Lobster Industry Hit Hard By Coronavirus

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The lobster industry is struggling with falling prices and an eroding retail market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boat prices for live lobster have reportedly dipped to as low as $3 a pound in Maine and $3.25 in Massachusetts.

The government-ordered restrictions barring on-site dining in restaurants have been the main factor in the falling prices, as well as the loss of international markets in China and Europe to a two-front trade war.

Mild Winter In Northeast Drives Lobster Prices To Record Lows

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Some lobstermen in Massachusetts and Maine are reportedly selling their catch on contingency with no set price. The dealer would get the best price available and pass along a percentage to the boat.

There are also reports that some dealers in Maine are refusing to buy any more lobster.

Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, said she is working with federal and state officials to explore potential means of relief for the lobster industry.

This includes a state retail boat permit that would allow lobstermen to sell their catch directly to the public off their boats rather than go through a dealer.

The MLA also urged its members to consider accessing a low-interest loan program included in Gov. Charlie Baker’s announced $10 million relief fund for state businesses whose markets and operations are being damaged by the pandemic.

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