LMR – Late July start for shedders; price holds

The July lobster market changed markedly from that of the overabundance of Canadian product in June.  A number of Canadian fishing seasons closed and two that still remained open by the July 8 reporting week, the Bay of Fundy, Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 35, and Cape Breton, LFA 27, were landing product that was getting ready, or had already gone into molt.

LMR_sd-SHAlthough the arrival of summer brought with it strong demand, US shedders had been taking their time arriving and catches remained slow in early July.  A Maine-New Hampshire border fisherman said of the nearly nonexistent shedders, “They’re down for longer than they normally are to do their thing.”

Consequently, for the Fourth of July, with its strong tradition of lobster cookouts, “everyone was scrambling for lobsters,” said a Maine dealer.  They continued to do so throughout the reporting week.

Surface water, in the 50°s, was cool enough for lobsters, and the tides were building toward the July 12 full moon.  Fishermen everywhere expected that after the full moon tides, the regular shedder run would start and volume would pick up.  They, along with dealers, acknowledge a connection between full moon (and new moon) tides and the start of the shedder run.

A number of industry people felt that what seemed a late start for 2014 shedders might just have been Mother Nature getting the lobster back to its normal schedule after three years of extraordinarily early molt.  At that point, though, a Maine dealer said of the 10-week tourist season, “You only have a few weeks of summer left.”



Commercial Fisheries News appreciates the cooperation from within the lobster industry that makes this price report possible.  The following prices were paid to fishermen as of July 8-11.  Prices listed include bonus or dividend from Downeast through Midcoast Maine…


Read the rest and much, much more in the August issue of Commercial Fisheries News.

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