Posts Tagged ‘Maine’

A Few Lobster Facts

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
  • The Maine Lobster industry is the model of a well-managed fishery — ensuring that both the lobster resource and the environment are protected for generations to come.
  •  Lobstering in Maine is worth more than $300 million a year to its roughly 6,000 licensed lobstermen.  75 million pounds of lobster was hauled in 2009, and the estimated 2010 catch is expected to be close to 100 million pounds.
  • Marine scientists have identified many species of Homarus, but only two of commercial importance: H. americanus, found most plentifully in the Gulf of Maine; and H. gammarus, the European lobster, found along the western European coast.  You can recognize members of the Homarus genus—true lobsters—by their five sets of legs, including a pair of large, meat-filled claws. 
  • Lobsters normally feed on sea creatures that thrive on the bottom of the ocean like crabs, clams, snails and mussels. However, they do feed on tinier lobsters.
  • A lobster grows by molting its outer shell and replacing it with a new soft shell.  Before a lobster molts (usually in June/July), it is known as a hard shell lobster.  After molting, the shell is soft and the lobster grows into their new shells. Many people think soft shell lobster meat is sweeter and more tender than the meat of a hard shell lobster and it is significantly easier to remove from the shell.
  • Harvesting in Maine is by trap only — no dragging or diving is allowed. Traps include escape vents for under size lobsters as well as biodegradable escape hatches to free lobsters in lost traps.
  • Lobsters are sometimes called “bugs.”  The name makes sense, since the lobster’s nervous system has been likened to those of grasshoppers, ants, houseflies and mosquitoes.  Its brain is no larger than the tip of a ballpoint pen.
  • Female lobsters with visible eggs cannot be harvested. Before releasing her, the harvester notches her tail to identify her as a good breeder, thus protecting her for life from being harvested.
  • Berried females carry thousands of eggs attached to their swimmerets.  Depending on water temperatures, the eggs will remain attached for about a year on average.  Only 0.1% of the eggs will make it over six weeks after being dropped.
  • Despite its rich, buttery taste, it is a low-calorie, low-fat source of protein: 3.5 ounces of meat has only about 96 calories and less than 2 grams of fat.
  • A lobster will drown in fresh water.
  • A lobster’s teeth are in its stomach.
  •  Lobster blood is a clear fluid. When the lobster is boiled, the blood turns to an opaque whitish gel. It has no discernible flavor and is perfectly safe to eat.