About the Maine Lobster Fishermen
Lobster fishing and the Maine Lobster fishermen who bring the catch in has become an icon of hardworking America.
Commercial Maine Lobster fishing is considered a secretive world. The work hard at preventing others who may be competing against them, learning their secrets.
Many lobstermen create “lobster gangs”. The “Gangs” are usually based on a fisherman’s skill and family ties. The lobster gangs claim and defend their territories to prevent over exploitation of the natural resources. They also are created to ensure a livelihood for their “gang” members and their future generations.
This industry is not a get rich quick scheme, although the lobster catches values may be considerable. Lobster catches vary depending on territory, equipment, the lobster fisherman’s experience, and his boat.
Some Lobsterman can bring in as much as 60,000 pounds per year, especially if they fish if around Penobscot Bay are.
Along the southern Maine coast; many lobstermen bring in a catch of around 40,000 pounds per year.
Depending on what the fishermen charge per pound, they can make a comfortable living.
In 2003, Captains and their families brought in anywhere from 70,000-120,000 dollars a year. This was before boat payment and insurance cost, which could run at around 10,000 dollars per year.
Stern men, or helpers, earn 25,000-40,000 dollars per year.
The life of a lobsterman is not a glamorous job; the hours are long, especially during the summer months. The lobstermen are hauling traps all year long. Many fishermen are rarely at home with their families much, because of the length of how long it takes to bring in a good catch.
Working with the pods and wenches on the water is a dangerous task in itself.
Maine Lobster Fishermen are reported missing frequently; and tragic accidents are common each year.
Unemployment benefits cease to exist, there are no retirement plans, and great catches are Never guaranteed, year after year.
Yet the positive is that each of the lobster boats represent a family owned business, usually one that has been passed down for generations.
So if this life is really tough, why do the Maine Lobster Fisherman continue?
It’s the love of the ocean, the freedom of the job, and the next “big” catch that could mean $200,000 worth of Lobster!