Lobster Prices Too Low for Harvesters' Taste

Lobster Prices Too Low for Harvesters' Taste

PostBy: sterling40man On: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:37 pm

http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/04/news/ec ... /index.htm

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Maine's lobstermen are working harder for less, as demand drops for their expanding harvest.

As with most things, the recession is to blame. Cash-strapped consumers are avoiding delicacies such as lobsters, driving down the overall price, according to George Lapointe, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

"I think it's largely a function of supply and demand, and the world economic condition," he said. "Lobster is a luxury product."

Lapointe said the price of lobster managed to "claw its way" back to a range of $2.75 to $3 per pound in 2009, after slumping to $2 to $2.50 in the fall of 2008. That pales in comparison to five years ago, he said, when lobstermen were getting $4 to $4.50 per pound.

David Cousins, president of the Maine Lobstermen's Association and a lobsterman for 42 years, said the 2009 harvest was the biggest since the early 1990s, when the annual take peaked at an estimated 100 million pounds. But that is little comfort, considering the dropping prices and increasing costs.

"Our business is based on a $4 dollar-plus lobster [per pound]," said Cousins. "When you're getting $2.90 a pound, you're going the wrong way and it just doesn't work anymore.

"There are a lot of people who are in serious trouble up here, because they have a lot of money out on their business - they owe for boats and traps and houses and trucks and all that," Cousins said.

I guess the middle man is making all the money because I'm still paying $11 a lbs. :?
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker K6
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: Lobster Prices Too Low for Harvesters' Taste

PostBy: PC 12-47E On: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:40 pm

The low lobster price takes a heavy toll on more than just the fisherman. Last spring I talked to a bank manager east of Bar Harbor and for just that small bank they had over 93 Lobster boats repossessed. :o
The ripple effect hits many businesses like auto dealers ( truck sales ), hardware stores, boatyards, boat builders, composites suppliers, marine engine sales, restaurants etc..... A sucessful lobster fisherman in years past would make over $100.K. The average 35' Lobster Boat cost is in the $150,000. range. The average price of traps, line and bouys is $60,000. to $80,000. The price of bait and fuel keeps going up.........
I can tell you that the Maine boat builders have been hit by this also. This is a pic of a 36' lobster boat. This boat is powered by a 375 hp. John Deere Marine diesel. This is also the last boat that I have built.....but I hope this changes.
(110.52 KiB) Viewed 34 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
(119.92 KiB) Viewed 25 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
(126.68 KiB) Viewed 25 times
View: New PagePopup • Select:BBCode
PC 12-47E
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Estate Heatrola, Jotul 507