Lobster 101

Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 03, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Thursday, July 31, 2008

For those of you who may be interested in the whole lobster thing, I have created this entry for some general information about fishing for lobster. (I also wanted to get it in print so that I didn't forget it myself!) This is information Wes and I learned by being on the lobster boat Monday.

*Each lobster boat/ fisherman must register to lobster fish. Any Maine resident can get a license to fish for lobster. The lobster fisherman must select a particular buoy color or combination of colors to mark his/ her pots. This is, of course, to keep the pots from being picked up by another boat. That buoy is also to be displayed on the boat. As we looked around the harbor, we could see so many different color combinations displayed.

*Lobster pots are broken down into two parts - the kitchen and the living room. The kitchen is where the bait is placed and where the lobster enters the pot going after the food. When lobsters sense they are in danger, they try to go up. The second part of the pot is accessed by a small ramp that goes up at an angle. This area is called the living room, because this is where it will "live" until the pot is pulled up to the surface.

*The lobster pots have a small hole in the living room side for small lobsters to escape. This is necessary for two reasons. First, the small lobsters will not be kept anyway and second, the large lobsters will attack and eat the smaller ones if they are not given a way to escape.

*Lobsters are cannabalistic. They have no problem eating their own species. When you see lobsters in tanks, you will notice that they have bands around their claws. We think that this is simply because we need to be protected from the claws. However, the lobsters need to be protected from each other as well.

*As mentioned in the blog earlier this week, lobsters are not as plentiful as they once were. The pots may have 1-2 keepable lobsters in them; some may have none.

*Lobsters used to be considered commoner, slave, and prisoner food. Prisoners eventually revolted against being fed lobster so much. There is actually a law recorded in Maine that says prisoners cannot be served lobster more than three times a week.

*Right now, Maine is in the process of changing from hard-shell to soft-shell lobster season. Lobsters (I'm not sure if it is all) shed their outer shells to reveal a softer shell. They will actually fill in the soft shells with more meat as their shell starts to harden again. The soft-shell lobster meat is actually sweeter and more tender, but you will not get as much meat in a soft-shell lobster as you would a hard-shell lobster for the reason mentioned above.

*A person can put a lobster to sleep by standing it on its head and rubbing the area right behind its eyes. No kidding - look at the picture!

I have attached some additional pictures from our lobster boat trip for your enjoyment. Wes held all kinds of icky sea creatures, including a starfish, sea urchin, and sea cucumber. I took pictures. :-)
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