During this past Fourth of July, also known as my darling son’s birthday, I had a great tuck in of steamed lobster and little neck clams, corn on the cob slathered in butter, salt and lime, followed by fresh strawberries. It was a meal encompassing many FOOD JOBS: farmer, fisherman, grocer….
Yet, I decided to think only of the lobstermen, who had set sail and fished for my supper as I happily lay in waiting.
I checked online and found The Lobster Institute. The helpful information includes the following:
“There are hundreds of thousands of people involved in the lobster industry, in a variety of jobs. In addition to those that fish for lobster, those connected to the industry include everyone from lobster dealers and processors, to bait dealers, boat builders, marine equipment suppliers, restaurateurs — and even innkeepers, artists and crafts folk who rely on a successful lobster fishery for their livelihood.”
Lobstering is a tough life. The New York Times recently reported that a five-year moratorium on lobster fishing off the Atlantic Coast is currently under serious consideration. But according to Michael Grimshaw, president of the Southern New England Fishermen and Lobstermen’s Association, “When you’re catching lobsters, everything’s good with the world.”
The lobster industry is a truly American icon and a large part of the tourist trade in coastal communities from Maine to Massachusetts to Connecticut and New York.
As long as there are lobstermen, there will be a need for lobster dealers. The lobster dealer typically runs the wharf in the harbor from which the lobstermen venture forth, and where they return to sell their catch. The dealers buy lobsters from the harvesters, and sell them to a variety of outlets including restaurants, processors, and even other dealers.
The lobster dealer also generally supplies bait to the lobstermen, and sometimes other marine supplies as well. Occasionally several lobstermen from one area join forces band and form a cooperative (co-op) — acting as their own lobster dealer.
But if thinking about lobsters while nibbling on a claw is more your speed, may I highly recommend:
- The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw for a description of the grueling life of a lobster fisherman. You will never forget this harrowing story. It is well-worth buying and reading by the water’s edge.
- Lobster at Home by Jasper White. Check out all this popular Boston restaurateur’s other absolutely marvelous seafood chowder cookbooks. You will be rapturously happy when you prepare his recipes. I admire him and his work with the greatest enthusiasm.
Just one passing thought, I’d be cautious about marrying any one who insists on wearing a lobster bib…the chances are this mode of attire conceals other unspeakable character flaws.