Comments for: Lobster price plummet prompts talk of industry shutdown

Posted July 11, 2012, at 2:50 p.m.
Last modified July 11, 2012, at 7:24 p.m.

ELLSWORTH | Not since the 1970s has the price Maine fishermen have been paid for their lobster been so low. After having earned more than $4 per pound per year for four years running in the mid-2000s, lobstermen in Maine this week are being offered less than $2 per …

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  • Anonymous

    If shutting down the Lobster Harvest for a few months will stop the Crying, then shut it down !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Will you stop too?

    • Anonymous

      My mama always told me if I dont have nothing nice to say dont say nothing at all….well my mamas not here and you my friend are a pompous arrogant jerk! How dare you judge these people when all they are doing is trying to make a living so they dont have to go on welfare. Why dont you find the nearest harbor and jump on a boat and see what its like to lobster fish for the day? Would definitely be an eye opening experience

  • Anonymous

    I would love for all of us to “prolong the agony”. If not a Maine lobster landed in any port for 30 days, perhaps  the agony might be felt on all angles . 

    But, it will likely be another 2-3 day “vacation” and business as usual, dealers chop us another .25 for trying to change the supply, and joe public vents about how rich we all are……..

    • Anonymous

      You want more money per pound, then peddle it on the side of the road. Otherwise stop the crying. You Lobster men are rich enough anyway.

      •  lol yea so rich  that you better not tell the administration tey will raise they tax’s on them.   after all no one is allowed to be rich even if they work for it. 

      • Guest

        do you EVER close that hole in your face?

      • Anonymous

        Dem well said

      • Anonymous

        Do you know what is my bank account? I think not!

      •  REALLY??!!! Rich?? While there may be some Lobsterman who you could consider “rich”, they are the minority.  I come from a Lobstering family and I never had money-never went on vacation-never had a $75,000 vehicle in my yard.  Barely saw my father becuase when he wasn’t on the boat, we has working on gear.  He is the hardest worker I have ever known.  My husband is his sternman and I can tell you we are far from rich!!!  Sometimes it is a decision between paying the electricity or buying food to feed our children.   I would like to meet all these Lobsterman you guys keep talking about.  Maybe my family can move there and make the big bucks, but I know around here, that is not happening.  All these generic comments about Lobsterman being rich and having no more than a 5th grade education are pompous, idiotic, UNEDUCATED comments!!  I would love to put you out in the middle of the ocean and have you find your way back safely-or maybe not.  It takes more know-how than you obviously have any idea about to captain a lobster boat.   Many educated men and women on the water have Masters degrees as well some who have been Merchant Marines.  I have lost many family members and friends to this profession.  It takes a dedication and love for what you do to risk your life everyday.  While MANY don’t make all this money your are talking about, they should get paid more for doing such a job.  Judging something you know so little about makes you the ignorant one! 

    • Ben Hutchins

       Well, not all angles.  I mean, if lobster suddenly became completely unavailable – if a person couldn’t buy one for love nor money – I can think of at least one person who wouldn’t be affected in any way.

  • Killah from Calais

    I guess the days of fishermen burning twenty dollar bills at the bar and talking smack to poor Mainers;  may be gone.  Not !

  • Guest

    Lobster fisherman don’t fish year round, most of them anyway…yes they make pretty darned good money but it has to last the year. Most of you commenters DON”T HAVE A CLUE. 

    • Anonymous

      True story Deblogger, true story

    • Anonymous

      AMEN!! It’s something a lot of people here don’t understand. A big part of the reason the lobstermen get so nervous about things like this is because they are earning money to support their families FOR THE YEAR.

      • Anonymous

        Ha-Ha…yeah, right.

    • I D Durkin

      I sympathize with the Lobstermen, if the economy was doing well, things might be better for You.   Vacation Land, needs Vacationers in numbers to create the demand for  you to sell your product at a price you can make a profit. A healthy middle class has more vacationers.  Keep the republicans out of congress, remember the Bill Clinton years .

      • Anonymous

        You’d think that with fishermen getting $ 1.50 per pound most of us could get a lobster dinner for under $ 7.00 ( even under $ 10.00 ) , perhaps if the greedy middlemen came down a bit we’d eat more bugs !

        • Anonymous

          Well to start with no one is being paid $1.50 pr/lb for lobster. The reporter who wrote this is the one without a clue. No one is taking into the account the bonuses paid. The real price is in the $2.25- $2.50 range.

        • Anonymous

          You need to open a restaurant and show all of us the way

    • Anonymous

      Hey, I have a boat.What do I have to do to get a license? IS there a fee? Is there a school or certification program I have to attend. Just curious.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not sure about the training, but to get a license, you typically have to wait to get one until a license becomes available. There is a finite number available. Then you need to find a place to drop your traps that doesn’t impinge on someone else’s fishing grounds or you risk getting the lines cut.

      •  You also need to be an apprentice to a lobsterman for several years and track all you hours.  On top of that, you may have a boat, but you can’t just hop in a boat and go lobstering. There is a fee for the apprenticeship and then a very expensive license you have to buy every year.  Then you have fuel (almost 4 dollars a gallon) and bait (which is about $40 a bushel) and usually you go through up to bushels a day.  ON TOP OF THAT, you need the know how to navigate through the ocean. So just because you have a boat, doesn’t mean you can just get on it an go lobstering.

      • Anonymous

        Trust me….you don’t want to even get into this debacle!!! There are men who come from 300 years of lobstermen who can’t fish.  And if you try, you might just get a shot across the bow.

        • Anonymous

          Shot? Why? It’s a big ocean and if some people can’t make it work for them, maybe others can if given the chance. Seems logical.

          • Scott Knowles

             it is a big ocean, but there are zones you have to stay within and if you want to wonder outside of them, you can just drop eight to fifteen thousand right out of you pocket, but if you do that… the government might just step in and take it from you if you didnt own it before 2008, and better yet you can try getting your license in zone B and fish 300 then 400 and another hundred every year till you get to eight hundred traps, when there are people who just come from zone A with all 800 and set everywhere within zone B and don’t have to worry about a thing so go ahead and get your license, trust me being a 4th generation lobsterman trying to make a go at it and struggling to do so. But like i said you obviously have no clue what your doing because you don’t even know how to go about getting your license so i would really appreciate seeing you and your gear scattered all across mine out there. thanks

    • cherry blossom

      Chellie Pingree is going to help??
      How nice that she cares.  I’m amazed she could even see the lobstermen from her Gulfstream V.

    • Anonymous

      Been in and around this industry since 1978.  All around the world people work two,three,four jobs to make ends meet. Lobstermen are no different. Only the truly lazy,unskilled or incapacitated depend on the lobster catch for their yearly claimed income. NOTE: I did not say depend on lobstering for a living. Claimed and unclaimed is a different story.

      • Anonymous

        ??? Your statement is either very unclear or just plain untrue.  My father has been lobstering for 65 years and his yearly income (yes, claimed income) comes entirely from lobstering.  He is not lazy, unskilled nor incapacitated.  In fact, quite the opposite.  

  • Anonymous

    Okay, our oldest daughter is married to a lobster man and she works full-time. Her husband does not hang out at the bars and they are not rich. At 1.50 a lb they cannot even pay for the fuel to get to the traps. So, if all the lobster men go on unemployment I am sure you will also complain about that, and when they go to the state for some “entitlement” money I am sure you will complain about that. What would it take for you to show some sympathy for the hard working men and women of the sea? 

    • Anonymous

      The problem is everybody is having a hard time making a living no matter what you do. As soon as you get enough money set aside to feel some financial security , they raise the prices of gas, food, etc. Now you’re no further ahead than before you tried to save a buck. Consumers resent vendors for raising prices because we feel helpless. Vendors feel raising prices is the only way to stay afloat. Consumers cut back hoping to save that buck only to see the vendors raise prices trying to make up the lost sales. 

      • Anonymous

        To keep it in perspective, it is just a simple fact of supply and demand.

        • I D Durkin

          Sounds like the demand is missing, ya think ?

          • Anonymous

            Sounds like something a democrat would say.

            I think this is a good problem for Obama to tackle. He is the man in charge of the nation right?

          • Jake_OO7

            Sounds like a republican, wants the government to take care of all their problems.

          • I D Durkin

            nailed it, they want all the federal pie for themselves !

          • I D Durkin

            No that is a bunch of   SHIGHT.   the repubs in Congress is the mucker !

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps the demand is there, just too much supply. I think that is what the end of the story said. Hmm, let me check.

            “Last year, for the first time, Maine lobstermen hauled in more than 100 million pounds of lobster, which resulted in the statewide fleet earning $334 million in revenue.”

            Yep, plenty of supply. You see supply is when…ahh forget it.

          • I D Durkin

            Yep, plenty of supply.  BUT NOT ENOUGH BUYERS … WHY … or yea the economy sucks.

        • Anonymous

          You got the point !

    • Anonymous

      Does your daughters husband pay into unemployment?
      No – he does not, he is self employed.

      • Anonymous

        that is probably a true story….so even sadder that their is no safety net in place for such a hard working group of people, how will the “complainers” feel if these people all go to the food banks and get food stamps and other “entitlement”…I am sure they will find something to complain about that as well.

        • Anonymous

          Speaking of food banks , why not give a few hundred pounds to area churches for the needy. 

          • Anonymous

            Because most food banks and pantries do not have the facilities to store the lobsters (or even the meat), and there are also regulations which prevent them from accepting some foods that have not been processed in an approved processing facility. It would be the same as trying to donate venison that you chopped up out in your garage.  YOU might handle the meat in a safe way, but maybe the guy down the street lets it sit out for a few hours, and how are the people at the food pantry supposed to know which one is good meat and which one is contaminated?  In theory, it’s a good and charitable notion.  In reality.. not so much.

        • Anonymous

          No one is talking about the $150k bonus checks that were common in Stonington!

          • Again, people basing their views on a very small percent of the population.   While it is probable SOMEONE out their might have gotten a check that big, they are certainly the minority!  COMMON certainly isn’t the word for it.  The average bonus is about 30 cents per pound at most dealers.   This would mean that to get this big of a bonus and fishing half the year you would need to average 3,000 lbs a day.  While this is possible a couple of weeks out of the summer, it certainly is not “average” for a Lobsterman to catch this much  every day for 175 days!

          • Anonymous

            By the info in this article $46,000,000.00 were landed in Stonington divide that by 1,100 residents and what does it spell? Also bonuses really ranged from 73 cents to a low of a quater. Some places loke Spruce Head hold back as much as one dollar.

          •  Well Spruce Head is not Stonington.  You singled out Stonington as having $150,000 bonuses as a common thing.  That $46 million they speak of is not what the fisherman get.  That is the value of the lobster.  Lobsterman may get $1.50 lb and then the stores charge $5.99.  This article mentions that there are 1,100 residents in Stonington, but the lobsters coming into the dealers also include Lobsterman  from Deer Isle that lobster in Stonington as well. 

          • Anonymous

            Look the reality of all of this is the quality of the vast majority of the lobster landed up until now is HORRIBLE just ask any fisherman. No one is getting $1.50 for their catch it is more like $2.25-$2.50 with all of the bonuses thrown in and as far as stores are concerned what they charge is not your business unless you chose to buy one. How many do they throw away etc. it all adds up. As far as that is concerned three New England chains all ran mothers day,fathers day , and memorial day adds retail $5.99 and paid over six for the product. When these guys go back on the water and to work they will come in with the worst quality yet because the traps kept fishing while they took a break. No one will pay more until the quality improves.

          •  I certainly will not disagree with you on what is going to happen when they go back out on the water-of course, the “worst quality yet” is had for me to envision considering the “quality ” of lobster doesn’t necessarily go down as the lobsters are still “live lobsters” and fisherman don’t bring in dead lobsters.  What is of concern is that the fact that they will still be bringing in those lobsters that have been in those traps since the start of all this-those that survive anyway.  And yes, it is true that with the bonus most are making more then the $1.50 or whatever.  There are rumors that on of the dealer locations that is paying the lowest price ($1.25) will not be paying the bonus on those lobsters that sell for under $1.75.  That means these particular fisherman are getting just that-$1.25.  My point with this was that Stonington fisherman, while doing well, are not getting $150,000 bonuses.  What I was saying about the businesses is that the fisherman staying on land in support of other communities who are not getting the lobsters that Stonington is getting, is not going to to do anything alone.  The demand needs to go up for  them and in classic supply and demand, if the stores and restaurants supported the market by lowering their prices to encourage people buy them.  That is what is going to help.  If people know that lobsters are dirt cheap but go into a restaurant and see $15 for a lobster roll, more people are going to opt not to get it versus if it were $6.  Anyway, my point in the beginning of this was to point out that fisherman in Stonington are not making $150,000 bonuses.  There are a lot of people saying nasty generalized comments about  fisherman and saying things that just aren’t true.  Your statement was one of those statements that wasn’t necessarily fact and I wanted to clear that up with you.  In past years it has been rumored that a fisherman got a bonus equal to less than half of the number you stated, but so far that is the highest on record and that certainly is not a “common” bonus.   Not all fisherman are rich, uneducated, drunks as some people on here have been saying and I am sure you would go on the defense as well if people were attacking something that has been a part of your family for years and you had seen your family members working themselves to the bone for every penny they make-risking their lives every day to provide for their families. Or lost family to this industry and watched your young cousins grow up without a father and pray everyday that your father/husband will come home at night.  Some of the comments on here have been brutal and down right discriminatory.  I just believe unless you know the 100% truth about something, you shouldn’t speak bad about.  Watching how people are speaking of other people in their communities is disgusting.  Your comment was the least of these.  I am just tired of people saying things that are hurtful and having no merit behind any of their comments.

      • Anonymous

        Pay into unemployment? You are lucky some even pay any taxes at all.

        • Anonymous

          Where are your facts on such a blanket statement? I know many lobster fisherman and their crew who take their tax money right off the top so it will be there when the tax man comes calling. They don’t have all the loopholes, tax shelters and off shore and foreign accounts to hide their money in. 

          • Anonymous

            There are those who will under report their earnings in every trade.  This industry is no different.

          • Anonymous

            Don’t have the loopholes, shelters etc?? Of course not!! It’s a cash industry. Sell to the highesgt payer. No records, no shelters or loopholes needed.

      •  they still have to pay unemployment and all taxes anyone else pays..

        • Anonymous

          They may pay taxes but they don’t pay into unemployment unless they have a worker. Then they “might” pay into unemployment for the worker.
          No self employed person or business owner pays unemployment for himself.

          •  My father is a captain and my husband is a sternman.  We do not pay unemployment, but we do pay approx. 23% of our income in self-employment taxes.

          • Anonymous

            claimed income……………

          • yes claimed income, but I can tell you that HONEST fisherman, like my family pay taxes on all of their income. I hope you are not attacking my families integrity with this comment becuase that is what it feels like!!!!

        • Anonymous

          Are you kidding? How many years of taxes did you file for a fisherman? I did nearly 30 years. Unemployment? LOL LOL LOL

      • Guest

         Self employed people pay their unemployment when they file  their income tax return. Schedule SE line 5.

        • Anonymous

          That is self employment tax not unemployment.
          Self employed people DO NOT pay into unemployment.
          Also unemployment is paid to the STATE not the feds.
          Don’t want to believe me – call the state and ask.

          Schedule SE line 5.
          5 Self-employment tax. If the amount on line 4 is:
          • $106,800 or less, multiply line 4 by 13.3% (.133). Enter the result here and on Form 1040, line 56,
          or Form 1040NR, line 54
          • More than $106,800, multiply line 4 by 2.9% (.029). Then, add $11,107.20 to the result.
          Enter the total here and on Form 1040, line 56, or Form 1040NR, line 54 .

    • Anonymous

      Reelect Obama and it will get worse !

      • Anonymous

         I must have missed the executive order ‘Stop Eating Lobster’

    • Anonymous

      Lobstermen are hardworking fishermen YES!  But very few have a head for business. I live in a harbor where a few of the son’s  of lobstermen are given a choice of their own new boat or a college education.  Please, don’t continue to cry poverty when the rest of us are feeling it also. 
      If lobstermen as an industry would form a consortium  or an alliance and stop arguing with one another they could have a powerful VOICE in this state. It’s sad when I read about traps being cut, boats being sunk, rear window of pickups shot-out.  Electricians, Plumbers, Boilermen, Builders …. they all seem to get along well. You never hear of an Electrical Contractor blowing up another contracters house.     In 1966, my family was vacationing in Maine buying lobster at the wharf for $4.25lb.  So what gives.  The price should be double that by now …… please explain to me why it isn’t.

    • Anonymous

      So, does he sit on his cheeks when he can’t lobster? Or does he get his @ss out there and work?

    • Anonymous

      THere is an extremely important piece missing from this story.
      How many pounds per day are the fishermen hauling?
      The story says that there is   a glut of soft shell lobsters now.  To me, that means that the fishermen are hauling many more pounds per day.
      So what if the price is lower, if the price for the catch per day is the same.

      I wish these writers would help with all of the math, and not jsut some of it.

    • Anonymous

      Every businessman that I know right now has reduced their payroll, a lot in half, showed losses, completed bidding work knowing they would lose money, but they needed the cash flow to continue so they could make some payments.  Lobstering is no different than any other market right now.  Government does not need to interfere.  Chellie is wrong.  She is not paid to save jobs and the lobstering industry.  Democrats need to stay out of the private sector, they have already ruined the public sector. 

  • Anonymous

    If you can all agree to shut things down and starve the buyers out. then do it.
    Pull your traps, call their bluff…  They sound like wal-mart buyers…
    next year charge them 5 fold. make them pay.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah because Maine is the ONLY state that fish and sells lobster…….supply and demand……they don’t want to supply- don’t supply.  The demand will go else where…..welcome to capitalism 101.

  • Anonymous

    most Lobstermen I know do OK, but they are not rich. If they “clear” $60,000 a year, that is good money, but does not make them rich. If they can’t get enough money per pound to make any money why would they bother to fish? Would you go to work if at the end of the day your boss looks at you and say’s “thanks for coming in today, that’ll be $40” .. I mean Really.

    • Anonymous

      $60,000.00 in Maine is very rich !!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous

         not really, a 2 person household that both work full time jobs can make that, the problem is 60K isn’t what it used to be. I’m not saying they don’t do all right, but I don’t consider that “rich”, to be rich in my book if you didn’t make any money for a couple of years or so you’d still be just fine, 60K won’t get you that unless you live very frugally, and who does that if they don’t  have to, not too many people.

        • Guest

          Careful about feeding the troll.

          • Anonymous

            Can I feed it some lobster? 

      • Anonymous

        no it’s not. RN’s at the hospitals make that. Lots of Teachers in the Bangor school system make that.

        • Anonymous

          Most Lobster men have no education at all, barely finishing high school if that.  Lobster fishing is a very, very, low skill job and can be done with an elementary school education. So please don’t compare a RN Nurse who graduated from College to a Lobster man who barely finished the 5Th grade. It is good there are still low skill jobs like fishing for bugs. Otherwise most of these guys would be on welfare.

          • Anonymous

            It certainly is easy to hide behind a screen name and mock the education and professions of another. They are some of the hardest workers you will ever meet and I doubt you would even be able to do their job.

          • Anonymous

            Have you ever carried 80 pound bundles of shingles up a ladder to a second story roof? On busy days when the job has got to be done carried 2 80 pound bundles up a ladder?  Have you ever stripped a roof on a 80 degree day when it’s about 120 degrees on the roof? Have you ever spent 10 to 16 hours bent over raking blueberries for 2.25 a box?

          • Jeff D

            If you’re carrying bundles of shingles up a ladder instead of craning them then you’re doing it wrong.

          •  Not sure if you are trying to point out that Lobsterman are or are not hard workers, but Lobsterman and their sternman carry around over 200-250 50 lb traps a day, they spend the same 10-16 hours a day in the hot sun, haul on buoys with thousands of pounds of water pressure behind them, coil fathoms and fathoms of rope, and many more things that cause them to beat up their bodies and for many it is year-round.  Not just the hot sun beating down on them , but the frozen water splashing in their faces or trying to hold themselves up when the rain is coming down in buckets or the boat is tilting going over 15 ft waves.  My thoughts, everyone has their own ideas of what is hard work.  There are MANY hard workers in this world who have all different professions and are all doing what they need to do to keep food on the table.   I think some of the people on here making comments (not to say you, but others) need to think about that and keep their pompous ignorant comments to themselves.  they would do the same thing if put in a tough position where their livelihood is being threatened.  What people don’t realize is that this is the good season” and if they miss out on this, it could mean no money to get through the winter with the possiblity of some people losing their home s(and not $500,000 homes that some of these people think of Lobsterman living in).  Maine is a great state to live and “just a regular guy”, I support what you do and appreciate it.  I appreciate what everyone does to make this state such a great place to live.  Why can’t people respect the Lobsterman without calling them uneducated, rich, drunks?

          • Anonymous

             agreed!

          • Anonymous

            There should have been a comma in between school and if. A little constructive criticism from a low SKILLED carpenter and logger. Inserting the word that in between good and there would have helped define your point as well. I can build an entire house from the ground up, entirely from memory. In your opinion, is it good that there are still low skilled jobs like that for a lowly high school graduate like me? 

          • Jonathan Smith

             Most Lobster fisherman could also navigate a vessel in situations that the average educated snob would capsize and drown the yacht they just purchased.  Working on the ocean takes a great deal of skill – just as other “simple” jobs like logging or driving a tractor trailer truck. If you only have a degree, you don’t have a club to the technical aspects of each trade. Be thankful these guys work. Worry about the people in public housing.

          • Anonymous

            Ok smart one, why don’t you come on down to the fish pier at 4;30 tomorrow and you can drive the boat and find all the traps that need to be hauled.  My boat captian happens to be a Graduate from MMA. Unless you know what you are talking about then perhaps you should keep your opinions  to your self. Not everyone can be lumped into one catagory because of what they do, notice I did not lump you into one just because of your backwards, ignorant and out of touch comment.

          • Anonymous

            Sound like he flunked out of the real world if you go to mma you arnt just a fisherman you usually get a good job

          • Anonymous

            I hate to let you know he has a “real” job, also, a real degree hanging on the wall and pays real good taxes every year and not with an extension but in the beginning of Feb. once they are finished by our accountant. Just because some buyers are paying a low price does not mean they all are, and not all fishermen are complaining about the money. I was just replying to the statement that all fishermen are uneducated. Hate to tell you sternmangamble but not all has flunked out of the real world, we live in a real world, one where lobsters are plentiful thanks to the help of conservation and one that allows us to have a unique job where the view from the office looks much much better then most peoples. So what kind of good job do you have that allows you to speak out of turn??

          •  So what are you saying you can’t be a lobsterman because your not smart enough?And they were comparing pay not education.

          •  That is strange?  I know a man who’s been lobstering for over 20 years who has a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology.  Not to mention the countless others with Business and Agricultural Degrees.
            Oh.  By the way, Benjamin Franklin had a 3rd grade education.  Do you think?

          • Anonymous

            You don’t have much respect for others.

          • Anonymous

            Actually the Lobster men all have liberal arts degrees don’t they dog?

          • Guest

            knightscross has no respect for ANYONE.  Never has. I have NO idea why he lives in Maine, and wish he would leave. Just ignore him if you can.

          • Anonymous

             He probably doesn’t live here at all. Ah, the wonders of the internet!

          • Knightscross that is a rude and mean stereotypical thing to say about lobstermen. They work hard and take many risk with their lives. They must have many skills working on the sea. I think you are the one who only made it to 5th grade, as well as being arrogant and ignorant. 

          • Anonymous

            your  point was stated as  60,000.00 in Maine is very rich !!!!  Regardless of profession or education…

          • I dont know much about lobster fishing. The last time I set foot on a lobster boat was in the 50’s (I’m 74 now) but I have done some commercial fishing out of Boston but it seems that you don’t know the skills needed to make a living and stay alive on the ocean. Nurses learn their skills in universities where a sarcastic professor sometimes will make some poor student cry for making a mistake. The Atlantic Ocean is a much tougher teacher. If you fail a class there, you may not get to take it over. When nurses make mistakes other people may die ……. when lobstermen make mistakes they very often drown. Education is not only a product sold by universities. If someone can feed a family from a small boat on the coast of Maine I think they have demonstrated a pretty high level of “education.” You might try working as a sternman for a few months. I don’t think you will find most of your university training to be of much value (unless you got a couple of PE credits for a swimming class.)

          • Anonymous

             not the ones I know…

        • Ben Hutchins

          Interestingly, you have in fact just named two of the most tragically underpaid professions in the country.

      • Anonymous

         NOPE!!

        • Jonathan Smith

          My net take home pay for my family is 30k (no – not a fisherman) but I don’t whine about money or wealth. I could care less for the class envy garbage – 60k is  a lot of money for most Mainers though. I wouldn’t undermine Lobstermen and their skill sets or lack thereof. It takes a lot to skillfully navigate and operate a vessel in inclement weather offshore.

      •  NO IT IS NOT.

      • Anonymous

        lol. hardly. nice of you to set the bar so low.

      • Anonymous

        I wish it were….but that’s far from being rich.

      • Guest

        Don’t forget….that $60,ooo looks much more like $35,000 after expenses…

  • Anonymous

    Really it is the brokers and the retailers who are responsible for the problem.  They more than double, even triple, the cost of lobster at the market.  Perhaps if they weren’t so greedy the fishermen could make a living, the retailer could make a living, and the consumer wouldn’t be exploited beyond reason at the store.  There is no reason why they all can’t get a fair shake at the price of $4/lb.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting how the price is so low yet, if you go to one of the lobster pounds, they’re still going to charge you the same 20 bucks as before for one 1 1/2 pound cooked lobster.

  • Guest

    Couldn’t hack it fishing huh?

    • atruebluedowneaster

      Grew up with it! Never cared for the water! My dad was a fishermen and he always said you have to take the good with the bad and that goes for many jobs today! Everyone is having it tough especially with the fuel prices.

  • Guest

    Well Mr. true down aster…that is a pathetic, very stupid statement to make.  Are you really that jealous of these hardworking people and the money that SOME of them make?  Do you get up every day at 3:30 AM, and head off the docks by 4:30 AM?  Have you ever spent a day working on a lobster boat?  I think by your statement that is an easy question to answer.   And when I ask if you have ever spent a day working on a lobster boat, I am talking about a boat owned and operated by a true fisherman, not one of the many beer drinking idiots that work a few hours here and there, on a piece of junk boat and get a bit of money for it.  Give it a try some time.  You may then appreciate your next lobster a lot more.  Seen the price of bait lately?  Traps?  Gear?  Paying deck hands?  It isn’t just the fule thats up. Very disrespectful comment !!!!!

    • Anonymous

       I am an owner operator of a truck for over 20 yrs. I deal with ag people and know the fisherman crowd. I get up at 1am most days, be home by 4/5pm My rig costs have gone up, 25% in the last 6yrs. I have always and will always keep my costs down. And always have an exit plan. Just in case. I try not to operate below costs. It happens once in a while. It doesen’t happen for long. But, when i loose money? I don’t go crying to the government. The lobster crews are ramping up to do just that.  We all have choices to make in life……….sometimes the self employed route is not one for some. There are always people who will undercut you. It’s unreal how this is done in the trucking business.  you can do alright when times are good….when the times are lean, you learn how to operate more efficiently. If not….move on.

      • Anonymous

        I agree with you 100%.

      • Guest

        Believe me Sir., I have as much respect for you truckers as I do the real fishermen.  When I say the real fishermen, that was why I distinguished between the real fishermen/women and the idiots that think they are fishermen.  I totally appreciate and thank all you truckers for what you do, and you are right, the ones who do it right will weather the storm, the wanna be’s will not…survival of the fittest.  Again, thank you for what you do.  Truckers never get the respect they deserve, and are often times screwed by our own government and over regulation.  Be safe out there…

    • Anonymous

      You ever worked in a factory, operating the same machine for 8 hours with only a couple of short breaks each day, with one week vacation? The work involves doing the same thing over and over and over, all day long. As a worker, freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Often the pay stinks.
        You want to trade in a lobstering license for a factory job? Then quit the complaining about the “hard work”.

      • Guest

        Yes I have worked in a factory, just out of college many years ago.  I am happy to say that I do not need to at this point in my life, but yes I can relate…the work was monotonous,..but I cannot say it was “hard work”…..ya, the limited time off was not good, but it was a paycheck…no complaints about what I did or where I did it….

    • atruebluedowneaster

      Yes I have as a matter of fact I use to hold a lobster fishing license as a kid. I had a skiff and outboard and about 30 traps… I come from a lobster fishing family and have one sibling that is still lobster fishing. So get over yourself I know a lot more about it than you think! Talk about disrespectful comments you should practice what you preach! Oh and by the way I get up at 4:00 a.m. every morning to go to work! 

      •  you say “as a kid”.  How many years ago was that?  Things have changed ALOT since then.  The costs are up as well as everything else.  And honestly, no disrespect, but your 30 traps as a kid hold nothing to the 800 that lobsterman are hauling everyday.  And when you were a kid, you didn’t have a family to feed.  You would think coming from a Lobstering family, you would have a little more respect for them.   Maybe your family is in that minority I talked about earlier, but I ma sure if they knew what you were saying, they would be truly offended and hurt as well as the rest of us who live it everyday.  My thoughts go back to that wise old saying, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.   I am sure if it were your livelihood that was being attacked, you would be just as defensive about it.

      • Guest

        Wow,  “about 30 traps”…..”as a kid”….you must be so in touch with today’s cost’s of running a real fishing vessel….sad thing is that today’s lobstermen/woman are getting the same price per pound, if not less, that you were back then….

  • Anonymous

    Most folks either don’t have any work or their new “job” doesn’t even pay 40% of what their old job paid.  Lobster ain’t on the menu until Obama is on a plane back to his home country.  Where ever that is….

  • Anonymous

    Maybe our state reps ought to help out us owner operators of tractor trailers that haul these lobsters from pounds to processors , and to stores.  I don’t get any help or reimbursement for the fuel that I have to use to deliver the lobster product.  I don’t get a bonus like lobster fisherman do, instead I’m taxed on my fuel and taxed to haul the loads over the highways wow who’s on the losing end of this? Does that $1.50 a pound include the .25 to .50 cent bonus that they get.

  • Anonymous

    Keliher added he and Gov. Paul LePage are committed to trying to prevent such future wild price fluctuations with “appropriate marketing and management strategies.”   (Ummmm…isn’t that what socialists do????  Come on, Gov….Make up your mind..)

    • Anonymous

      And Obama keeps extending the Bush tax cuts. Go figure. 

    • Anonymous

      LePage + marketing + management strategies = another sign at the state line

  • Anonymous

    Why does the gov’t have to get involved at all???   If you can’t make money fishing lobster don’t fish.  Isn’t this capitalism? Isn’t this the free market speaking? 

    • Guest

      Stop it! You’re making sense.

    • Anonymous

      You have more economic sense than the White House.

  • Anonymous

    What are you talking about? 

  • Anonymous

    Blame Canada.

     Canadians always do everything  bigger, better and more willingly than us with their natural resources. When I say willingly, I mean with less consideration to environmental and political backlash. This mass U.S. hysteria of, “Oh my God, we’re ruining the Earth”  is of little mention in the Canadian crusade.  We shy away from very sustainable industries, in fear of  offending a minority group of environmentalists, activists, opponents, or liberal legislators. 
     
     The Ovah-Homahs are lickin’ their lips ‘n grinnin’ the whole time.  They steamroll right over and through our- too close to the border- fragile economy, to sell us the things that we need and want.     Things like lumber, fish, fruit and energy.  THEY will bear these commodities to our U.S. market in excess because we ourselves can’t or won’t for whatever the newest, trendiest “the sky is falling” sentiment is.
     
     Is there  a glut of lobsters on the market?  Then the glut came from another country…  If Canadian lobster pounds are stuffed full, leave ’em stuffed full.  I DO NOT CARE  ABOUT CANADIANS.  I DON’T GIVE A &%*$!! ABOUT CANADIANS.  
     
    Jeezus people, we can make it without anything Canadian.  Damn it, lets start cutting it, building it, catching it, farming it, manufacturing it, burning it and selling it- RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.   

    •  rant and rave section is on craigs list.

    • Anonymous

       Ovah-Homahs, bwahahahaha. havn’t heard that one in years.  and yes i know what it means. 

  • Guest

    Of course the price of a lobster in a Boston restaurant hasn’t dropped a dime.
    New York Post today reported that the lobster catch in Long Island Sound has dropped from 3.7M lbs in ’98 to 142,000 lbs last year! Sure seems that there should be a market with that kind of a drop……

    • Jeff D

      I’ve seen shedders for $3.99 in grocery stores north of Boston (Reading).
      The lobster catch in Maine rose fr0m 47M lbs in ’98 to 104.8M lbs last year. I’d say that covers the decrease in Long Island Sound’s catch. 

      • Guest

        I have no idea what a shedder is, but I do know that if you can find a decent lobster roll in greater Boston for less that $11, stick with that shop. 
        .With those numbers, it kinda looks like the market is glutted.

  • Anonymous

    The problem with fishermen is that you could throw all of them in a giant swimming pool full of glue and there isn’t any two of them that would stick together. Half of them would tie up and the other half would sneak out to take advantage of the temporary twenty five cent a pound increase. 

  • Jonathan Smith

    It is the responsibility of the State to take a vested interest in the economic viability of industries here – that doesn’t mean a bail-out or price fixing but they are supposed to work for a solution. Does the US make it economically feasible for US lobsterman to even make a living? What tariffs or regulations exist on foreign sellers, if any? We spend too much time crippling our own economy – placating the EPA, OSHA, and a plethora of other alphabet soup agencies and we wonder why people can’t keep food on their table. It’s disgusting that some on here look down with disdain and snobbery on fishermen. Newsflash – most of Mainer is poor or lower middle class – look around – we don’t all have college degrees or  PH’d’s. Some, like myself, are just simple veterans trying to make a living without a GI Bill or anything special to offer us educational benefits. Life isn’t fair – be grateful for what you have and don’t be a jerk to others simply because they are poor or rich. Be thankful they are working and try to work to help them – don’t create more stumbling blocks. The world is already full of selfish and arrogant folks.

  • Anonymous

    Lobster is a commodity market item; supply goes up, price comes down.  We went through this exact situation two years ago.  Not to worry, Gov. Lepage is going to bring all these lobstermen into Augusta and teach them proper marketing and management skills!  What a joke.

  • Anonymous

    They lower the prices for lobster that they pay the fisherman….how come the restaurants don’t lower their prices?

    • Anonymous

      Economics 101 will answer that question for you-take the class.

    • Anonymous

       Why would they? What’s in it for them to get paid less money?

  • Anonymous

    I do not think lobstermen have an easy road anymore in Maine. Just this, thought, it is more and more difficult to hang on to what you might have. I feel that school funding must somehow get under control, no longer can property tax payers support the bill, taxes are increasing yearly at an alarming rate. All you hear is the school has gone over budget. We need one percent sales tax, that each RSU could collect on the towns they represent. Getting the real estate taxes under control, would help the lobstermen and people of Maine much more than anything. 60,000.00 dollars is not much money, for a household or especially a business. Lobstermen are still here, we have lost most of the dairy farms, and independent wood cutters, we are all in this big Maine boat, and we got to start demanding our representatives begin solving some major problems we have in Maine, so we all can keep our property and businesses.

  • Anonymous

    People writing the comments on this article are in a nasty battle, like a class warfare. Everyone who works for a living, and lobster fishing is work, deserves a decent income. Unfortunately, for all of us there are good times and bad times. Lobstermen must do what needs to be done to make a good living either by bringing down the catch or increasing the catch to make the price of fuel palatable. The arguing back and forth with these comments does nothing to solve the problem of the early molt and glut of lobsters.

    • Anonymous

      What do you expect when the President uses class warfare daily?

      • Anonymous

        Yes clearly it’s the president who owns 5 homes and has an elevator for his cars in one home…….duh.

  • Anonymous

    I feel bad for the fishermen who are struggling to survive but for the young, arrogant twenty somethings who for some reason think they need a new $300000-$400000 boat every 2 or 3 years and drive around in a $60000 truck I have absolutely no sympathy for them. This might knock them down a peg or two. Again I feel bad for the self made fishermen but for those few who think they are on deadliest catch I hope you are enjoying reality.

    • Anonymous

      Coming from a community where a majority of my friends, family and neighbors are lobstermen, I couldn’t  agree with you more.  The seasoned lobstermen know to prepare for these years.  For those that thought the “old sea captains” are just old and outdated, welcome to reality.

  • Anonymous

    lobster is 11.00 dollars a pound at Walmart in Presque Isle  the middle man must be getting rich

    • I D Durkin

      Your at Walmart, that lobster probably comes from china !

  • Anonymous

    An idea: leave the lobsters alone, to live theirs lives on the sea bottom.  

    Work at doing something else.  

    No fuel costs, no boat payments.

    It is possible, for the lobsters’ sake.

    • I D Durkin

      Your sick – please get help !

    • Anonymous

      Half the people wanting to kill more lobsters hate deer hunters and trappers. But they have no problem trapping a Lobster and Boiling it ALIVE. Maybe lobster fishermen should have to catch their lobsters by diving down and catching them with their hands. Isn’t that what they think hunters shoud do, not use a gun but kill with a knife?

      Ho is ole’ PETA anywhay? 

       

      • Anonymous

        Very interesting perspective you have there.  Most of the lobstermen I know (which is many), schedule their game hunting trips every hunting season…deer, moose, bear, etc.  We sure must live in different parts of the world

  • Anonymous

    That sucks. I say strike. Yhe restaurants and stores have no problem charging almost $20 for a damn lobster roll while the hard working men and women who catch the lobster are getting screwed. Damn Republicans.

  • Chop nearly a third of your fuel cost by learning about one of these:  http://www.hydroclubusa.com/360.html

    • Anonymous

      Because buying into a scam is always a good way to get ahead.

  • quit yer whining

    What no way to blame the Gov on this one?!

  • Anonymous

    LOBSTERMEN (WOMEN):  With all the rules and regulations you face daily, this would be a good time to make sure EVERYTHING on your boat is up to date!  It would be a good time to take several days to do maintenance on your boat.  Violation of some of those rules could, at best end a fishing day, and at worst, result in a massive fine (tax). Everything from paper work, to survival suits.  Make sure all is right according to the Coast Guard, Marine Patrol, etc.  Make sure flares are up to date, e-pirbs are working with a proper battery, check hoses, stuffing boxes, etc.

    Not advocating a “shut down”, but a “maintenance period”.  

  • Anonymous

    At the local grocery store in Patten, Lobster is $8.99 a pound…Walmart in Presque Isle has it for $10.99 a pound……sounds  to me like either the middle man is making a heck of a profit, or the grocery stores are! The guys pulling their traps, and the tourists ( we locals sure can’t afford them) are the ones getting ripped off.

  •  EXCUSE ME??!!!!! True blue downeaster??? Have you EVER set foot on a lobster boat?  Lobsterman have to WORK twice as hard to get what they have and while some do make “good money” others are still just getting by.  My father has been a lobsterman for over 40 years and my husband has been his sternman for 8.   Growing up in a lobstering family is not easy.  My dad works year around and doesn’t get to “kick his feet up” in the winter and go on vacations and have tons of money.  He spends every waking hour on the boat or working on gear all year-round.  His days start at 3:30 am and end at 8 or 9 six sometimes seven days a week.  As far as a lunch break, it is 5 minutes between strings. Can you say you that you do that?  Growing up, I rarely saw my dad because he was working hard to barely put food on the table and  I NEVER went on a vacation.   WE struggle every day to be sure we have enough money to feed and clothe our family when the times are tough.  This is a very RUDE and condescending comment to the many lobsterman who work hard every day and depend on the money to keep their homes and keep their families off the state.  We were actually to the point this winter where we were selling miniscule things we owned to get money to buy groceries.  While there are some lobsterman out there who flaunt their money with big houses, even bigger boats,  $75,000 trucks, and  go on vacations all winter, but contrary to your beliefs, they are the minority-at least where I come from. 

    • Guest

      Yep….Mr. downeaster is an idiot…..a true wanna be…has no clue…..”full of myself”?  Bring it Mr. Useless…..

  • Anonymous

    The sad part of this is they have people here at each other’s throats instead of focusing on the real problem which is that the economy sucks.  Take a look at this recovery and compare it to every other one since WWII.  If this had just been about average there would have been a trillion more dollars in the economy last year.  And there would be more than a trillion more dollars in the economy this year.  That would buy a lot of lobsters.
    The President has had ample time to get the economy back on track and he hasn’t.  I have no idea why anyone has confidence in this man.  He has never had any applicable work experience and accomplishment that demonstrates that he should have our confidence.  Did he ever even   take a course in economics? There is no reason to think he will do any better in a second term.
     

    • Anonymous

      Did you happen to ummmm forget about 2 unpaid wars that we are still paying for?  Did you forget about Glass-Steagall?  Did you forget about the banking failure?  Did you forget about the auto industry failure?  Think all those things and many more bad economic things have  just ‘happened’ in the last 3 years with nothing leading up to them?  That’s like thinking that the great depression of ’29 just suddenly happened and NOTHING led to that…..Wow try watching something other than Faux News.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry Bud but I’m not buying your excuses.  WWII wasn’t paid for either.  Every recession has background causes and something that triggers them.  This guy should have been smart enough to realize he had no qualifications for the job and shouldn’t have taken it.  Fact is he wasn’t and people are suffering for his incompetence. 

        • Anonymous

          Ummmm WWI and WWII ALL involved and were financed by the majority of European countries (and Japan) that were involved in WWI or WWII.  WWII actually helped the US get out of the ’29 great depression as we were supplying the Allied powers with military products and  the US didn’t get officially involved until Dec ’41 post Pearl Harbor.  So let me make sure I completely understand what it is you are saying….
          1.You didn’t get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined. 
          2.You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.   
          3. You didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.  
          4. You didn’t get mad when Bush didn’t catch Bin Laden.  
          5. You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.
          6. You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
          7.You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.
          8. You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the 1%, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.
          9.You didn’t get mad at Bush for the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.
          10. You didn’t get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.
          11. You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values in the Wall Street crash.

          But instead YOU finally got mad when Obama was elected President, and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick… Oh, Hell No!

          • Anonymous

            Blaming Bush is a political strategy not an economic strategy.  I see you are gravitating to the left wing default mode of accusing me of being racist. (From your original post “But You finally got mad when a black man was elected President,”   Glad you decided to edit your original post. 
             In fact I was mad at some of the items you have listed and said so at the time and still do.  Most of the items have been well discussed before and I have neither the time nor inclination to do it again now or with you.  The US in fact wound up with a huge debt following WWII. (120% of GDP).   I have no idea what you mean by Japan financing our debt in WWII
            It still comes back to the fact that Obama said he would solve our problems and he hasn’t.  A competent President would have had us long ago in a solid growth mode. 

          • Anonymous

            The reality is that  Bush (talk about being incompetent) completely screwed this country for 8 years…you can not be inclined to discuss anything you want- but the facts of Bush and his disaster of his fiscal presidency are just that FACTS of which the dimwit had 8 years to screw us all and did…..how much did each war cost us?  
            The United States will have spent a total of $3.7 trillion on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, costing 225,000 lives and creating 7.8 million refugees, by the time the conflicts end, according to a report released on Wednesday by Brown University. GREAT job Bush.Were there weapons of mass destruction found….NO. How much was the US auto industry to bail out??  The U.S. auto industry cost $80 billion bailout  GM and Chrysler.  TARP bailout for banks- by March 28, 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that total disbursements would be $431 billion and estimated the total cost, including grants for mortgage programs that have not yet been made, would be an additional $32 billion.  Sallie Mae/Freddie Mac-
            A federal regulator revised the government’s likely tab for bailing outFannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $124 billion through 2014. DO THE MATH.   ALL of this crap was in the works before Obama showed up this was Bush and his being completely inane and incompetent.   Enjoy when Obama get his 2nd term in November and then you can b*tch about him for another 4 years to make yourself feel better.

  • Anonymous

    hmmm  don’t see any price drop on lobster in the grocery store.

  • Joan Theriault

    Everyone should buy a lobster today. Get 2 maybe help a lobsterman to rplenish. Have it cooked at the store ( Hannfords) and shop for other things.  Delish.

  • I really have to say I am proud of the people on this post who are willing to stick up for your fellow Mainers.  I have always loved living in this state because people  are different-friendly and always willing to help out the fellow man.  I am at the same time disgusted with the people who are willing to attack something that they think they know so much about, but really have no idea.   If this were happening in your profession/trade, you would be just as worried about feeding your families and what the future has in store for you.  The stress that Lobsterman have, the bills they have to pay, and the taxes that they have to pay (1/3 of their income by the way-and no tax returns!) is just as hard on them as it is any other job.  As with ANY profession, there are those who make more money, spend big bucks, or even go out and drink it away, but basing the group as a whole on the actions and financial situation of about 5% of the population is prejudice and hurtful to those who work their butts off everyday to survive.  Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.  To do so makes you the ignorant and uneducated one.

  • Anonymous

    WOW this article states that the town of Stonington has 1,100 residents and landed $46,000,000.00 million dollars of lobster last year that is $41,818.00 dollars for every man woman and child. I encourage this strike how can they make ends meet on that pittance?

    • Jeff D

      Then they have to buy bait and fuel and make payments on their boat.

  • Anonymous

    I admit I know next to nothing about the fishing business but I do have friends who are lobstermen.  My question to them is, would it be possible for you to skip the middleman and get together and start a co-op for the lobstermen to sell their lobsters on the open market?  That way, you could raise the price to make a better living, but still keep it affordable for restaurants, fish markets, and even private folks to buy at a reasonable price.  Just saying…..

  • Anonymous

    How many pounds per day are they hauling?
    if at $1.50 per pound, they are hauling 4 times more pounds, they are making more per day than in the winter.  Also, the traps are set right on the rocks in the summer, so the fishermen do not have to go miles out, like they do in the winter.

    Write a complete story, please.

  • Anonymous

    There are so many comments about the variation of prices of what the lobstermen are getting and what lobsters are being sold for in the stores.  Just for the record, the price of hard-shelled lobsters are still up, even for the lobstermen.  If you’re buying hard-shelled lobsters from the store, they are still in proportion with what the lobstermen have been getting paid all along.  The lobstermen’s struggles right now are with the shedder, a/k/a soft-shelled, lobsters.

  • Anonymous

    The article largely misses the point that there is a glut of soft-shell lobsters because Maine does not have adequate lobster-processing capacity. Why we don’t is an interesting question and begins with a concerted effort on the part of Canadian processors to monopolize the market. To blame price fixing on local fisherman is to confuse the issue fundamentally. The prices are fixed by the Canadian processors and what they are willing to pay. When they are unwilling to buy, the price plummets. It is also worth noting that the Canadian monopoly is based on government subsidies.

  •  They do have co-ops.  Around here though, that is the problem.  It is owned by the fisherman, but now being governed by the people who by their lobsters.  It is being run correctly..  The co-op here is paying the least amount of all the dealers.  It is really ridiculous.

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