Maine lobster industry prepares for big season with dual focus on domestic, foreign markets

Two chief marketers of Maine lobsters are preparing for a busy summer, as expectations are high that they’ll have lots of product to sell once the main fishing season gets underway, even if the predictions of an extremely early start to the season prove true.

Jeffrey Bennett, senior trade specialist with the Maine International Trade Center, and Matt Jacobson, the executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, said the industry has been buoyed by growing export numbers and a recent survey showing restaurants are charging an average of USD 6.22 (EUR 5.57) more per lobster when its provenance is identified as Maine on menus, a phenomenon that was the recent subject of a Portland Press Herald article.

Bennett and Jacobson remain positive even in the face of a Gulf of Maine Research Institute prediction of an “extremely early” start to the season, which is now expected to get underway in June rather than July due to a warmer-than-usual winter in New England. They said the industry is much more prepared for an early season than it was in 2012, when an early glut of lobsters created turmoil in the industry, overwhelming processors and cratering prices.

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