Low Lobster Price Affects Owl’s Head Lobstermen
Speaking to lobstermen at the Owl’s Head Lobster Company near Rockland, Maine, you get the feeling that not everyone in the world is happy about low lobster prices. Part of the reason for depressed Maine lobster prices is an early “shedding” or moulting of adult lobsters. This early lobster shed may be due in part to warming ocean waters. In some place lobster tails are selling as low as $2.40 a pound, the lowest price in twenty years. Back when lobster was selling this cheap, diesel cost about eighty seven cents a gallon. Since the price lobster fishermen pay for diesel and other necessities has not fallen, things could get tough for an industry that contributes over a billion dollars a year to the Maine economy.
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Lobster fishing is a family business in Maine. It can take up to twenty years for one to get a license to harvest lobster. Many lobstermen start out young, like this boy joining his father on a lobster boat in Port Clyde, Maine. Hopefully it will still be possible to make a living in the industry when this young man comes of age. According to wildlife biologists, Maine lobster numbers keep increasing, thanks mostly to improved management techniques and limits on the harvest. Mainers blame a part of the low price on a partnership with Canada, which has opened the market wider for lobsters and increased competition.