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The Maine Lobster Shack

Updated on April 27, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Maine Lobster and More

The informational guide to that delectable crustacean, of the cold North Atlantic waters, of the Gulf of Maine. The Maine lobster.

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Why Maine Lobsters?

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When you see a Certified Maine Lobster tag or logo on your lobster, you know that you're eating delicious Maine Lobster caught by a licensed Maine harvester in Maine's cold, clean waters. It ensures that you're eating real Maine lobster, as opposed to substitutes such as lobster-flavored seafood or langostino "lobster."

What makes Maine Lobster different?

Maine lobster is sweet and succulent, with flavor different from anything else you've ever tasted. Maine is well-known for its in-season new shell lobsters that yield a succulent, flavorful meat that is often preferred by connoisseurs and Maine Lobster lovers alike.

It's also conservation that makes Maine Lobster different. Maine has stringent regulations to protect both the lobster resource and the environment.

So, as you already knew: lobster from Maine is the world's finest. And that's why we're certifying them -- so you will know when you're buying a great tasting, sustainable lobster.

Maine Lobster harvesters know that by protecting the Maine Lobster resource today, they are protecting their livelihood and this valued ecosystem for tomorrow. You can feel good about Maine Lobster, knowing that you are enjoying high quality seafood from a well-managed, sustainable, pristine marine resource. The Maine Lobster industry is the model of a well-managed fishery -- ensuring that both the lobster resource and the environment are protected for generations to come.

Maine harvesters have been environmentally conscious and "eco-friendly" since long before it became fashionable. They harvest their lobsters the same careful way they have for over 100 years -- by hand, one trap at a time -- thus protecting the quality of their product and the marine environment. Some rules and regulations that help ensure the health of the lobster resource include:

. Tail Notching: Female lobsters with visible eggs cannot be harvested. Before releasing her, the harvester notches her tail to identify her as a good breeder, thus protecting her for life from being harvested.

. Minimum Size Limit: Minimum 3 1/4" carapace measurements allow juvenile lobsters the chance to mature and reproduce before they can be harvested.

. Maximum Size Limit: Maximum 5" carapace measurements protect the large, healthy breeding stock.

. Apprentice Program: New harvesters must apprentice with veterans to learn the regulated, sustainable practices.

. Trap Limits: The total number of traps per harvester is limited by both the state and the individual lobster zones.

. Harvest Method: Harvesting in Maine is by trap only -- no dragging or diving is allowed. Traps include escape vents for under size lobsters as well as biodegradable escape hatches to free lobsters in lost traps.

. Lobster Seed Fund: Supported by license fees, the Fund purchases females that extrude their eggs after being harvested. This unique buy-back program helps to ensure that the good breeding stock is returned to the ocean to reproduce.

Foregoing Information Courtesy of Maine Lobster Promotion Council.

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A Short History of Lobstering (Lobster Fishing) in Maine.

In earlier times lobsters were so plentiful along the Maine coast that the native inhabitants used them for fish bait and for fertilizing their crops. Later in colonial times, lobsters were gathered along the coast from tidal pools and were used to feed children, prisoners and indentured servants. They were considered a food for the poor and indigent. Indentured servants, who came to North America and paid for their passage in exchange for seven years of work, finally rebelled in Massachusetts (Maine was officially a Massachusetts territory during colonial times) and had a clause written into their contract that they would not be fed lobster more than three times per week.

Until the mid 1800s lobsters were caught along the coastal shoreline by hand. Around 1850 lobstering began to change into a trap fishery. At about this time, small "Smack" boats came onto the scene. These "Smack" boats were small sailing vessels with tanks onboard, which circulated seawater and kept lobsters alive and healthy over long distances. The lobster market began to grow with an increase in demand in the New York and Boston markets. This market was supplied by the smackmen in their smack boats. The term smack derived from "well smacks" (the sound of the waves smacking the hull).

Although the number of lobstermen has increased, the amount of their catch has remained relatively stable. Maine was and still is, the largest lobster producing State in the U.S. In 1892 there were 2,600 lobstermen in the Maine fishery, producing a catch of 7,983 metric tons. In 1989, by comparison, 6,300 Maine lobsterman produced 10,600 metric tons of lobster.

Lobster pounds were first introduced in 1875, on Vinalhaven Island, and slowly but surely replaced the need and use of the smack boats. A lobster pound is a large tank enclosure placed into coastal waters, which circulates seawater and allows the lobsters to remain alive and well in their natural surroundings. In this way lobsters can be kept fresh for better prices and are sold to land-based buyers.

These local buyers serve as a link between the lobstermen and the public. They purchase the lobsters off from the boats, and in turn sell the lobstermen, bait and fuel. They then sell the lobsters directly to the public or to larger regional (interstate) buyers.

By Greg Marlett, 2008, all rights reserved

Lobstering in Maine Video

Lobster Recipe the Maine Way

It is unfortunate, but many people do not have a clue how to cook a lobster. Many feel that they must boil a lobster, in order to prepare it properly, but alas, this is not the case!

In order to do it right and save the sweet succulent flavor of the Maine lobster, there is a much better way, than to toss it into a boiling pot of water. For the best taste, the lobster should be steamed and prepared as follows:

2 lobsters and 3 Tbsp. Sea Salt, or regular salt.

Take a large kettle and fill with approximately 1 " of water. Add the 3 Tbsp. Of salt and bring to a boil. Put in the live lobsters and cover immediately. Bring the water to a boil again. Once boiling, lower the heat but maintain enough to keep producing the steam, which will cook the lobster.

Cooking time is about 15 minutes for 1- 2 small, hard-shell lobsters, or 20 minutes for 1-2 large, hard-shell lobsters. For soft-shell lobsters (new-shell) reduce the heating time by approximately 3 minutes.

You will know the lobster is done when the shell appears bright red in color and the antennae pull out easily. Serve with melted butter. You will have a succulent feast.

Remember though, that you want fresh lobsters, caught and shipped the same day, from a certified Maine lobster dealer.

By, Greg Marlett, Copyright 2008, all rights reserved.

Visit the Maine Store for Live Lobsters and More!

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Maine Lobster Recipes

Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine
Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine

It's The Perfect Gift for Almost Anyone!, August 25, 2005

By Donna Nicholson (Effingham, NH) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine (Hardcover)

When I first heard Rebecca Charles interviewed on Public Radio I knew I had to buy this book for my own library. And since that original purchase, I have also purchased it for a number of people as a gift. It is an interesting family story to read even if one doesn't cook, the recipes are great if you do enjoy cooking ( real seafood and not that generic stuff!) and sometimes my husband just looks at the pictures of the great food Ms. Charles serves in her restaurant! I know it is cliche to call something "a perfect gift" but this book is just great. If you buy a copy to give to someone, you'll end up keeping it for yourself and have to buy a second copy to replace the gift. Maybe it is wise to make one's original purchase two copies of the book.


Cleaning and Cutting the Cooked Lobster

How to Eat Your Maine Lobster

Make Mine Maine Lobster - Battle of the Crustaceans

What is your preference, Lobster, or?

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The Lobster Gangs of Maine

The Lobster Gangs of Maine
The Lobster Gangs of Maine


"The book is wonderfully entertaining, and the information it contained agreed with everything I have learned during a decade of summers on the Maine coast"--Wall Street Journal

Product Description

An anthropologist describes the working world of Maine lobstermen, focusing on the intricate personal network that sustains them.


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My Favorite Lobster Links

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    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      7 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I'm drooling. Delicious!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens, never had Maine Lobster but thats probably going to change shortly

    • papawu profile image


      10 years ago

      I absolutely love Maine lobster! I have family in Boston and whenever they visited, they would bring us a big crate of LIVE Maine lobster. They are just so sweet and succulent!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      11 years ago

      Welcome to Culinary Favorites From A to Z.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great Lens 5* and welcome to Travelmania group.

      Discount Online Travel Booking

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      11 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!


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