Enjoy this late summer update from our friends up at Inland Lobster
The summer of 2020 was relentless with restaurants pivoting to take out, home delivery, e-commerce, etc. Chefs, Wholesalers and consumers got creative out of sheer necessity. The local tourism industry took a huge hit up here in Maine this Summer with the absence of cruise ships due to Covid-19.
Lobster catch is down from last year, and boat prices are up in the same time frame. The talented teams here at Inland Lobster are working tirelessly grading lobsters; sending only the best to market. We are working daily, freezing tails and picking fresh meat.
Processing plants have struggled to operate while socially distancing. For instance, last year we had 18 pickers in our facility daily, and this year we are down to 11. Last summer we could comfortably process 300+ crates per day, whereas we try to stay efficient with around 180-200 crates a day this year (if we can even get that many crates).
The Lobster industry has not been completely left out of the governmental support, but as of now, only the fishermen themselves are being subsidized and there has been no money allocated for the processing sector.
Lobsters over 2 pounds haven’t been rampant this summer, but we will start seeing more over the next few weeks as boats start to fish an area off Machias Seal Island called the Grey Zone. A great way to learn about this disputed territory and see some of the competitive nature of Lobstering in action is by watching a documentary online called "Lobster Wars."
Hardshell Lobsters are also something that is increasingly rare right now. We didn’t put any lobsters away into the pounds this summer, and now we are having to rifle through the daily inventory and pay very high prices for hardshell lobsters. We are not the anomaly here, virtually nobody industry wide saw the price rising this much and nobody put lobsters away in the pounds. The risk was far too great this season with all the uncertainty due to Covid-19, rolling shutdowns, and other risk factors.
As far as Frozen inventory goes, we are flush on smaller tail sizes and Lobster Bodies, but large tails are basically non-existent as most of those lobsters are Canadian sizing and most of the Canadian Lobsters are staying up north for their plants.
It's never to early to check in with your Inland sales rep on what your holiday plans are (espeically this year). Before we go, here is a video link of one of star lobster pickers, Lan, showing off her knife skills in Slo-mo: