Winter and When Will it End for Lobster Lovers?


Off season, winter keeps the lobster boats close to home, and only the biggest lobster suppliers can be prepared to make sure there is plenty of lobster available all winter. The Lobster Trap Company works hard year round to continue to be able to supply ocean fresh lobster to customers.


What does all that snow mean for lobster lovers?
They do this by building natural environment environment salt water lobster pounds that can hold millions of pounds of fresh lobster.  This keeps the lobster strong and healthy until they are ready to make their trip to the folks.
“We filled our Maine and Canadian pounds with enough lobster to keep filling the FEDEX planes thru the rain, sleet and snow of this year’s terrible winter, just to make sure our customers stay full – and get their fill — of their favorite crustaceans!”  Said Dave Madden, Lobster Trap Company vice president of sales.
Lobster Trap operates four lobster pounds located in Machiasport and Steuben Maine, providing access to 4,000,000 pounds of live lobster.   The company also operates storage facilities throughout Canada providing holding capacities in excess of 2,000,000 pounds.  All this means great lobster eating year round, even when the fishing season ends.

So while the snow may be falling, the lobster keeps flying.



Lobsters-Online Celebrates 15 Years of Online Customer Service

Boston — (Oct. 2, 2012) –  Lobsters-Online.Com today announced the anniversary of its 15th year of selling live lobster with overnight delivery to retail customers all across the United States, making it the oldest Lobster web site in continuous operation.
lobsters online celebrates 15th year
Launched in 1997, the retail lobster web site became an instant success with its first live-lobster sale coming from a Florida retiree who had recently moved to Tampa from Connecticut and was missing New England lobster.
First Sale in Minutes
“I saw the first e-mail alert and couldn’t believe a sale had come in.  We just couldn’t stop smiling,” said Wayne Howe, the founder of Lobsters-Online.  “It seemed almost unbelievable that someone found the web site so fast.  Back then, e-commerce was supposed to be only for the big retail players.  Yet here we were, a small business able to take a credit card online, authorize it, and then deliver live seafood overnight to anywhere in the country.”
Satisfied Customers
“We have thousands and thousands of satisfied customers who buy from us every year,” Howe said.
Lobsters-Online.Com has served hundreds of thousands of customers and has shipped millions of dollars worth of lobster and seafood. Sales have increased an average of 25 percent per year since the year 2000.
Logan Clark, CEO of the LobsterTrap Company, headquartered in Bourne, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, formed the partnership with Lobsters-Online in 2001.  The 35-year-old Lobster Trap Company is among the largest seafood wholesalers in the country and it boasts sparkling, brand new plant facilities capable of storing thousands of pounds of lobster in seawater tanks.
Lobster Trap in Maine and Cape Cod
Today the Lobster Trap Company boasts its own lobster boat docks and facilities in Machiasport, ME; Steuben, ME; and Cape Cod.  This ensures that all Lobsters-Online.Com lobsters are fresh off the boats, onto the docks and into the Lobster Trap Company facilities.  There are no middlemen to drive up the price or delay shipping.
Featuring all the best seafood New England has to offer – including hard to find jumbo lobster — the Lobsters-Online.Com web site is open 24 hours a day with fresh live lobster available year round.  Customers that order by 2:30 p.m. EST can receive their lobsters the very next day.  Deliveries are available Tuesday through Saturday.

Swimming with the Lobster at a Maine Lobster Pound

Ever thought of swimming with the Maine lobster? That’s exactly what Captain Denis Habza did when he put on his scuba gear and entered the BBS Lobster Trap Company lobster pound in Steuben, Maine a few weeks ago.

Habza entered the water armed with a video camera and filmed what lobster life was like just below the surface at the Maine lobster dealer’s pound. Lobster pounds are large ocean pens or coves with significant water flow for live lobster storage. With an estimated 12,000 pounds of live Maine lobster in the pound that day, there was no shortage of “actors” to film.

Maine lobster pound
Steuben pound holds 120,000 pounds of live Maine lobster

Habza is the founder of Squalus Marine Divers,  a recurring, online marine video program, broadcasting internationally, via the Squalus YouTube channel. The program objective is to promote scuba diving in the North East while seamlessly integrating a message of conservation, education and stewardship of the sea. Steubin Maine is about 250 miles from the Massachusetts state line.

This time of year, the pounds keeper buys soft shell lobster when lobster are plentiful and stores them for sale when their shells have hardened in September. In late summer and fall, lobster is purchased and stored for sale during the winter.  The lobster is purchased directly at the pier from the fishermen. The fishermen can also purchase fuel and bait while they are offloading. The BBS Lobster Trap pound can hold more than 120,000 pounds of live Maine lobster ensuring ample supplies year round. This allows lobster lovers to order their favorite seafood even in the dark of winter.

The lobster pound is a delicate ecosystem that requires aerating, feeding, cleaning and protection from ice during the winter.  Bands are placed on the lobster prior to entering the pound to keep the lobster from harming one another.  As Captain Denis points out in his video, “lobster don’t like other lobsters.”  And based on the video, they don’t like divers either.  The lobster in the video get very aggressive.

Maine Lobster Fishing Season Starts with Early Shedder Catch

The weeks before Memorial Day mark the traditional start of the lobster fishing season in Maine and Massachusetts as thousands of boats all along the lobster coast begin heading out to sea each day to lay their traps and begin the harvest.

While the fishermen are happy to get going again, those already hauling traps have been surprised, according to reports.  They are catching an unusual amount of early “shedders,”  or new shell lobster.

Maine lobster boat leaves dock
Leaving the Dock in Steuben, ME

Although some Maine Fishermen operate year round, the lobster themselves become more active in the spring making them easier to catch.  Summer and fall are the prime months of the harvest, but all the fishermen start to get to work this time of year.

The experienced boat owners know the lobster traps will not be nearly as full in April and May as they will be in the summer when the water is warmer. For example, in April 2010 the state of Maine reported 2 million pounds of lobster were caught.  In August 2010, more than 20 million pounds were harvested.

But new shell lobster are dominating the catch now in Southern Maine.

According to reports, the number of “shedders” or soft-shell lobster being caught in Southern Maine is way above normal.  Normally the soft-shell lobster doesn’t show up until mid-June or July.  This month the reports show that 60 percent of the southern Maine catch is composed of soft-shell lobster, which is unheard of for this time of year.

Some experts think this year’s unusually warm winter and warm spring may have had an unusual effect on the lobster, causing the shedding season to start early.

Soft-shell lobsters have less meat per pound and don’t ship well because of their delicate exteriors. Lobster men get a lower boat price from wholesalers, who in turn charge stores, restaurants and consumers less for soft-shelled lobsters than for ones with sturdy hard shells.  Opinions vary on which taste better.  Soft-shell lobster meat is not good for some recipes and is too stringy to be cooked on the grill.

Carl Wilson, a marine research scientist and lead lobster biologist with the state Department of Marine Resources, told the Maine Forecaster the early arrival of shedders could just be an early kick-off to the season. But, it could also signify a change in the normal lobster harvest schedule.

During July and August shedders usually account for 80% of the Maine harvest, reports show.  This is because lobster fishermen follow the lobsters as they move from shallow water to deep water.  Soft-shell lobster is plentiful during those months and they are easy to catch because they are ravenous.  The lobster must eat constantly to grow into their new, larger shells.

No one knows what to expect or how this spring’s early shedding of shells will effect the overall lobster season. But for the fishermen out on the water early this season the shedders are coming early making the daily catch much bigger than normal for this time of year.  So for now, the Maine lobster fishing season appears to be off to a good start.


Maine Lobster Boat “Retires” to New Life as Boston Party Boat

What happens when a Cranberry Isle, Maine lobster boat retires after 45 years of lobster harvests and fish seasons and takes on a new life as a party boat right in the heart of Boston harbor’s vibrant new seaport district?

the retired lobster boat belle
The Belle slips by the Northern Ave. swing bridge in Boston Harbor one summer evening.

Not so surprisingly, according to the cruise operators Charlie Gibbons and Diana Adame, the old lobster boat seems to have found the perfect new home.  Refurbished with attention to detail and lovingly set up to accommodate guests, the 50-foot “Belle” sparkles under the bright city lights.

“The boat was well known and fished for years out of Gloucester and even spent time in Connecticut,” said Captain Gibbons, a former tow boat captain and fisherman.  “I have worked these waters for 30 years and now I want to be able to share my knowledge and offer people a good, fun time.”

Boston Fun Cruises currently embarks from the wharf behind the Barking Crab Restaurant. The vessel is tucked behind the old Northern Avenue swing bridge.  Each cruise begins with the mighty bridge swinging its creaky, old iron rails open so the “Belle” can slip through.

Guests enjoying Boston Harbor Fun Cruise as they pass  the World Trade Center

With long sweeping lines, wide working decks and a heavy wooden canopy that stretches from the helm nearly to the stern, the boat provides an intimate vantage for up to 40 passengers.  The foredeck is deep and comfortable allowing guests to sit or stand and safely enjoy an open-air view.

Lobster boat on Cranberry Isle Maine
The “Belle” being built on Cranberry Isle, Maine in 1965
Lobster boat Belle at Rose Marine Gloucester
The “Belle” being refurbished at Rose Marine in Gloucester, Mass.

On a recent Sunday evening trip, passengers enjoyed views of everything from the new hotels and restaurants by Liberty Wharf to the imposing, brightly lit downtown skyscrapers.  A sunset canon salute was even observed while passing “Old Ironsides” in Charlestown; the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned vessel in the US Navy.


To some observers, the Belle is easily recognizable as a Beals Island design, the type of seaworthy fishing vessel that has plied the waters of downeast Maine since the 1950s.   Gibbons said his boat was built in 1965 by boat builders Beal, Bunker and McCallister on Cranberry Isle. Both places are near one another and are famous for their lobster, lobster boats and lobster fishermen.

Harvesting thousands of tons of lobster and fish over all its years, the vessel finished up its fishing career in Gloucester, Mass and was refurbished in 2011.

“We did our restoration on the railways at Rose Marina in Gloucester,” Gibbons said. “With her mahogany and oak planking and all the extras used to prepare her for going to sea, you couldn’t afford to build a boat like this today.”

Boston Fun Cruises is scheduled to operate in spring, summer and fall with a special New Years Eve 2011 harbor cruise scheduled so guests may observe Boston’s famous fireworks.


Machiasport a Popular Tourist Stop Famous for Lobster


People often ask what a Maine lobster fishing port is like.  Picturesque, quaint, and as if you are referring to Machiasport, older than America itself.  Machiasport, Maine is a popular tourist destination about an hour from Canada and a historic seaport, dating back to 1663. 

The Machias Bay  area — Machias and Machiasport Maine– had a rough beginning, even by Maine standards. The settlers saw buildings sacked three times during its early history.  Once by the French trying to kick the English out of Northern Maine, and later by the British during the Revolutionary War, and again during the War of 1812.
Lobster boats return to Machiasport, ME. facility at end of day.


The legendary June 1775 Naval Battle of Machias  was the first naval battle of the fight for independence  and led to the capture of a British schooner, the HMS Margaretta.  A small group of settlers, having attacked the British schooner by both land and from the coastal sloop Unity, were able to overcome the British and capture the ship.  Later in the war the British returned to burn parts of the town, though they were quickly chased back out to sea by the Militia. The area was attacked by a British Fleet again in 1814 and the fort destroyed a second time.  Later, the federal government rebuilt the fort during the Civil War, but no shots were ever fired.  Fort O’Brien, as it is called, now belongs to the state.

With a population of about 1,100 people,  Machiasport today is far more peaceful than its legendary past and is best known for its historical taverns, charming bed and breakfasts and its seafood, especially lobster.  And of course, its lobster fishermen.

The Lobster Trap Company operates four pounds and two buying stations located in Machiasport and Steuben Maine, providing access to 4,000,000 pounds of product. These subsidiaries are known as BBS Lobster Trap. In addition, the company operates numerous storage facilities throughout Canada providing holding capacities in excess of 2,000,000 pounds making orders of ANY SIZE possible.

The retail online web service leverages the high wholesale volume to provide customers with fresh, select grade, hard shell lobster that are strong and healthy.  This ensures that only the very best lobster make the trip across the country to a customers front door.  Since Lobster Trap buys direct from the fishermen, there are no middlemen.  The result is the best quality, price and service found anywhere online. 

The web site features great information about lobster along with information on how to steam lobster and steamer clams.

Live Lobster Trap Web Cam Makes Lobster a Star


We now know what a lobster does inside a lobster trap, thanks to “The Lobster Trap Cam” in Halifax harbor.   The live lobster trap web cam was recently placed inside a lobster trap in the popular Nova Scotia fishing town so the curious could go online and watch.  The cam shows the lobster that wander into the trap to have a free meal on the bait and then can’t get out.
Today on the Lobster Trap Cam the lobster in the trap is quite active, facing the camera, snapping the big crusher claw, and pressing itself into a corner.  A large crab moves threateningly from the side of the trap and amazingly, appears to be going after the bigger lobster until the crab decides to leave.  The remarkably clear Canadian harbor water gives web visitors an unusual view of life at the bottom.  Fish, urchins and starfish can be seen passing through the trap.  The picture refreshes every two seconds, with the visiting lobster in the starring role. 

A live lobster appears on a web cam on the bottom of Halifax harbor.
The cam is jointly operated by Murphy’s On the Water and Nova Scotia Webcams.  Murphy’s is a Halifax restaurant and tour boat operator. They report that the Lobster Trap Cam is going viral with more than 65,000 hits. 
While the lobster in the trap may be a star, the truth is, there is little chance that this particular lobster will end up in a hot pot.  A spokesman for the webcam said the lobster are pulled up in the trap and released after “three or four days.”  So while this one will get away, rest assured there are plenty more lobster where this one came from, and many of those lobsters will end up on a stove.
Much of the lobster eaten in the UScomes from Canada.  In fact, the lobster industry is just as important to the Nova Scotia economy as it is to the Maine economy.  It has been no secret that lobster fishermen this year are again hoping for a record catch.  According to state of Maine government data collected from the fishermen, landings were weak in the spring due to the cold weather but now appear to be catching up.  Maine lobstermen landed a record 94.7 million pounds in 2010 so that is the mark to beat in 2011.
One of the reasons that Mainelobster is so abundant is that many of the lobster’s natural enemies are no longer around in any numbers, according to Robert S. Steneck, a marine biologist at the University of Maine.  For example, Cod fish, which eat baby lobster, are largely gone from the ecosystem.   Facts that lobster fisherman are not sad over.  Dr. Steneck is quoted saying that reintroducing Cod fish to the ecosystem would be like “bringing the wolves to your flock.”
While the curious may watch the Lobster Trap Cam, September is a busy time for the lobster industry, with the Labor Day Holiday setting the pace for increased demand.  This time of year, “Shedders,” or soft-shell lobster, are popular with local folks in Maine and Massachusetts. Hard Shell lobster is stronger than soft shell lobster and lives longer out of water so they can be shipped further.  Live lobsters can also be shipped right to people’s homes anywhere in the US thanks to an online lobster service.
Now, thanks to the Lobster Trap Cam and home lobster delivery, a family sitting at a dinner table in Kansascan enjoy a meal of fresh Maine lobster while watching the lobster’s cousin cavort on the web for Lobster Trap Cam.


Maine Lobster Season Casts Off with Hopes of Big Catch

The day after Mother’s Day is the unofficial start of the Maine lobster season, when just about every lobster boat fit to go to sea, goes to sea.  Last year’s 93-million-pound record catch will be hard to duplicate this year, but folks in the industry see plenty of signs another great Maine lobster season is ahead.
Already reports from Maine shrimpers and other observers are showing large numbers of baby lobster showing up uninvited in their nets.  And near shore, lobster fishermen report they are seeing high counts of baby lobsters in their traps. The little guests (baby lobster) are returned to the sea to grow, but their high numbers suggest a healthy harvest this year.

Lobster boat leaves Stueben, ME lobster pound.
A sunny warm spring helps to warm the shoreline waters which brings the adult lobster back in to feed where they are easier to catch.   So the warmer the spring, the faster lobster fishing season gets off to a start.  For lobster lovers awaiting their barbecues and lobster clambakes, the start of the lobster fishing season is always good news.
One challenge facing the lobster industry is the high price of fuel and bait.  High fuel prices and bait take a bite of the profits for the fisherman.  At the same time, fishermen fear that high gasoline prices leave folks less money to spend on going out to dinner, on vacations and for just plain buying lobster.  So the fishermen hope for both a good harvest and a strong market.  
To help manage supply and demand,  the lobster dealers load up during peak fishing season  by storing freshly caught lobster in large, natural seawater lobster pounds capable of holding millions of pounds of lobster.  This allows lobster fisherman to catch lobster while they are active in the summer and fall, and still meet market demands year round.
The Lobster Trap Co. operates four pounds and two buying stations located in Machiasport and Steuben Maine, providing access to 4,000,000 pounds of live lobster.  These subsidiaries are known as BBS Lobster Trap. In addition, the company operates numerous storage facilities throughout Canada providing holding capacities in excess of 2,000,000 pounds.   The Lobster Trap Company’s Cape Cod shipping facility offers more than 100,000 lbs of holding capacity.   Located in Bourne, MA the state of the art facility has fresh ocean water flowing through refrigerated tanks and returning to the ocean cleaner than when it came in. 
All of this ensures Lobsters-Online.Com customers the freshest supply of healthy, live Maine lobster ready to be shipped overnight to homes all across the country.  With lobster fishing season going into high gear, Lobsters-Online.Com will continue to offer all the best seafood value New England has to offer.





Maine Hauls in Record 2010 Lobster Catch

The story broke on February 18, 2011 announcing that Maine Fishermen caught a record 93 million pounds of lobster in 2010.   Now that’s quite a haul!
According to a report from the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), more than 93 million pounds of lobster were caught in Maine’s waters during 2010. This giant lobster catch represents an estimated increase of 12 million pounds of lobster from the previous 2009 record of 81 million pounds.
“First Light” sets out at Dawn from Vinalhaven, ME (Source: Chamber of Commerce)

What that meant for lobster gourmets across the country was an abundant supply of fresh, first quality lobster.  From coast to coast, the American seafood eating public enjoyed  America’s favorite comfort food.  As for bragging rights, ask anyone from Maine, and they will quickly tell you the best lobster in the world come from their rocky seashores.

Who is actually out there making the catch?

All last season  more than 4,260 licensed commercial lobster fishermen went to sea each day filling their boats with lobster.  The value of the boat catch for the year was up to nearly $310 million, much better than in 2009.

According to DMR officials, the large catch was a definite spur to the local fishing village economies, especially with the price of fuel and bait being higher than average.  Local officials said the last three years have been slow so a good lobster catch spurs all the related businesses, including trap builders, truck dealers, bait dealers, boat yards and others.

The lobster season is year round, but during the winter only a few hundred boats go out on a regular basis, according to lobster wholesalers  that buy from the fishermen.   This means much of catch is stockpiled in large, natural salt water lobster pounds.  Which is why lobster lovers can enjoy baking and steaming  lobster year round.  Fresh Maine lobster can be ordered online in the winter, spring, summer and fall and shipped overnight anywhere in the country.

Lobster accounts for more than 70 percent of the value of all marine species harvested in Maine. More than 90 percent of U.S. lobster landings come from Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.