Local Lobstermen Adapting to COVID-19 Outbreak

HYANNIS – Lobstermen across the area are adapting to the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation.

New state mandates have allowed more and more lobstermen to sell catch directly off of their boats during the outbreak.

Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association Executive Director Beth Casoni said that the virus outbreak has resulted in a change in prices for the catch.

Normal expectations are that lobster prices around this time of year should be in the $7 to $8 per pound range, but Casoni said the price has gone as low as $3.50 to $5.50 per pound.

“We’re really working with the industry and the state to encourage people to buy direct,” Casoni said.

The prices have gone down as typical sources of income have been disrupted across the industry.

Casoni said that around 70% of all seafood within the state is consumed within restaurants, which are a part of Phase 2 of the recently announced reopening guidelines from Governor Charlie Baker.

In turn, the state government has been issuing permits to allow more lobstermen to adapt and sell their products directly off the boats to consumers. The permits have existed for years, Casoni explained, but the prevalence of them has expanded recently.

Casoni is encouraging residents across the region to look to buy from local fishermen now.

“People are really interested in helping the commercial fishermen through these uncertain times,” she continued.

Residents should be respectful when asking fishermen to buy some of their catch, Casoni said, as those without a permit to do so directly off of the boat could jeopardize the status of their already existing licenses.

For more information, including a list of lobstermen approved to sell directly off of their boats in the region, visit the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association’s website by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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