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Maine’s Lobster Economics

  • Analyzing Maine’s lobster industry dynamics, focusing on how to optimally manage lobster landings in Maine with respect to annual value (Figure 1) and how to induce cooperation among harvesters. 
  • Maine’s lobster fishery tends to produce a seasonal glut of lower-priced soft shell lobsters during the summer. 
  • Currently, the timing and length of the lobster season does not coincide with favorable market conditions during winter and late spring (Figure 2).
    • All of the biological, economic and climatic factors would need to be considered to increase the lobster’s landings value. 

Figure 1: Annual American Lobster Landings and Prices in the U.S. Source: Personal communication from the national marine fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics division, Silver Spring, MD.

* Consumer Price Index (CPI) is extracted from U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics for all urban consumers in U.S. city on all items in a given 1982-84 base year. The CPI deflated price is calculated by dividing the nominal price by the CPI index for the same time period, so that the real price has been scaled based on the constant dollar in 1982-84.

Figure 2: Maine’s Monthly Lobster Landings and Prices in Four Groups of Adjacent Counties. Source: Personal communication from the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative statistics program, Arlington, VA.