AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- One day after a Canadian court ordered a temporary halt to protests by lobstermen in New Brunswick, lobster shipments from Maine are apparently back to normal. Maine Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher says he believes all shipments arrived at New Brunswick processing plants on schedule, and without any interference.
The week-long protest in New Brunswick caused a lot of worry in Maine's lobster industry, and has renewed interest in expanding lobster processing here in Maine. Owners of two of the state's three major processors met with the Governor and his staff in Augusta today to talk about the need to expand processing.
The Governor wouldn't talk after that meeting, but Commissioner Keliher and the plant owners agreed the first step in expanding lobster business is to expand marketing of Maine lobster -- so more people will want to buy it. Keliher says the state won't be paying for the marketing, and that lobster fishermen are now talking about raising additional funds to provide the support for lobster promotion.
Both plant owners, Linda Bean of Linda Bean's Perfect Maine, and John Hathaway of Shucks Maine Lobster, said they don't want state government to subsidize processing companies, and say the Governor agreed with that. They also agreed that the industry needs to make those investments. But Bean suggested
There should be discussion of a tariff on imported Canadian processed lobster, because the Canadian government provides subsidies and other financial advantages to processors in that country.