Did you assume that lobster was getting more affordable due to its growing presence on menus across the country (mostly in the form of lobster mac)? Think again.
According to Business Insider, due to a lower supply than recent years, lobster prices are about to go up and those spindly ocean insects are about to set you back a few more dollars per pound.
Lobster’s are the kind of shifty creatures that molt—which is a more eloquent way of saying shed off their outer layer of shell—when the water begins to get a bit warmer in the summer months. Business insider explains,
Basically, warmer water makes them molt earlier in the year, and back in 2012 New England’s ocean was relatively warm thanks to a “ocean heat wave” that hit much of the East Coast, according to University of Maine research professor Richard Wahle.
This meant that lobsters matured earlier in the year. So when the summer fishing season started lots of lobster were ready for fisherman to catch.
Warmer ocean temperatures in the past few years meant a higher harvest of lobster and a lower overall price due to their abundance. Most of us have grown accustomed to this lobster paradise—but just like the the Lakers’ dynasty or the first season of True Detective, it wasn’t going to last forever.
Photo: Andy Kiersz/Business Insider
That’s right, lobster is about to be resigned to the world of the rich and the rap videos. At the very least, it is going to go up by a couple dollars per pound. Maybe spraying-with-lobster-juice will become the new spraying-with-champagne (fingers crossed). And it’s all because of recent cold ocean temperatures in those waters where we get nearly 95% of all our lobsters: the Gulf of Maine.
And this goes back to that whole weird molting thing. Cold water delays when lobsters molt, so the fishermen aren’t trapping as many as they usually do. This chain of events has already raised lobster prices by $1-$2 from last year’s prices—and it looks like supply will remain low for the rest of the year.
Typically, lobsters will molt two times in one year, but University of Maine professor Bob Steneck thinks this season is going to be different. He says, “I predict that it will be a one-molt season, based on temperatures.” So what does that mean? We’re only going to get one haul of lobsters this year, meaning we’ll be getting less lobster than in previous years.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, we’re also seeing a rise in demand for lobster worldwide, less lobster larva in the ocean, and a migration of the spiny little bastards to Canada in search of colder water temperatures.
If that’s not enough to create panic amidst the fooderati and lobster mac-loving #foodbetches, we don’t know what is.
[via Business Insider]