Mysterious drop in prized bait worms threatens a way of life

Dan Harrington makes his living unearthing marine worms by hacking away at mudflats with a tool that resembles the business end of an old steel rake. He’s fine with the freezing weather, the pungent aromas and the occasional nip from an angry crab, but his latest problem is the big one – the worms just aren’t there like they used to be.,,, Scientists are struggling to figure out where the worms have gone. Among the factors that could play a role in the decline are rising temperatures in the Gulf of Maine, changes in currents that distribute worm larvae and increased harvesting pressure, said William Ambrose, a Bates College professor and marine researcher. It’s also possible a growing number of invasive green crabs is preying on the worms, said Brian Beal, a marine ecology professor at the University of Maine at Machias. click> (invasive green crab discovered in Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge) But Beal and Ambrose say more research is needed to understand what’s going on. click here to read the story 10:26