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  • Medha Imam: In Maine, lobsters are harvested

  • the old-fashioned way.

  • Fishers utilize traps that haven't changed

  • in over 100 years

  • and must be hauled one at a time.

  • Cold-water lobsters, like here in North America,

  • are typically clawed lobsters.

  • What ours are known for a lot

  • is that claw and knuckle meat, which is really tender,

  • really sweet, and really delicious.

  • Which is why Maine lobster is regarded as the best.

  • We head out to Portland Pier

  • to see how lobster is harvested and processed.

  • Lobster harvesters are out on the waters

  • as early as 4 a.m.

  • Curt: So, we're hauling up the trap right here.

  • Everybody has their own buoy colors,

  • and that's how you know whose trap is whose.

  • We're in 28 feet of water right here,

  • and let's see what we catch.

  • There it is.

  • So, this is a two-night soak,

  • and here we have one beautiful lobster.

  • Medha: On average, fishers like Curt can haul

  • anywhere from 250 to 300 traps in a single day.

  • That can amount to 800 to 900 pounds of lobster.

  • Curt: The coast of Maine has more coastline, mileage-wise,

  • than California, believe it or not.

  • All those nooks and crannies and islands

  • are prime lobster territory.

  • And so we source from all different areas

  • all along the coast of Maine.

  • What attracts the lobsters into the trap is bait.

  • So we're just going to add a few more fish here to this one.

  • And the way the trap works is pretty simple.

  • So, they smell the bait in the trap,

  • and they crawl into the trap,

  • and they get up in here,

  • and it's difficult for them to get back out.

  • Every trap is required to have these escape vents

  • to protect juvenile lobsters.

  • Medha: And are the guidelines in Maine

  • very different than anywhere else in the world?

  • Curt: We were really the pioneers

  • in terms of a lot of these rules,

  • in terms of a lot of other places

  • didn't have a maximum size.

  • Now they do, because they've seen

  • how well our fishery is doing.

  • Medha: Normally, lobsters take five to seven years

  • to reach legal harvesting size.

  • The minimum size is 3 1/4 inches carapace length.

  • The maximum size is 5 inches carapace length.

  • And you're probably wondering,

  • why do we throw those bigger lobsters back?

  • Medha: Yeah, why do you throw the older lobsters?

  • Curt: The bigger lobsters are the breeders.

  • On to the next!

  • I don't think I'm doing this right.

  • Curt: You got it. You got it. You had it last time.

  • Medha: Oh, my God, I did it!

  • OK, so I pull it?

  • Curt: Now put that up and over there.

  • And then under here, and then over there,

  • right in the middle of that.

  • And let me know when you see the trap coming up.

  • It's coming.

  • Curt: One, two, three.

  • Put that over the claw, just like that.

  • And now twist.

  • You're hired.

  • That's pretty good.

  • I've been fishing in this cove for, gosh, 25 years now.

  • You really want to take care of the resource

  • in your own backyard.

  • Lobsters grow by shedding their old shell

  • and starting over with a new soft shell.

  • So, this shell is actually pretty firm.

  • If you squeeze the sides,

  • you can see there's not a lot of play there.

  • Medha: No.

  • Curt: But if you squeeze this claw right here,

  • you see how there's a little bubble

  • in that knuckle right there when I squeeze it?

  • See how it's moving?

  • Medha: Oh, yeah.

  • Curt: That means there's still water inside the shell

  • where the actual meat of the lobster

  • hasn't grown into the new shell that it has.

  • And that's why a lot of people say

  • new-shell or soft-shell lobsters are a little sweeter

  • and more tender than hard-shell lobsters,

  • because essentially they have that water in there

  • brining the meat inside the shell.

  • My favorite ones to eat are ones

  • that literally shed their old shell right in the trap,

  • and they have a new paper-thin shell

  • that you can literally just peel right off.

  • For the most part around the world,

  • the majority of lobster species

  • don't have two claws like this.

  • So we're fairly unique in that regard.

  • Medha: There are no corporate lobster fleets.

  • It's one person, one license, one boat.

  • These tanks, you can dip your finger right in there.

  • You tell me. Very cold, right?

  • Freezing!

  • 38 degrees, so almost freezing.

  • So, the reason we keep these tanks cold like that

  • is because lobsters are cold-blooded critters.

  • And if we're shipping around the world

  • in a box on an airplane,

  • we need their metabolism to be very, very low.

  • Medha: The second destination for harvested lobsters

  • are processing plants up in Canada

  • or locally in Maine, like Luke's Lobster.

  • Here, 35,000 to 45,000 pounds of live lobster

  • are processed a day.

  • To cook, the lobsters are steamed

  • in a convection steam tunnel,

  • then dropped directly into a chiller to stop the cooking

  • and bring the temperature below 40 degrees

  • as quickly as possible.

  • 70% of lobster that's caught in Maine

  • gets processed rather than being sold live.

  • That's what's necessary to make

  • the different products that the market demands

  • so that our fishermen can keep catching

  • as much as they can sustainably catch.

  • Medha: No part of the lobster goes to waste.

  • The shells end up on a conveyor belt

  • that leads to a crusher.

  • The crushed shell is then powderized into a fertilizer.

  • What's edible will wind up as a minced meat

  • that's packaged, vacuum-sealed, and frozen

  • to then be used as flavorings

  • for things like lobster bisque

  • at restaurants like Luke's Lobster.

  • But the most popular outcome of a harvested lobster

  • is quite possibly the lobster roll.

  • Such a tender, yet firm meat.

  • It feels like you're getting so much of it in one bite.

  • And for me, I really just like the fact that

  • all the flavor comes from the actual lobster itself.

  • There's no extra seasoning.

  • If you were getting a hard shell that hadn't shed yet,

  • more likely the meat would be firmer.

  • It wouldn't be quite so juicy.

  • It would have a bit of a meatier,

  • maybe a little saltier flavor, not quite as sweet.

  • Still be delicious, but it would not have

  • this kind of juicy, sweet experience that we're having now.

  • It's a perfect treat for the summer day

  • because of how cold it is, but also so refreshing.

  • We think that when lobster gets tossed in advance

  • with a bunch of other ingredients,

  • that just covers up its flavor,

  • and we like to serve it pure just the way it is.

  • Early morning workout.

  • I'm trying to keep awake.

Medha Imam: In Maine, lobsters are harvested

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How Lobster Fishers In Maine Catch Lobster For Restaurants Around The World | Regional Eats

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    林宜悉 に公開 2022 年 03 月 31 日
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