Eat a lobster, help save a community!
Or as my brother put it when I nagged him to give me some quotes as to what’s going on with the lobstering industry, he reluctantly replied, “The price is just terrible.”
My brother, who fishes with our neighbor off of Metinic Island, one of the most well-known and hottest spots to get the globally sought after delicacy, has never been one to “run his mouth.”
John has been one of my biggest supporters my entire life and thinks my blog is a lot more popular than it actually is and was nervous to how many people would read it. Bless him.
I have read numerous generic articles from all the local news outlets up and down the coast, but I wanted to hear it from him. In his words. Though I no longer live in the midcoast and am slightly disconnected from the happenings of the area, I’d be damned if I got the story from someone else’s mouth and not my own flesh and blood who’s sweat actually contributes to the industry.
As my brother put it, about 90 percent of his friends, many of whom are mine as well, are fishermen of some sort. John estimates that about 70 percent of his friends work directly in the lobstering industry. He said that no one he knows has gone out fishing for lobsters this week.
“What’s happened this week, is everyone has pretty much said ‘enough is enough and we’re not gonna take it,’” said John. “So the whole Eastern seaboard is tied up.”
Apparently, because of the lack of processors that are open in Canada and because of the warmer water temperatures and all the early “sheddahs,” there’s an overwhelming “junk product” and no one is paying a good price for it.
“Shedders” usually don’t start until right now and don’t hit hard until the end of July or the beginning of August and that’s when more than just the estimated 5 processors out of 25 in Canada that my brother referenced, open up.
Shedders, for those of you who didn’t grow up surrounded by men cursing the notorious “sheddah” season, are also known as soft shell lobsters, or lobsters who have just shed their shell so that they can grow into a bigger one. This means that while the shell may be big, the actual lobster meat inside is not so hearty.
Word on the waves is that more processors in Canada will open on Monday, so everyone is planning to hit the seas again first thing Monday morning, and do I mean first thing. Last time I was home I heard my brother head out at what my phone reflected to be 4 am.
Monday, when more processors are open, there will be more of a “price war.” The more processors that are open the more the price fluctuates versus when there are only five they can control the price more easily.
As my brother put it, “They say, ‘well hey, if we can get away with paying a dollar fifty, why not?’ They are not used to the product and the quantity, it’s just an overflow. It’s a junk product and there’s so much of it, they are just overwhelmed.”
What that means for the future of the Lobster industry may be a scary realization. I hope for my brother’s sake this is a freak year.
What warms my heart about the whole situation is the sense of community that is forced upon the midcoast by the lobstering industry.
“The fact that everyone came together and decided that enough’s enough,” said John. ”Basically gave us no choice. Nothing we can say. You can’t go fishing for absolutely nothing and that’s where it was becoming.”
My brother brought up another real good point about the community and that’s the “trickle down effect.”
All of the local businesses where lobster men go and spend their money, the local stores, local restaurants and local bars are being effected to0.
“If we’re not making money, we don’t go out and spend that money,” John said.
So…if ever you were thinking about throwing a big lobster bake…THIS WEEKEND IS THE TIME TO DO IT! Seriously! Buy up all those lobsters. They are cheap. Cook ‘em all up and eat em. Help get rid of the product that’s out there and drive that price back up so that my friends, my brother and the midcoast community can get their livelihoods, their economy and the money they deserve back.