Maine Lobster Industry Transitions As Lobster Harvesting Continues to Surge

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Mark Murrell of discusses the Maine lobster industry and improvements he and others in his line of work believe should be made to processing facilities and marketing campaigns in the state.

Maine lobster industry - lobster harvesting proposes improvements to the Maine lobster industry.

Recent articles by NPR and the New York Times reveal the strain being placed on the Maine lobster industry as a result of rising lobster harvests in the state.

State officials, faced with the growing discontent of lobstermen who continue to sell lobsters at a declining rate per pound, the expectation of consumers that the savings be passed on to them, and the urgent need to ramp up marketing Maine’s lobster industry, are moving forward on a $2.4-million-dollar per year marketing plan.

One primary goal of the plan, aside from effectively marketing Maine lobsters, will be to increase the number and efficiency of Maine’s lobster processing facilities. Each year, tens of millions of pounds of Maine lobster is sold to Canadian processing facilities – which are much better equipped to handle such a high demand – at incredibly low prices. This further detracts from the already decreasing rates received by Maine lobstermen and the product is then sold to American consumers with a “Made in Canada” label. The marketing efforts as well as the increase in Maine lobster processing facilities will play a significant role in improving the Maine lobster industry’s bottom line.

Most lobsters harvested in Maine are soft shell lobsters, while most Canadian lobsters are hard shell. Chefs and other retailers will be made aware of the benefits of soft shell lobsters from Maine – including its sweeter, brinier and more succulent meat – which will further drive demand.

“I think the best solution for the issues we face around marketing Maine lobster is to open more processing facilities in Maine in addition to innovation in the current process,” says Mark Murrell, founder and CEO of “Maine can process more lobsters than it does now by investing in research and development to help automate the effort while maintaining the integrity of the process. This will enable lobstermen to yield more pounds of lobster, sort them more efficiently and decrease the processing cost per pound, which will increase profit margin.”

Murrell also believes that the Maine lobster industry should take a page out of the beef industry’s book. In comparison to the beef industry, the cost of lobster is different from wharf to wharf. Many variables determine this and Murrell would like to see an algorithm developed to help bring some consistency and forecasting to the industry. He believes this could benefit retailers in that it will help them plan what they are selling and when, which in turn could allow more savings to be passed on to consumers.

To learn more about Get Maine Lobster, go to or call (866) 562-4817.

About, a division of Black Point Seafood and Black Point Gourmet, hand-selects the finest Maine lobster, seafood and beef products for convenient distribution throughout the United States. Their passion is to make fresh, quality seafood readily available to customers across the country, which is why they buy from only the most trusted, well-established suppliers to ensure that they receive the finest products available. was selected out of the more than four million small American businesses served by Chase bank to represent its new Platinum Business Checking product for its 2013 national advertising campaign.

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Mark Murrell
since: 10/2010
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