Property Grunt

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cheap lobster: A sign of the apocalypse?

Lobster prices tank as diners claw back
October 23, 2008
PORTLAND, Me. - The price of Maine lobster, which accounts for 80 per cent of the U.S. catch, is tanking.

The primary factor, a drop-off in demand by penny-pinching diners, has been in place since summer. But a secondary problem recently surfaced: the global banking crisis left Canadian processors short on credit, trapping Maine lobstermen and dealers with too much supply.

While bargains abound for lobster lovers throughout the Northeast, there's growing angst in New England fishing communities. One small village held a lobster bake on the town pier to unload excess lobsters and help out the local fishing fleet.

"This is as devastating to the state of Maine as hurricane Katrina washing away all the boats and blowing down all the wharves," said Dana Rice, a lobster dealer from Gouldsboro who's witnessing the industry's biggest struggle in his 30-plus years in the business.

We are living in a rather insane world where now we are talking about which companies are laying off and which companies are going to get a piece of the bailout. One of the odd results of the situation that luxury items like lobster are now affordable for the masses.

CNBC did a segment on this and reported that Stew Leonard's at one point was selling lobster for $3.99 a pound. If the price of caviar starts to drop then I am breaking out the toast points.