Soft Shelled Lobsters Make Early Appearance 

Maine lobstermen are hauling in soft-shell lobsters earlier than usual this year, in what some say is an indication of a mild winter and ocean warming trends.Soft-shell lobsters usually don’t start showing up in lobster traps until June or early July.Their early appearance this year could have an economic impact on Maine’s iconic fishery because soft-shells tend to fetch less per pound that hard-shell lobsters because they have less meat. The upside is that their meat tends to be sweeter.Local retailers started splitting prices – paying lower for soft shells and higher for hard shells – in late April and early May, which is also much earlier than normal.The lobster fishery is a billion-dollar industry in Maine.