You've probably heard about the dip in lobster prices this summer. It is fantastic for the lobster-roll obsessed consumer, and terrible for the lobsterman who relies on summer's demand spike to make a living wage the year over. Recently, the dip in prices has been compounded by another issue - a Canadian blockade against Maine's Lobsters.
Upwards of 80% of lobster caught in Maine is brought to Canada for processing and freezing, but the decrease in the price of Maine's lobster has aggrivated Canadian lobsterman, who cannot lower their prices enough to compete with the cheap foreign crustaceans. As a result, lobstermen in Canada have protested at the gates of processing plants, preventing American shipments from making it to the plants. There is, unofficially, a blockade on American lobster exportation to Canada.
This has left American lobstermen in a pickle, and many have left their boats tied to moorings for the past several weeks. Catching lobsters won't help them earn money - it will just flood the market further, reducing the price still more.
Initially, I found it hard to think of lobster price drops as a negative thing. As a fanatical fan of the butter-drenched summer favorite, I was primarily heartened by its rock-bottom (pun intended) prices. This article serves as a good reminder that with food and farming, artifically low prices often mean difficulty for the producer.
Summer Lobster Surplus Leads To Cross-Border Price War Between Trappers from NPR's The Salt