This lobster was $1 cheaper to photograph.Photo: istockphoto
The Times considers the lobster and finds the following: “While price and demand have hit their lowest point in years, lobster fishermen are hauling in larger catches than ever. Restaurants in New England have been running lobster specials all summer, trying to pass on the lower prices and move lobsters from the tank to the table.” Having been recently hit with a $75 market price for the lobster clambake at Boston’s dive-y Barking Crab (and that was for the two-and-a-half pound specimen, not the five-pounder), we can’t attest to these lower prices (not to mention, lobster rolls are pricey as ever here in New York), but an Eat Drink or Die post lays out additional problems facing Maine lobstermen.
“Today,” Stephen Lyle writes, “the price of diesel is killing you. The price of bait is way up. Since the average lobsterman currently nets (or traps) a mere 25 thousand dollars a year, there is worry that without changing traditional practices, many will be forced out of the business.” One of those traditional yet self-defeating practices is the fact that 70 percent of Maine’s catch is shipped to Canadian canneries who, according to the post, set prices and mark the product “Made in Canada.” Local operations like Shucks Maine Lobster are only now starting to change that.
For his part, Richard Martin says Wild Edibles hasn’t been affected much. “It’s just a seasonal thing — it goes up and goes down.”