Lobster surplus shipped to Canada for processing
Seafood lovers 'steak' their claim to more affordable lobster
MANCHESTER - This year's surplus of soft-shelled lobsters means a lot of them are being sold to processors to become frozen tails. And most of that processing is done in Canada.
After the tail is removed for freezing, “the rest of the lobster is cooked, and that claw and knuckle meat goes into things like lobster rolls, but most of this activity takes place in Canada,” said Robert Bayer, director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. The institute works with the lobster industry from Newfoundland to Long Island Sound.
“The Canadian season in the spring was very successful, so the processors really had all they needed, so they've limited what they are buying. They also bought at a pretty high price in the spring; they wanted to be sure they had supply,” he said.
Bayer said the lobster trade is truly two-way between the United States and Canada and isn't limited to whole lobsters from the U.S. shipped to Canada returning to the U.S. as frozen, processed meat.
“Canada is the largest importer of U.S. lobster and the U.S. is the largest importer of Canadian lobsters, so there is a huge cross-border trade,” Bayer said.
“Even with live lobsters, the U.S. is the largest importer of Canadian lobsters, so it's running both ways,”
A lobster connoisseur as well as an expert, Bayer this year's catch isn't just plentiful, it's also tasty.
“I was up at a lobster meeting in Canada,” he said Thursday. He went to a restaurant for dinner in Shediac, New Brunswick. The special was all-you-can-eat lobster for $24.95. “And they were Maine lobsters,” Bayer said.
On the Net: www.lobster.um.maine.edu
Dining & Food
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