Imagine Cape Cod without cod. Maine without lobster. The region's famous rocky beaches invisible, obscured by constant high waters. It's already starting to happen. The culprit is the warming seas — and in particular the Gulf of Maine, whose waters are heating up faster than 99 percent of the world's oceans, scientists say. Long-established species of commercial fish, like cod, herring and northern shrimp, are departing for colder waters. Black sea bass, blue crabs and new species of squid — all highly unusual for the Gulf — are turning up in fishermen's nets. The Gulf of Maine's warming reflects broader trends around the North Atlantic. But the statistic — accepted by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — underscores particular fears about the Gulf's unique ecosystem and the lucrative fishing industries it supports for three U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. "These changes are very real, and we're seeing them happen quickly," said Malin Pinsky, a biology professor at New Jersey's Rutgers University who studies ocean temperature change and was not involved in the research that resulted in the 99 percent statistic.
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--- The Associated Press