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In what could be an underwater gold mine, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants plans to create the world’s largest lobster farm in Malaysia, allowing it to sell the crustaceans in Asia and supply them to its chains such as Red Lobster.

The lobster farm would allow Darden to partially shield itself from rising seafood prices while creating a new revenue stream. But lobster farming, a field in its infancy because it has been notoriously difficult, could also keep prices lower for consumers and pose tougher competition for fishermen.

“If there’s a way to do lobster this way, it increases the supply of lobster,” said Mark Kalinowski, a restaurant analyst for Janney Capital Markets. “It doesn’t necessarily increase the demand for lobster. All else equal, the cost of lobster drops.”

Darden says it thinks its facility will be the world’s first commercial lobster farm.


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Mary Fowler


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