Fresh Seafood Market

Route 302 
(Roosevelt Trail)
Raymond,  Maine  04071

(207) 655-2244

We ship live lobster nationwide!

 

Call Now For Shipping Information @ 
            207-655-2244 or 2243

Long ago lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans used them to fertilize their fields and to bait their hooks for fishing. In colonial times, lobsters were considered “ poverty food” . They were harvested from tidal pools and served to children, to prisoners, and to indentured servants, who exchanged their passage to America for seven years of service to their sponsors.  In Massachusetts, some of the servants finally rebelled. They had it put into their contracts that they would not be forced to eat lobster more than three times a week.

Until the early 1800s, lobstering was done by gathering them by hand along the shoreline. Lobstering as a trap fishery came into existence in Maine around 1850. Today Maine is the largest lobster-producing state in the nation. Though the number of lobstermen has increased dramatically, the amount of lobsters caught has
remained relatively steady. In 1892, 2600 people in the Maine lobster fishery caught 7,983 metric tons; in 1989, 6300 Maine lobstermen landed 10,600 metric tons of lobster.

Smackmen first appeared in Maine in the 1820s because of increased demand for lobsters from the New York and Boston markets. Smackmen were named after their boats, a well smack. Smacks were small sailing vessels with a tank inside the boat that had holes drilled into it to allow sea water to circulate. The smacks were used to transport live lobsters over long distances.

The first lobster pound appeared on Vinalhaven in 1875 and others quickly followed. Lobster pounds work in the same manner as smack boats. The lobsters are kept in tanks with water passing freely through them. The first lobster pound was in a deep tidal creek, but today they are more common on docks floating in the harbor. Using the pound, dealers can wait for the price of lobster to increase or allow a newly-molted lobster time to harden its shell. By the 1930s, the traveling smackmen were being replaced by local, land-based buyers who served as the link between the harvesters and the public. The buyer purchased lobsters from a harvester who in turn bought fuel, bait and other gear from the buyer. The local buyer then either sold the lobsters to people or turned them over to a regional dealer who sent the lobster out of state.

During World War II lobster was considered a delicacy, and consequently was not rationed. Thus lobster meat filled the increasing demand for protein-rich food. People could afford it because of the boom of the war- time economy. Although there was a decline in lobster purchases immediately after the war, lobster consumption rapidly rebounded. In the years between 1960 and 1969, per capita consumption increased from .585 pounds (live weight) to .999 pounds. At the same time the cost of lobster outpaced inflation, increasing profits for lobstermen and thereby encouraging more people to join the industry. GI s  were also given an added boost with money from the GI Bill that funded some of the startup cost.

Today lobstering has been managed the same way since the early 1930s with harvesters and buyers. Lobstermen today have many regulations and restrictions to deal with making the industry not as financially rewarding. The lobstering industry will always be what Maine is known for, and lobstermen, for most of them will always want to be on the water. Nothing is more rewarding them working all day on the beautiful Atlantic then making the steam home behind the islands with the sun setting on your back. Long live the lobstering industry.