Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Could lobster rolls become the next go-to lunchbox sandwich?With soft-shell lobster meat selling for cheaper than bologna, it’s possible.
Because of an early-season surge in Maine’s soft-shell lobster population, the supply of lobster meat has far outweighed the demand from hungry consumers, according to an Associated Press article on July 2.
Consequently, the overabundance of soft-shell lobsters in Maine has driven down the meat’s market price to an unbelievable $3.79 to $4.99 per pound — cheaper than some deli meats.
Maine’s seafood dealers told the AP that the low prices have surprised customers.
“One gentleman came in and said, ‘So I get five lobsters for $25. What’s the catch?'” Docks Seafood owner Bob Coppersmith said to the AP. “I said there’s no catch. He said, ‘You’re going to put five lobsters in a bag and not weigh them and give me them to me for 25 bucks?’ He just couldn’t believe it.”
But not everybody is happy about the seemingly endless lobster supply. Maine’s lobster harvesters are earning $2.50 to $3 per pound for their catches — a lower-than-usual return.
It is still early in the summer, at least for Maine’s fishermen and tourists. Independence Day is the unofficial beginning of Maine’s tourist season, when lobster consumption really picks up. This is also the point in summer when the soft-shell lobster population is supposed to increase because hard-shell lobsters are shedding their outer layer.
Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, told the AP supply and demand for soft-shell lobster could soon reach a desirable equilibrium.
Until then, enjoy bottomless lobster.
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