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Gov. Patrick Hails $250 Million Impact Of Bay State Lobster Fishery

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Dave Barry once summed up the essence of human dread. “All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears,” the humor columnist wrote, “of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words ‘some assembly required’.”

If all that you fear are falling, the dark, speaking before Rotary, and “some assembly required,” tomorrow should be yours to celebrate. Just don’t forget the nutcrackers, melted butter and lobster bib. After all, some disassembly is required.

At the peak of lobster season in the Commonwealth, Governor Deval Patrick has signed a proclamation establishing Saturday as “Massachusetts Lobster Day.” The state Department of Fish and Game and its Division of Marine Fisheries are encouraging residents to observe it by enjoying local lobsters from their favorite fish markets and restaurants. 

“Fishing for lobster is a traditional and economically valuable commercial activity in cities and towns all along the Massachusetts coast," states DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin. “This is a great time of year to get an excellent quality lobster at a good price and we encourage people to enjoy Massachusetts-caught lobster now and throughout the year."

Backbone of Mass. economy for generations

The Bay State lobster industry is diligent in its effort to conserve the lobster population, according to the Governor’s Office. Harvesting is regulated by strict controls on licenses and traps fished, as well as biological measures to protect and conserve lobster populations, such as minimum and maximum legal sizes, and the mark and release of reproductive females.

Mass. lobstermen are also at the forefront of efforts to protect marine mammals. Ours is the first and only state to require lobstermen to fish exclusively by "sinking" lines between traps in state waters, minimizing the risk of trapping whales and other marine mammals.

“Our lobstermen and fishermen have been the backbone of the Massachusetts economy for generations,” states Senate President Therese Murray. “I encourage residents in Massachusetts to enjoy locally-caught lobster on October 12 and to continue supporting our fishing industry throughout the year.”

"I would like to thank the Patrick Administration for their continued support of the Commonwealth's lobster industry," states Bill Adler, executive director of the Mass. Lobstermen's Association. "Lobster is a perfect meal for every special occasion, especially during the holiday season. Besides having a delicious and healthy dinner experience, you will also be supporting our Massachusetts lobstermen."

Did you know?

Here are key facts about the Bay State’s lobster fishery:

  • In 2012, commercial fishermen landed more than 14 million pounds of lobster, generating a gross income of more than $53 million
  • The commercial lobster fishery is the second most valuable fishery in Mass., after the sea-scallop fishery, and the most valuable fishery conducted in state waters
  • Mass. has the second most valuable American lobster fishery in the nation
  • Our state’s lobster fishery generates about $250 million for the local economy by doing business with marine suppliers, bait dealers, lobster dealers, seafood processors, restaurants, retail outlets, supply manufacturers, fuel sales, boat and engine builders, banks and insurance companies
  • In 2013, Mass. has issued more than 1,400 commercial lobster permits to fishermen plus more than 9,000 recreational lobster permits
  • A total of 52 Mass. ports have fisherman who use commercial lobster traps
  • The Mass. lobster-trap fishery is conducted by individual, small, owner-operated enterprises
  • This year, Governor Patrick authorized the sale of frozen shell-on lobster tails inside Mass.


How to cook a lobster

Lobster is delicious and easy to prepare, according to eHow. The tail contains succulent meat and the roe of female lobsters has a rich flavor. While there are many ways to cook a lobster, steaming may be the best. That’s because it’s quick and simple, with no flavor loss. Steaming is best for live lobsters and lobster tails.

For a delightful take on how to cook a lobster, check out this 1979 essay by the late Bertha Nunan. It was posted in recent years on the Yankee Magazine site.

As you get ready to dine on your cooked crustacean, keep in mind that the American version of these biramous-limbed anthropods makes for a low-fat, low-calorie, low-cholesterol and high-protein meal. Lobsters are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and Vitamins B12, B6, B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin) and A.


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