Rough handling costs Maine lobster industry millions

Published on
April 20, 2016

Maine lobster fishers are losing millions annually due to harsh handling, a veterinary expert told The Portland Press Herald.

Approximately 10 percent of live lobsters perish each year as a result of improper handling techniques, translating into an estimated monetary annual loss of USD 60 million (EUR 52.8 million) for Maine’s harvest, said Jean Lavallée, a veterinarian from Prince Edward Island, Canada, specializing in lobster.

“We kill more lobsters (prematurely) than most other countries are fishing for their entire year,” Lavallée told the Press Herald regarding the U.S. lobster industry. “That’s a lot of lobsters.”

Lavallée, who has worked with lobsters for more than 20 years, will be traversing the U.S. state of Maine this week to conduct a series of workshops detailing the proper ways to handle lobsters as to not suffer fatalities. The Maine Lobstermen’s Association and the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance are sponsoring the workshop, with funding from the Island Institute also aiding the venture.

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