HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new report from the University of Maine shows that the number of young lobsters off the coast of that state is continuing to decline.
Maine’s lobster industry enjoyed record numbers over the past three years. Lobsters caught off the Maine coast represented 85% of the country’s catch in 2012. Yet this report looked at baby lobsters, which take about eight years to reach legal harvesting size.
Mike Fitzgerald at Schermerhorn’s Seafood Market in Holyoke told 22News that the Maine fishermen he works with protect young lobsters by marking female lobsters with eggs, then tossing them back in.
“That mark signifies the fact it’s a nature female that had eggs. The next fisherman that catches that female, even though the eggs are off it, they’ll put the female back in there because they know it’s an egg producing-type lobster,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said the catch last year was off because of weather, but they don’t expect to see any shortage of lobsters from Maine like the shortage of lobsters from waters south of Massachusetts.