Maine’s Lobster Industry
Cousins Maine Lobster is primarily sourced from these areas within the Gulf of Maine: The Downeast waters in the most easterly part of the United States, the Mid Coast which encompasses the area from Bath heading East-North-East to Camden, and in Penobscot Bay near Vinalhaven.
Sustainable lobstering practices have been in place in Maine for well over a century. The Maine lobster industry is the only certified sustainable fishery in the world. Legally harvested lobsters have a carapace (hard shell from eye to beginning of tail) of at least 3.25″ but no longer than 5″, protecting juvenile lobsters until maturity while allowing the large, healthy specimens to breed.
There are 5,900 legally registered lobstermen and women in Maine. Each license grants the harvester to fish up to 800 traps. With literally millions of buoys off the coast of Maine, the industry supports thousands of jobs on shore, not just the people hauling traps.
Did You Know…
– What is the biggest lobster ever caught in Maine? 27 Lbs! The fisherman turned the lobster over to the aquarium at Boothbay Harbor. They named him “Rocky” after he was found in the Rockland coastal area, and he is 40 inches long – the size of an average toddler.
– Female lobsters usually fall for the lobster with the most super-sized claw and lobsters do not mate for life. Rather, males are seduced by the females for one-night stands and, often, she carries the eggs from multiple fathers under her tail.
– Egg-bearing female lobsters can carry around those eggs for up to a year before she decides to fertilize them.
– If a lobsterman comes across an egg-bearing female, he snips a v-shaped notch on the bottom of her tail and throws her back. This is done to let other fishermen who catch her in the future while she doesn’t have visible eggs to throw her back. This keeps her reproducing many generations of lobsters to come!