Lobster prices are low, sparking many fisherman in Maine to dock their prices after coming to the consensus that prices were too low to go fishing.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Randy Johnson, manager of the Winter Harbor Lobster Co-op stated:
“I’ve never seen them tie up [their boats] as a group like this before.”
Johnson also noted that the 30 vessels in his co-op have remained at the docks for a week straight. he went on to say:
“I’m looking at all their boats as we speak. They all have a cut-off point [in price] where they can and can’t fish. It’s an impossible situation.”
These 30 boats are not the only ones to sit idle as lobster haulers up and down the coast of Maine have decided that pulling in lobster pots is a fruitless pursuit as prices at the dock have fallen as low as $1.25 per pound, which is about 70% below normal. The price, considered a near 30-year-low for the time of year, has been caused by a supply glut from an unseasonably warm winter throughout the Atlantic lobster fishery.
CNBC reports that Robin Alden, a longtime fisheries management expert, stated that, “The whole coast is in shock right now. The prices vary all over the place but I have heard as low as $1.50 [a pound].”
Since the announcement of historically low lobster prices, the Facebook pages of local groups, such as the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, have shown nothing but anger and frustration over the low prices, causing Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher to release a statement on Monday, in an attempt to defuse the situation. Keliher stated:
“We have heard that fishermen are seeking to impose a de facto shutdown of the fishery and coercing others into complying by threatening to cut off their gear. Any such actions will be met with targeted and swift enforcement.”
Keliher also stated in the release that they are looking for ways to combat the low lobster prices in the area.