PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- After a week-long slowdown, most Maine lobstermen were apparently back on the job Monday, but they're not yet seeing a significant improvement in prices.
Fishermen have been complaining for weeks about the low prices they're being paid for lobsters. That's why many fishermen in Maine's most productive lobster areas kept their boats tied up last week.
Lobstermen meet to discuss low prices
More lobstermen staying docked in wake of low prices
Record low prices keeping lobstermen at the dock
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Low prices pinching lobstermen
The temporary reduction in lobster supply doesn't appear to have brought any immediate price relief. Fishermen and lobster dealers say they still need more of the Canadian lobster processing plants to open up and start buying Maine lobsters.
There are predictions that may happen next week.
Fishermen also say they also need the soft-shell lobsters, or shedders, they're currently catching to become hard-shell lobsters, which will make them more valuable. That hard-shell change will occur when nature is ready, say fishermen.
One lobsterman in the Spruce Head area says he saw a noticeable improvement in the condition of the lobsters today.
Hard shell lobsters last longer in captivity and survive shipping far better than soft shell, making them more valuable.
But many in the industry say the long term answer may be to increase overall world demand for lobster. Dane Somers of the Maine Lobster Council says he's working with the state's Lobster Advisory Council on a plan to do just that. Somers saysa it will require action by the Legislature to increase the assessment on fishermen, dealers and processors to pay for marketing.
Currently, that fee generates a total of $400,000 for Maine's lobster marketing effort, according to Somers. He says that to be competitive in the world marketplace, Maine needs a $3 million promotional budget for lobsters.