The History of Lobster

By: hunter
Lobster was popular among Native Americans in the past. In years passed, lobsters were plentiful and were used by the Native Americans to fertilize their fields and they were used as bait for fishing. In colonial times, lobster was considered to be poverty food. They were harvested and were fed to children and prisoners. In most cases it was only the very poor people who ate lobster all the time. Not only were children and prisoners forced to live on lobster but also so were servants and slaves. Over time the servants rebelled and in some parts of the United States they had it put into their contracts that they would not be forced to eat only lobster.

In the early 1800's, people began catching lobster. Gathering the lobster by hand along the shoreline did lobstering, as it was called. Lobstering as a form of trap fishing did not come into effect until around 1850. This first occurred in Maine. Maine still plays a major role in the lobster fishery, as it is the largest lobster producing state in the United States today.

Demand For Lobster

Over the years the demand for lobster increased so much that 1836 a company by the name of Burnham and Morrill began canning lobster. This company canned the lobster and began sending it out to different parts of the world. In the early years it was only sent to areas of the world that were easily accessible by boat. The canning of lobster was not faced with the same hardships and difficulties that were associated with shipping lobster, therefore by the second half of the 19th Century, the value of canned lobster surpassed that of live lobster.

Today however, the demand for live lobster has increased and has surpassed that of canned lobster. No longer is lobster seen as poverty food. In fact, it is just the opposite. In most cases today it is only the upper class people that can afford to buy live lobster in grocery stores. In order to catch lobster anywhere in United States and Canada, you must obtain a license from the Department of Fisheries. In certain areas there are also quotas being placed on the lobster fishery. The lobster fishery has also been turned into a seasonal fishery, which means that people are only permitted to fish for lobster at certain times during the year.
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