The cost of Maine lobster, which accounts for 80 percent of lobsters in America, has plummeted. What may be a bargain for some has left others in a snag: Lobstermen and northeastern fishing communities, hit hard by the price drop, are struggling to survive.
There are a couple of reasons for this price drop. The budget conscious are consuming less of the luxury seafood item. Also, Canadian processors, which buy more than half of Maine's lobster harvest, have been short on credit as many were tied to failing Icelandic banks. This has left Maine with a surplus of lobsters.
"This is as devastating to the state of Maine as Hurricane Katrina washing away all the boats and blowing down all the wharves," says Dana Rice, a lobster dealer who's been in the business for more than 30 years. Many villages are coming together to better the situation. One held a lobster bake on the town pier to get rid of its lobster surplus.
After hearing about the drop in Parmesan cheese prices, are you surprised to learn of the lobster crisis? If you've eaten lobster recently, have you noticed a dramatic price difference?