The Maine lobster industry is being crippled by a glut of supply that many attribute to climate change, sending the price per pound plummeting and turning the crustacean into something it has rarely been before: affordable.
According to figures from the Maine Department of Marine Resources, the volume of the state's lobster harvests has skyrocketed from about 28m pounds in 1990 to 126m pounds last year as oceans have warmed, helping the shellfish and their larvae to grow faster.
But demand for what has long been considered a luxury dish has not kept pace, especially since the global recession hit in 2008, even as fuel and equipment costs rise.
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"Overall profitability of the industry is suffering," said Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen's Association. Volumes are up about 80 percent since 2008. "So we're in a situation where we're trying to move an ever-increasing supply chain into a weak market."