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  • Mathieu Provencher

Too much Lobsters hurt

Have you guys heard about the very good catches of Lobsters fishermen saw on the Atlantic side of the USA (mostly from Maine it seems)? You would think this is great but it's threatening smaller fishermen to close down and go bankrupt... anyone can guess why?

It is due to the very low price of Lobsters fishermen now have to accept. Since the supply of Lobsters increased a whole lot, and that it was not due to lower costs of production (thanks to technology for example) and not due to higher productivity (thanks to new fishing strategies for example), then they have to accept a lower price, which means less profits per catch.

Farmers tried to cope with this new situation by doing what many generations of farmers did before them: increase production. The idea is to sell more quantity to make up the lost revenue from lower prices... however, higher quantities sold lead to even lower prices... which defeats the purpose. Smaller farmers are having more trouble because they cannot increase production by much, given their smaller sizes.

With these low prices and almost the same quantity, a number of them have to shut-down, and eventually close altogether. Some firms are trying to process Lobsters to add value to their product (remember the concept of value added) and thus make a bit more money. For example, I heard about lobster ice-cream (I'm not too enthusiast but I was told it was actually good) and lobster burgers.

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