lobster

The Lobster Co.

Two months after new tariffs on sales of live lobsters from the U.S. to China took effect, exports are down nearly 30 percent and Maine lobster dealers are feeling the effects. Some are laying off workers, while others are scrambling to find new markets.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/metimbers2000/

Maine's lobster fishery is vital to our economy. We’ll learn about the status of the lobster population, effects of climate change, potential impacts of tariffs, the role of the lobsterman, and the outlook for the future of the industry.

Tony Fischer / Flickr

The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is imposing a new five-trap limit for lobster trawlers in a restricted area around Mt. Desert Rock — about 6 miles off Frenchboro. Gear conflicts are growing common in the area, as smaller and larger boats compete for access to fertile lobster habitat.

PETA.org

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has purchased several ads on the concourse at the Portland Jetport.

The posters, which will be up through August, feature a lobster holding a sign declaring "I'm Me}, Not Meat." The ads urge the viewer to "See the Individual. GO Vegan.”

“Eating meat is completely unnecessary and PETA’s ads remind everyone that lobsters are intelligent and sensitive individuals that struggle desperately to escape when their dropped into boiling water,” says PETA Outreach Coordinator Faith Robinson.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Anxiety is growing in Portland’s lobstering community over the city's increasingly crowded waterfront. A traffic study that is in the works is calling the situation an "existential threat" to the city's marine industries, and lobstermen seem to agree.

Willis Spear fishes 800 traps from a Commercial Street wharf that also houses two restaurants, the Harbor fish market, and a major bait fish dealer. He says city officials are approving new developments too quickly, adding more and more cars to the downtown mix.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Some Maine lobster dealers who have seen sales to China shoot up over the last decade are now suddenly shut out.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Some Maine lobster dealers who have seen sales to China shoot up over the last decade are now suddenly shut out.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Maine businesses are largely unscathed by the new tariffs China is imposing on U.S. products. But there's one big exception – lobster.

Wade Merritt, the president of the Maine International Trade Center, says early salvos in the developing trade war between the U.S. and China didn't seem too bad. But the tariffs China just announced came on like a summer thunderstorm, and they will hit about one-quarter of all of Maine's exports abroad.

A set of retaliatory tariffs released by China includes a plan to tax American lobster exports, potentially jeopardizing one of the biggest markets for the premium seafood.

Chinese officials announced the planned lobster tariff on Friday along with hundreds of other tariffs amid the country's escalating trade fight with the United States. China said it wants to place new duties on items such as farm products, autos and seafood starting on July 6.

Lobster Industry Fears Weaker Shells, But Evidence Is Mixed

May 13, 2018
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

More people outside the U.S. are enjoying the New England tradition of cracking open a freshly cooked American lobster, and that experience hinges on one thing — the lobster getting there alive.

Maine Exports

Apr 3, 2018
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press File

From lobsters to blueberries, candles to composite wood products, aircraft parts to craft beer, Maine companies are exporting their wares to every corner of the planet — not only finding new markets, but also defining the Maine “brand” around the world.

What are the opportunities for Maine companies in the near-term future and beyond? How can a niche company enter the international market successfully? This Maine Calling program ties-in with Maine Public reporter Jennifer Mitchell’s series “It Can Get There From Here.”

Jesica Waller / University of Maine Darling Marine Center

New science is bearing down on a poorly understood part of the North American lobster’s diet. And it turns out that a tiny crustacean’s abundance may help to explain expected declines in Maine’s lobster harvest.

Center for Biological Diversity

The population of the endangered North Atlantic right whale took a big hit last year with a record number found dead in Canadian waters from ship strikes and entanglements. With this year's calving season ending and no new births observed, an ongoing debate over whether Maine's lobster industry poses a mortal threat to the species is gaining new urgency.

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts - Federal fishing regulators are soliciting public comments about possible changes to lobster fishing in southern New England.
 
The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking the feedback about changes that could include restricting the number of lobster traps or permits an individual or a business would be allowed to own.
 

From the Bow Seat archival image
youtube.com

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., October 5 at 10:00 pm
Sat., October 7 at 11:00 am

This documentary film explores environmental issues impacting the Gulf of Maine: topography; history, including depletion of cod stocks, puffin seabird restoration; and sustainable lobstering. The film follows the fimmaker and her family on a week's cruise along the Maine coast interviewing experts such as Colin Woodard, the author of The Lobster Coast, Stephen Kress (from Project Puffin), Diane Cowan (lobster conservationist), Sherm Stanley and Foy Brown, two longtime lobstermen and Carl Wilson a lobster biologist from the DMR and get a first hand look at their project sites along the coast.

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