The Story Behind Your Lobster Dinner

1176402_1411478215731362_104490817_nBy Senior Andrew Goulden.

I’m a 17 year old lobsterman of the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine. I have almost 900 hours logged towards a commercial lobstering license which I hope to have by when I turn 18 in September. It will cost me  $603 a year to be licensed in Maine. I have been lobstering since I was 10. I have seen a lot of stuff in the past seven years that a lot of people may never see from calico lobsters, blue lobsters, seahorses, and whales and dolphins. I have also seen lots of bad weather and had some close calls when my leg got caught in the rope. I have spent many long days offshore battling the elements of the north Atlantic in the middle of winter to make a paycheck.Overall though, I love every minute of being out on the ocean and working hard. I hoping lobstering can be my career for as long as I’m alive.

“Maine lobstermen had a record year in 2014, hauling in $456.9 million worth of the 1618453_1456162637929586_112051699_npopular crustacean.”–Bangor Daily News

5 things you might not know about the lobster you eat.

They are immortal. If nothing kills a lobster, they will live forever. Lobsters do not die of old age. Fishermen captured George the Lobster on the coast of Newfoundland in 2008. He weighed 20 lbs. They estimated the lobster to be 140 years old. Lobsters never stop growing.

Their shells make a great fertilizer. The shells have a high content in nitrogen and chitin which helps the composting process.

1401289_1433060283573155_1374900529_oThey were once fed to prisoners and slaves. Lobsters were considered poor people food because they were bottom feeders and no one wanted to eat them because of this. Now, lobster sells for about $6-7 a pound in Maine.

There is a lot more to catching lobster than just going out on a boat. When people think of lobstering they think of going out on a boat on nice summer days and hauling traps. What they don’t think of is that I have 300 traps that I need to repair, ropes I need to cut, bait bags I need to make up, buoys I need to paint, and other little odds and ends. While many people think lobstering is all about time on the ocean, there is a lot of work that takes place on land.

It costs a lot of money to make a little money. A lot of people think1528686_1452137494998767_1849803351_n of lobstering as good money because they see that you come in with 400 pounds at 3 dollars a pound they see that I made $1,200 but they often neglect to realize that I just bought a new boat and am in the process of having a motor redone, or that I just ordered new traps at $80 dollars a piece, or all the money I spend on overalls and rain jackets at roughly 100 dollars a piece, not to mention gloves, boots, bait, fuel, and paying my sternman.

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