Lobster Wars: Pauper Princes of Maine
It has been a bumper year for Maine lobster; some claim it’s due to climate change and warmer waters, but when the catch is high, prices tend to get driven lower and the fishermen actually start to suffer from a bounty.
This has caused decade-long frustrations—decreasing market prices for lobsters and increasing costs for gas and bait—to culminate this summer in protests throughout Maine and New Brunswick.
This summer the lobster supply exceeded the demand, further lowering prices that processing plants pay for lobsters. At an average $2 per pound, Maine lobstermen are receiving the same price that they were in 1981. For lobster fishermen, profit margins have shrunk to the point that many cannot break even.
We love lobster at i love blue sea. With their delicate and naturally sweet flavor, lobsters lend an elegance to celebrations, and in our opinion there is no better use of butter than as a dipping sauce. However, no seafood is worth eating if caught at the expense of our oceans or fishermen.
While a pact has been reached between lobster unions, provincial governments, and fish-processing plants, this summer’s drama has shown the necessity for alternative models to connect fishermen to consumers.