaller until there are none. That takes time. Then there are disasters that wipe out all of them. This appears to be one of those. Corals are in the same place. The sea is becoming too hot for them to survive. There are always other factors too. Pollution, algal blooms (as here), habitat destruction etc all play a part. We are in the middle of the 6th great extinction era and WE are the major cause of it. It's interesting that it only gets noticed when money is involved. Like honey bees. In affecting the production of honey for money, people started saying OOPS! Wild bees and all other flying insects are steadily disappearing but who cares? Birds and other creatures that live on them are going with them. But unless it affects US, who cares?

  185. @Heidi Fishermen can't seem to constraint themselves when is there is no regulations limiting their catch for the season. They like many others just see dollar signs and get take a much as they can without thinking about the future. What is new?

  186. @Vail A sanctimonious tirade directed at fisherman! "...can't seem to constraint themselves when there are no regulations..." It's human nature. That's why there are speed limits on highways. Do you ever speed? They aren't the ones to blame...!

  187. Wonderful photography! Sad story.

  188. @Michael Great minds! I was going to make the same comment. I would love to have these photos on my wall. They are great art. Thanks to Johnny Milano.

  189. Peconic Bay is a shallow body of water surrounded on three sides. A glance at the NOAA charts indicates that it's not much deeper than 25'. Bodies of water like this are prone to heating which stratifies the water column and that prevents oxygen from getting down to the scallops habitat. It also kills the eelgrass, crabs, juvenile fish, and all the other invertebrates that are unable to get out of bays like Peconic. Situations like this will become more and more common as the climate warms. Scallops will shift further north or will be found out in deeper waters. For a while at least. Here in the PNW a few lakes are getting solar powered air pumps to help oxygen get down into the water to save aquatic populations. It might help Peconic Bay as well but it's only a temporary fix. I'm no longer fishing so I don't hear from others like I used to (I collected specimens for research) but I used to hear fishermen blame Democrats for things like increased gas prices after the US invaded Iraq. A small percent of them understood that they were the last bunch of cowboys but most couldn't comprehend the changes that occurred in front of their own eyes. Fishermen should be trading their dredges for aquaculture tools but sportsmen and real estate agents are calling the shots in waters near land and it's still too much of a gamble. It's only going to get worse. Small operators like baymen are no longer viable.

  190. @lightscientist66 these scallops (bay) are not going to "shift further north or will be found out in deeper waters." They require a particular habitat that's found in only a few places in the northeast.

  191. @Kevin Aren't the scallops doing well in Massachusetts? I thought I read that in the article. The water is cooler up there. But not in deeper waters, just in similar bays.

  192. @lightscientist66 My old navigation map showed plenty of depths like 36' or 38.' And you get a lot of churn where tides squeeze through tight spaces -- try going from Orient Point to Flanders in a small sailboat. And there was aquaculture in the Peconic -- oysters to the North, clams to the South. Though I haven't been out in 15 years to check if the aquaculture has stayed viable.

  193. Some people here seem to think that Trump singlehandedly caused climate change, or that his election somehow prevented us from stopping it. No one knows what it would take to stop climate change, and they are lying if they tell you they do. That said, these fisherfolk may have finally realized what is at stake.

  194. @Paul Au contraire. Roger Revelle of Scripps Institute in La Jolla, California noted with alarm that the monitoring of global CO2 (the primary greenhouse gas causing rising temperatures and climate change) levels in the atmosphere on the island of Hawaii was showing year-after-year increases for multiple decades in a row. That was about sixty years ago. Exxon scientists noted the same thing in the 80's. How do we mitigate the changes taking place? By reducing green house gas emissions. Choose which side your on. Trump's on the side of mass extinction. I'm on the side of preserving and protecting life on planet earth. And I'm no liar. Capiche?

  195. @Paul The first thing to stop rapid climate change is to have the intelligence and humility to not block the efforts of others trying to limit greenhouse gasses. Like Dear Leader's revoking of California's stricter auto emission regulations for example.

  196. @Paul You're just wrong. There is plenty of information about how to retard climate change, and the Scandinavian countries, for example, are making major leaps forward in this. No one is saying that Trump caused climate change, but he is a major impediment to the US efforts to combat it.

  197. The sad thing is that this was completely predictable. And it will only get worse. The first questions about CO2 in the atmosphere were in the late 1800s. I read a paper about its being a potential problem that was written in 1906. In the 1960s and 70s there was alarm angst scientists and acknowledgement by fossil fuel companies that it was a threat. Since then there has been a concerted effort by fossil fuel companies who paid certain academics to sow DOUBT about the science, in much the same way as the tobacco companies did as they too sold death to people. They even use the same PR firms to do it. Of course politicians, bought and paid for by oil and gas, either promulgated the false narratives amor refused to mention it and pilloried those who did. The people were left in the dark by these campaigns saying it was all a socialist plot and or was fake news. Now the pot has boiled. We have reached over 415ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. We have yet to feel the effects of that in any large scale. Think of this. When an aeroplane applies full thrust to its engines in order to take off, it moves very slowly at first. This is because the power applied has to overcome the weight of the aeroplane. But as it starts to move it speeds up faster and faster until it reaches takeoff speed. By then it's moving fast and it takes a lot to stop it. We are at takeoff speed now and we won't be able to stop the impending disaster. We can't cool the oceans or refreeze the icecaps. It's too late.

  198. @Deirdre Oliver Every day seems to bring news of ecocidal disasters. And we are fiddling around with climate change deniers in positions of power. Greta Thunberg is right. How dare they.

  199. This is the population that has re-elected a Trump supporting Climate change denier multiple times.

  200. I sure hope these well meaning fishermen realize they are represented by congressman Lee Zelden, one of Trump's (the climate change denier) biggest supporters.

  201. "Climate change is a hoax".... until of course all the animals are dead. This is very much a part of long term GOP policy of war on the environment. Either vote blue or stop whining.

  202. Everyone knows there is no global warming. It's a Chinese hoax. It's a hoax by scientists! MAGA! When are people going to wake up? We've been warned by science that global warming has been a problem since before President George Bush in 1988!

  203. @Donna - I was a geology major in college in the late 60s and knew about it then. Was shown charts including one charting the growth of CO2 emissions that had been going on for some time already. Al Gore was learning about this at the same time.

  204. @Donna Jimmy Carter put solar panels in the White House, we instated a 55 mph speed limit federally, as well as tax incentives for clean energy innovation. We were supposed to keep our thermostats down in the winter and up in the summer. It was a BEGINNING. Then Reagan, who loved the rich and their oil, won. He spent money taking OUT the newly-placed solar panels, and the USA promptly forgot all about climate change. We'd be fine now, if we had kept the ball rolling in the late 70s...

  205. Reganism was the beginning of the end. Long live trickle down. Or not. We will see.

  206. These people are fishermen, but unfortunately they seem totally disconnnected from the natural environment that sustains them. Like most people in the industrialized world. Read some Robinson Jeffers, read the Dark Mountain Manifesto, read Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia and realize our civilization is over. Either we transform it into a post-capitalist steady-state form, or we experience uncontrolled social collapse. My guess is the odds are about 1:9.

  207. @T. Clark Thank you for the reading suggestions. Read some Jeffers and the Darkness Mountain Manifesto- eye opening and powerful

  208. @Justin, add ‘The Sixth Extinction’ to your list.

  209. Somewhere, Joseph Mitchell is crying.

  210. These creatures are going EXTINCT and all we care about are the poor humans who can no longer make a living off killing them.

  211. Well gosh - couldn't you see from the photo, the shuckers were just plain hungry & wanted a "Mess of em' for supper" ...?

  212. People are just too stupid. And too selfish. That's the lesson. We could take care of this planet and all it's creatures. We could feed everyone. We could keep populations down by supporting easy access to free birth control. But we don't do any of this. Aren't we brilliant, sophisticated creatures? Hastening our end as a species, when even dinosaurs with their puny brains lasted millions of years. Aren't we terrific? This article is just another little nail in the coffin. What a fantastic species we are. If there is a Higher Power, he/she or it must be disgusted with us. Disappointed is too mild a word. Our greed, lust for power and blatant disregard for others-- all of it is coming back to haunt us. Mother Nature doesn't play. I pity my future grandchildren. But innocents always suffer don't they? Good job humanity. Good job.

  213. @Eva Lockhart I have come to the same conclusion as you have. I have given up hoping humanity will find a way to a sustainable future. It won't. We will have mass extinction and the collapse of entire ecosystems including eventually our civil societies and likely even humanity itself. I wish we were smart enough to avoid this outcome but despite knowing for several generations this was happening, we've done nothing to bend the Keeling CO2 emissions curve. It's just a matter of time. The disruptions will pile on top of each other until it all fails.

  214. @Eva Lockhart The dinosaurs have us beat. They didn't cause their own extinction.

  215. @Eva Lockhart I am very sorry that we are taking the innocent species with us. If humans destroy themselves out of greed that's one thing, but to kill the planet and the other species on it, that's unforgivable.

  216. Baymen, ignore anyone saying to you "we told you so" and simply change your vote for 2020. Trump is part of your problem; climate change is destroying your hauls. It is not a hoax. Vote the GOP and their oil/coal enabling out of office and save the planet. If the planet is healthy it will give back to you.

  217. Scallop population is and always has been cyclic. Water salinity is affected by rainfall has much to do with their migration. Unlike oysters, the little buggers are very mobile. Florida’s Gulf Coast hosts many excellent scallop populations and the water temperature can exceed 80 degrees. The good news is that spawn from just a few scallops can re-populate a bay. Please don’t use the cyclic nature of scallop populations as another political statement to justify “climate change” - whatever that amorphous term is supposed to mean. Don’t worry folks, the scallops will come storming back.

  218. @Irving Schwartz So the concerns expressed by a shellfish ecologist who has been in this area for some time should be ignored? I know experts are oddly unpopular in this day and age, but I'd suggest we listen to this Mr. Tettelbach.

  219. @Mike I found Mr. Schwartz's comment to be very informative: that of a knowledgeable person long accustomed to the ways of scalloping, and scallops! Mr. Tettlebach the shellfish ecologist might not have thought of the increased rainfall and lowered salinity factor, or neglected to suggest it. Perhaps Hurricane Dorian or other storms impacted the immediate bay area with heavy rains. I was in Western Massachusetts recently and the brooks were dry there. Both the hurricane, and the mini drought, one hundred and fifty miles inland, could definitely be trends related to climate change.

  220. But neither you (nor prob anyone else) can say with any degree of certainty that the cycle remains unaffected by climate changes, and that everything will return to “normal”, much as one might like to side with you.

  221. This area was consumed by the red tide this summer. That kills scallops.

  222. What struck me in this story is that while only a handful of scallops were caught, too few to even sell, they were kept anyway instead of being released.

  223. Lived and worked on Long Island in the 70s and 80s. We had an unusually warm January in 1980 which caused a major decline of the blue mussel population in the waters around Long Island that year.

  224. Here on the west coast oysters are dying. They say the ocean is absorbing the extra CO2 which makes the ocean more acidic and dissolves baby oyster shells. Perhaps that is at play with scallops too.

  225. I wonder if anyone here knows the answer to this: I live at the edge of a small cove in Rhode Island. When I was a kid in the 1950s, there were always scallops in the cove. Then over the course of 1-2 days dredgers came in and harvested all the scallops and in the process of dredging ripped all the seaweed off the bottom of the cove. To that day to this, 65-70 years later, there have been no scallops and no seaweed in the cove. The article says the scallopers use dredges. I am wondering how much damage they do with those? Perhaps it is not the water temperature alone, but this devastating method of harvesting that is finally catching up with them.

  226. I wouldn’t be surprised if over-harvesting and suboptimal methods also play a part.

  227. @KarenAnne Thank You for your really interesting comment; and for being observant of possible parallel carelessness that impacts nature, and species of life everywhere.

  228. The seafood restaurants and stores should fund the reseeding of the bay with baby scallops and hope for the best. Scallops are being farmed off the coast of Maine.

  229. @Kay Sieverding If higher water temperature is the problem in NY, how will reseeding and hoping for the best solve the problem?

  230. @Kay Sieverding Hoping for the best is leading us down the IPCC RCP 8.5 scenario which predicts 3-4 degrees C increase by 2100. By 2050, every environment in the world will be transformed. Scientists are already predicting the loss of over a million species. We are experiencing but a small taste.

  231. @Kay Sieverding - Did you read the article? They did that and there was a huge crop of scallops... but this year sea water temps are too hot and are killing all of the adult scallops. So, re-seeding them will do nothing if the temp keeps rising.

  232. I don't understand the peeps here who accused the baymen of being Trump supporters. Where is the proof of that? Chesapeake watermen (and women) yes - read Earl Swift's non-fiction "Chesapeake Requiem" - but Long Islanders?

  233. An awful lot of people in Eastern Long Island are indeed Trump supporters—it would be great if this weren’t the case, but unfortunately it’s true. Our current Congressman, Lee Zeldin, is a Major Trump supporter and enabler.

  234. @PrairieFlax I know the area. Lotsa Trump support. They elected Lee Zeldin. Some, of course, is related to the Democrats notions on immigration policy. If you go to some parts of Suffolk County you will be convinced you are in Central America. If the Democrats had a sensible immigration platform we might actually be able to get rid of Trump and Zeldin.

  235. I'd like to be on your bandwagon PrairieFlax, but alas, I'm from the area in question. Yes, a lot of them are Trump supporters. When Trump made that speech slamming Ted Cruze and his "New York values" tripe, he was in Patchogue. I was watching on TV and immediately said, "Trump's going to win Suffolk County." MS 13 actually IS a problem in that area, btw.

  236. Avoid the temptation to blame the watermen for their predicament. Yes they drive large pickups, and may have even voted Republican (and thus against environmental protection). But they're not themselves actively against environmental protection, they're not long-term resource managers or policy wonks who should have seen this coming. Even if their second job was hugging trees and driving electric cars, the resource they depend upon would still be in jeopardy. It does no good to blame the victim, to smugly state that somehow they deserve this fate.

  237. @Greg - don’t blame Republican watermen? Give me a break. Anybody who denies climate change and votes for Trump and other climate change denying Republicans ARE the problem. In case you didn’t notice, Trump only has power n]because his base supports him and the Republicans are all in fear of being primaried by Trump. So, yeah, voters ARE responsible. Imagine that.

  238. I asked the question not to blame them but more out of the curiosity if they will still vote for Trump and GOP after all of this??!

  239. @dolfer I would think they are angry that they have lost their jobs... but Trump will tell them it isn't climate change, feed their anger, and they will BELIEVE. That is the problem. We have wasted four very vital years of preparation, tax incentives for clean energy, and other solutions -- but humans' survival on earth is no longer a given. Nobody gives Carter credit for being a good President... but had we followed HIS advice and action, we could have been leaders in saving civilization...

  240. If there are so few scallops this season, maybe they should leave them alone and cancel the season. If the population is eeking by, maybe it could use a bit of help.

  241. @mlbex you didn´t understand the problem. There will be not more scallops period, if the water temperature keeps on rising. Scallops need cold water, very cold. The warming of the oceans is not making their lives easy. It is klling them. US Republicans politicians in charge keep denying science and meanwhile the Earth changes, animals die etc. US enviromental policies are uselss.

  242. The truth of climate change is going to be continuous, scallops today, and something else tomorrow. At this point, we can only hope humanity gathers to fight the worst effects before its too late for humanity.

  243. There is a political side to this. How many have voted for a Republican, a representative of a party that denies the very existence of climate change. How many voted for Lee Zeldin or Trump. Suffolk County went for Trump by 52%, Lee Zeldin by 58%. How much of this is the inability to grasp the reality of our looming disaster until a part of it actually effects you personally. Greenport and a good chunk of Southold will simply disappear with the predicted sea level rise. It'll get uninhabitable before that due to storm surges and tides. These particular ship has sailed and there's not much that can be done at this point for the Peconic's baymen.

  244. Well said!

  245. this is just the beginning as our oceans die

  246. Maybe the baymen should find one of the millions of jobs that Trump claims to have created in all those new and reopened factories and coal mines.

  247. Never experienced a heat wave on the East End like the one this summer. Lots of things curiously absent from the shoreline: hermit crabs, jellyfish, horseshoe crabs. Very few seagulls about. What was washing up: whole intact crabs and clams, dead. Lots of plastic trash. Saw a big Trump flag flying off the stern of a yacht.

  248. I wonder how many of the fishermen are Trump/ GOP supporters, considering their “Climate Change is a Hoax” stance???

  249. Likely to be the new normal....climate change is here.

  250. So classic to blame a politician for policy that has little to do with the issue at hand. I’d like to see the survey results from those who want to blame a politician but do not have an more advanced on-site waste water disposal system for their home. Use of cesspools on Long Island are the single most significant contributor to excess nitrogen loading into groundwater and bays. So before you blame any politician, ask yourself if you’ve done your share to solving the problem by having minimized your personal impact on the environment. You don’t need to be compelled to act on your own free will to do the right thing by upgrading your cesspool.

  251. Cesspools have been banned for a long time. There are no more cesspools now than there were 20 years ago and there were scallops then. So no, the problem is not cesspools.

  252. I live on the East End and I know that nitrogen in our waters is a terrible problem. But the scientists studying the problem of the devastation of the scallop harvest have clearly identified the warming temperatures of the waters to be the cause. That is not due to nitrogen loading. It is due to human caused climate disruption.

  253. @Hank agree. And- How much fertilizer runoff from all the fancy wine farms and other ag/residential uses have affected the local waters?

  254. I have family roots out there on the North Fork, a very special place. I’ve been to Braun’s and the Southold Fish Market many times, and I miss the heavenly aroma that greets you as you open their doors. We always looked forward to the opening of scallop season. I certainly hope it’s not over, and that the spawning this year means the scallops will rebound next year. But 80* waters? It was never that warm when I was a kid, frolicking in the bay.

  255. @Susan Indeed - I spent many beautiful summers out in Aquebogue - fall meant scallops, beautiful fall colors and the great weather of October. The North Fork has gotten far too precious in recent years - all began to change with the wineries and the money coming out from the city. My memories will suffice.

  256. Trump will give them YOUR tax dollars as a handout, and everything will be ok with them.

  257. @Shelby No, not enough big industry to get handouts. They only plan handouts to big ag, not little ag.

  258. And they will all go vote republican who denies their struggle...

  259. Another first for capitalism: Sterile, life-free oceans! Yea! USA! USA! USA! What’s next? Burn off all the forests so that there is no where for animals to hide (from us)? Good job, humans! Getting the planet cleared of life so that the aliens can inhabit the place without opposition.

  260. So, that's the end of the line for monitoring the scallops. Now, the monitoring is on those whose livelihoods have been disrupted - are they going to join us who feel climate change is real going to hurt us all?

  261. @tarik it’s called nature. This type of thing has been happening ever since I started scuba diving in the 70’s. Especially on the West Coast