By: Dan Bookham
Do you ever watch the Discovery channel? I’m a big fan of the fishing shows they have on, but I have to draw the line at the awful “Lobster Wars.”
It’s a sure sign I’ve been living in Maine a while — and that I’m married to a Maine island girl — that my first reaction to the sight of the boats featured on the show hauling up a massive lobster via trawls on the Georges Bank is to yell, “It’s oversize! With eggs! Notch her and throw her back!”
In the midcoast we land more lobster than anywhere else in the world, and the fishery represents the “Maine way” to a tee. We have a sustainable fishery that sells a healthy product and encourages family business and individual entrepreneurship while preserving a working waterfront. The fishery and related industries combine both age-old traditional skills and cutting edge scientific innovation.
However, lobstering faces a series of challenges. The majority of the issues confronting the fishery are external — diesel prices, bait issues, new gear regulations, troubled Canadian processors, drop in demand due to global recession — which makes things doubly frustrating.
Reports from this summer suggest that there is an upswing under way.
According to the Maine Lobster Promotion Council, fall is when Maine lobster is at its peak. At this time of year there are great specials, prices and supply in local restaurants and stores, and every time you eat Maine lobster, you support your local lobster harvesters and your community.
With the holidays coming up, think about adding lobster to the menu. Your family, local lobster harvesters and your community will thank you.
Dan Bookham is executive director of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce.