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.Com

 

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.

Lobsters-Online.Com

Rare Calico Lobster Saved From Cambridge Restaurant Cook Pot

Calvin the rare calico lobster was saved from a Cambridge, MA Restaurant lobster pot this week after the chef took notice of the lobster’s yellow and orange spotted shell. Instead of serving him up, they decided to name the guy and put him safely aside. A calico lobster is exceedingly rare, about 1 in 30 million.

Race calico lobster
Photo Tony LaCasse/New England Aquarium

The 1.5 pound lobster, dabbled in yellow,  was found at Jasper White’s Summer Shack Restaurant in Cambridge when they were cleaning out a 1,200 gallon lobster tank. It is believed to have  been caught off Winter Harbor, ME.

 

How it escaped notice before this is anyone’s guess.

According to the Boston Globe, Chef Jasper White was drawn to the singular lobster with the yellow spots: “We happened to be cleaning the tank and I happened to be there. One of my guys said, ‘Chef, look at this lobster,’ and from across the room I knew it was special.”

White estimates the rare lobster had been touched at least four times by human hands prior to being rescued.  Normally all the lobster in the tank end up on a dinner plate.  Jasper said he buys about 350,000 pounds of lobster annually for his restaurants.

The lucky lobster’s calico shell is caused by the inconsistent distribution of the pigment layers that usually combine to make uncooked lobsters look brown.  Lobsters come in many colors, including brown, orange, blue and white — the most rare. Still a calico lobster is exceedingly rare.

Calvin was sent from the restaurant to the New England Aquarium in Boston for safe keeping.

“We say that yellow lobsters are about one in 30 million,” said Michael Tlusty, the director of research at the New England Aquarium.

Eventually the  lobster will head to the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown, R.I., where he will be displayed for school field trips and other educational purposes.

Lobsters-Online.Com

Nations Oldest Retail Lobster Web Site Marks 14th Anniversary

Cape Cod, Mass. (Oct. 5, 2011) – The Lobster Trap Company & Lobsters-Online.Com today announced the anniversary of its 14th 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.
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.

The Lobsters-Online web site today.

Designed and built by founder Wayne Howe of Boston, the web site was developed originally as a prototype to show off a new e-commerce system and to encourage seafood wholesale vendors to move their 1-800 telephone order business onto the web. Howe was hoping to encourage the seafood outlets to employ the e-commerce system Howe was selling.  Faced with resistance from the wholesalers, who rebuffed his efforts with expressions such as — “Web, what web?  We are fishermen. We don’t know anything about the Internet.”  — Howe decided to take the prototype and use it to create a web based retail seafood business.
Contracting with seafood suppliers, Lobsters-Online.com went live with the click of a mouse.  And within minutes, orders began arriving.
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,” Howe said.  “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.”
Sales grew steadily until the millennium, when orders came in so fast and so strong during December that it doubled sales for the entire year.
“Even with the automated web site, we were working 24 hours a day to manage all the orders for the holidays and the millennium,” Howe said.  “We needed to request larger trucks to pick up all the orders.  That holiday period was a real deal changer and it helped us map out the successful sales strategy in use today. Repeat business quickly became the engine that kept our sales growing.”
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.

Lobster Trap Company trucks loading at Cape Cod facility.

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.  

October is Maine Lobster Month

 

Maine and lobster often go together in people’s perception, so it was  an easy step for Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage to  today declare October “Maine Lobster Month.”
The Maine lobster harvest for the year nears its peak in October, according to Gov. LePage.  And since Maine is the home of the American lobster, the governor said it is time to celebrate.  And not just celebrate the joys of lobster to the palate, but the pride for the Maine lobster fishermen as well.
Maine Lobster and Steamer Clams a New England Favorite
 There are 4,260 licensed Maine lobster fisherman. In 2010 they caught a record 93 million pounds of lobster worth more than $310 million. This year officials are hoping for another record harvest.

 “Many people think of summer when they think of lobsters, but the fall is prime time for harvesting lobster, and it’s a crucial time for the industry,” says Dane Somers, executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council. “Each year Maine lobsterman haul in about fifty percent of their annual catch in September, October and November, with October usually seeing the heaviest harvest.”
Gov. LePage said Maine’s picturesque harbors capture a special quality as lobster boats come and go in the pristine, natural environment.  The state leads in lobster fishery conservation and sustainability practices.  The Maine lobster fishery is one of the oldest and most important segments of the Maine economy.

A Steuben, Me. lobster boat leaves the dock.
While the harvest may reach its peak in October, live lobster are available year round.
During the winter the catch is stockpiled in large, natural salt water lobster pounds.  This is why lobster lovers can enjoy baking and steaming live lobster year round.  Many thousands of people enjoy lobster all during the holiday season and when winter snow is on the ground.


Food and Wine Fall Harvest Festival
But for now, folks lucky enough to visit Maine in October can enjoy both Mother Nature’s magnificent fall foliage and a fresh caught lobster dinner.  Portland, Me. is hosting a food and wine fest, Harvest on the Harbor Oct. 20-22, 2011.  If you can’t get to Maine,  fresh Maine lobster can be ordered online in the winter, spring, summer and fall and shipped overnight anywhere in the country.  Celebrate Maine Lobster Month.

 

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.

LobsterOnline.Com

June 15th is National Lobster Day

 

June 15, 2011 is National Lobster Day. So foodies everywhere, let’s celebrate. Whether the lobster is grilled, steamed or baked, the result is always going to be the same:  Absolutely scrumptious. 
National lobster day is the prefect day to host a lobster clambake at your house.  Invite all the Dads and Grads, the neighbors and the rest of the family and cook up a storm.  Start your own tradition.
For New England, the lobster clambake has been a tradition longer than America has been a country.
History tells us that the Pilgrims watched Native Americans gather lobster, clams, mussels and fish and prepare them on the beach.  The Native Americans dug a sand pit and lined it with hot rocks and coals. They added the lobster and clams to the pit and covered them in fresh, wet seaweed and more hot rocks, steaming the lobster and shellfish in seawater.

Lobster Clambake   Source: M. Cellania
 If digging a clambake pit is not your thing, just go ahead and get a big pot and steam or boil them.  They will be just as delicious.
What to look for in selecting live lobster to prepare?  Most important, make sure they are fresh.
 Everyone knows the world’s best lobster come from Maine and Massachusetts.   But what good is that if your table is in Kansas?   Don’t worry; you don’t have to go to Maine.   There is a service on the web that will deliver live Maine lobster right to your front door anywhere in the United States.  Order your lobster with all the best seafood the cool, crisp waters of the Atlantic Ocean can offer.
For a more intimate celebration, start your dinner with some fresh Oysters from Cape Cod.  Serve the oysters paired with chilled champagne or white wine, a good Chardonnay is best.  Follow up with jumbo shrimp cocktail. Steam the lobsters, and crack the claws and tails ahead of time with a large knife to make eating easier.  Serve with butter and lemon on the side. Don’t forget the candles.
National Lobster Day celebrates the fact that lobster is the largest of all the seafood harvest in New England.  Popular world wide and known as a delicacy, Lobster makes any occasion more fun.  So let’s celebrate.

LobsterOnline.Com

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.

Lobsters-Online.Com