NE Lobster business

JoFishes

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Hey Guys,
Just wondering. There are alot of lobster boats/ gear for sale in the New England area craigslistings lately. There are even a few more permits than usual.
Is there something going on with the regs or is there just not enough $$ to be made doing it anymore?? Anyone know??
Just wondering, Jo;)
 

MDI45

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Joe,funny you should ask that ....can you still get a commercial lobster permit down your way???
 

JoFishes

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If you mean a "trap" permit, I think you have to buy somebody else out but I'm not really sure how that works. That's pretty much done down in the Keys.
Up here by me, we dive for them. I think those permits are still "gettable" thru the Fl. state FWC as an endorsement to one's SPL (saltwater products license). Haven't done that in awhile. Got buzzed by about a 12 foot GW a few years back and just decided to buy them from some dive buddies.......
I know a few guys who have tried to trap them up this way but for some reason they will not walk into any of the kind of traps they have tried, which is quite a few different types.
I was just thinking that I've seen quite a few DE boats for sale and was wondering why that is.?.?.? ;)Jo
 

steveinak

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My thinking is that the Maine lobster boys had a good season so maybe some of the older guys are getting out while the getting is good. Goes on up here all the time, good fish prices = higher permit prices = older guys sell out (like me:p) while the bright eyed bushy tailed young guys come rushing in for the bonanza !! They build new way over priced boats to go along with the expensive permits that they can never pay for and that in turn turns them into "aggressive fishermen" also know as assholes. Then the fishing goes back to normal and they all say what happened to all the fish??
Not that long ago (5-6 years) a PWS seine permit could be had for 15-20k now they are trading at 150k, down a bit from 2 seasons ago and last fall i spoke with a friend who went seining and he said already some of the new guys were complaining about last years season which was more of a normal season for volume of fish.
 
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Capttony

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All these guys selling their licenses in mass are looking for too much money. They all want top dollar for a license and old traps . In the height of the season the price of lobster is around $3 . It doesn't make sense to pay 10 g for a license.the industry doesnt support lobstering in mass a full time job any longer therefore the price of licenses and gear should reflect that. That's why you see so many listed they're all over priced.
 

myentourage

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I live in Mass and i am a commercial lobster fisherman. There are several reasons for why paople are bailing out.

1. The price is terrible here and it is very hard to make any money at the end of the day.

2. The gauge size i believe will be changing in the next year or two.

3. And the grand finally, state mandated reductions in lobster pot tags next year they are cutting 25% of your tags. (But they are allowing you to purchase them back again from another fisherman)

I think they see the writing on the wall and they just don't want to deal with it anymore.
 

lobstercatcher

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I live in Mass and i am a commercial lobster fisherman. There are several reasons for why paople are bailing out.

1. The price is terrible here and it is very hard to make any money at the end of the day.

2. The gauge size i believe will be changing in the next year or two.

3. And the grand finally, state mandated reductions in lobster pot tags next year they are cutting 25% of your tags. (But they are allowing you to purchase them back again from another fisherman)

I think they see the writing on the wall and they just don't want to deal with it anymore.
Huh? You are joking.. right???
 

myentourage

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Please don't tell me you didn't know that? Sorry for the bad news. Buts thats why we see licenses for sale. Many people are trying to sell the tags as well before they lose them. "2013" will be a bad year for Mass lobsterman.
 

Helen L

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I worked as a sternman for years here on the Vineyard. Biggest issue is shell disease. Still trying to recover from the population drop off. Area 2 is more lucrative (in my opinion) than Area 1 IN MASS WATERS (not Maine obviously). On the island in the summer, we get between $5-$6.50/lb. This is because we sell to the market which in turn sells it right out the other door to a line of hungry tourists. $10 grand is a typical Area 1 price. $20-$30K is more typical for Area 2. More water to fish and less crowded. Might not be said for the whole area, but it's the case where I am.

The shell disease never hit Maine like down here. Those guys have a great fishery and deal more with price drops for a problem.

Lot of the draggers this past summer said they were getting a lot of undersized lobsters. I'm hoping we'll notice their comeback soon. In the midst of transferring a permit to me now that I have my own boat.
 

lobstercatcher

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Please don't tell me you didn't know that? Sorry for the bad news. Buts thats why we see licenses for sale. Many people are trying to sell the tags as well before they lose them. "2013" will be a bad year for Mass lobsterman.
I didn't know that. I would have objected if I had a choice. Nobody listened to me anyway.. thats why we are in the mess we are in. They should have listened and the lobster industry would be healthier than it is now. Maybe a healthy industry wasn't their goal.
 

MDI45

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Lobstercatcher,are the maine stocks healthy?...and if so what do they do that mass.does not.....and iam just interested
 

Downeaster

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Lobstercatcher,are the maine stocks healthy?...and if so what do they do that mass.does not.....and iam just interested
Rising water temperature is being seriously looked at in southern New England waters. On the other hand, Maine has a minimum (3-1/4" carapace length) and a maximum (5") and anything that doesn't fall between those numbers is returned; Maine has always V-notched berried female lobsters and these can't be taken even if landed without eggs present; Maine no longer has codfish or others that feed heavily on lobster; Maine doesn't allow the landing of dragger-caught lobsters; Massachusetts has a significant striped bass population while Maine doesn't.
 

myentourage

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"Shell Disease" yeah you can thank bouchard transportation for that. I find it funny that they had that big spill down south and they had a tremendous outpour of money from BP and now everything seems good. Whatever happened to our stimulus from Bouchard after their oil spill. Its bad enough the lobstering in Buzzards bay is not productive, we never seen any money from this mess.
 

myentourage

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I didn't know that. I would have objected if I had a choice. Nobody listened to me anyway.. thats why we are in the mess we are in. They should have listened and the lobster industry would be healthier than it is now. Maybe a healthy industry wasn't their goal.


I have given up. I bought my permit back in 2006 with 180 tags for 10 grand and have not been able to make a dime. This was the worst investment i have ever made.
 

nick4634

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I have given up. I bought my permit back in 2006 with 180 tags for 10 grand and have not been able to make a dime. This was the worst investment i have ever made.
You just can't make money with only 180 traps, I bought my NH permit last year for 10 k but I get 660 tags, I paid my permit off in 1 year with 250 traps. Hopefully I can actually make money this year
 

myentourage

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Yes i understand, but i barely can make enough for fuel and pay my sternman. Right now the guys that are hauling 500 traps at the end of the day after expenses and paying sternman are just about breaking even. There is quite a difference from what i hear on this sight from what the lobstering is upnorth and what is is down here. But however it is nice to hear once in while that it is still working for some.
 

MDI45

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Rising water temperature is being seriously looked at in southern New England waters. On the other hand, Maine has a minimum (3-1/4" carapace length) and a maximum (5") and anything that doesn't fall between those numbers is returned; Maine has always V-notched berried female lobsters and these can't be taken even if landed without eggs present; Maine no longer has codfish or others that feed heavily on lobster; Maine doesn't allow the landing of dragger-caught lobsters; Massachusetts has a significant striped bass population while Maine doesn't.
Downeaster,Thank you for shedding some light on the subject...i think people are under the impression that Maine and Mass are the same shape when it comes to lobster....even if stocks where great i dont think anyone could make a living lobstering with a 180 traps
 

Helen L

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The boat I worked on had 800 allocation and we fished all 800 each week
 

Downeaster

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"Shell Disease" yeah you can thank bouchard transportation for that. I find it funny that they had that big spill down south and they had a tremendous outpour of money from BP and now everything seems good. Whatever happened to our stimulus from Bouchard after their oil spill. Its bad enough the lobstering in Buzzards bay is not productive, we never seen any money from this mess.
Very true. To that you can add the turn of the century spraying of malathion in NYC and the land surrounding LI Sound to "control" West Nile Disease. Malathion is brutally toxic to insects and, as we all know, lobsters are arthropods. The impact on lobster stocks was immediate but like global warming and cigarettes, there is no conclusive evidence that ...
 
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