American Lobster

American Lobster
Common Name American Lobster
Market Name lobster
Scientific name Homarus americanus

Sourcing Summary

Size

1-4 lbs.

American lobster is caught year-round in the United States, peaking in summer and early fall. In Canada, seasons vary but generally landings peak in May and June and once again in December. The best time to buy is in May when the Canadian Gulf of St. Lawrence fishery opens and summer demand has not started. Post-Labor Day can be good because landings from Maine are strong and summer demand has dropped. Buying lobster from Maine in early summer can include soft-shell lobsters, a.k.a. "shedders," which can have poorer meat fill. Most lobsters are sold live by size grade (in lbs.): chickens (.75-1.0), heavy chickens (1.0-1.25), quarters (1.25-1.50), selects (1.50-1.75), deuces (1.75-2.0), heavy selects (2.0-2.25), small jumbos (2.25-2.50), and jumbos (2.50-4.0).

Product Forms

Fresh/Frozen
Fresh
Product Forms
Live
Fresh/Frozen
Frozen
Product Forms
Claws
Tail
Whole

Fresh Seasonal Availability

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes

Culinary Composition

Firm

Texture

Cooking Methods

Health/Nutrition

Nutrition facts

Serving Size: 100g
Amount per serving
Calories 90
Total Fat 1g
Cholesterol 95mg
Sodium 296mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 19g
Omega-3 0g

Science & Management

Wild
Harvest Methods

Conservation Criteria - Wild

Impact on Stock

American lobster, also marketed as Maine lobster, is slow-growing and late-maturing. Some lobsters can live to be 100 years old. These characteristics contribute to lobster’s low resiliency to fishing pressure as well as unfavorable environmental conditions. American lobster is found from Newfoundland to the Carolinas and is most abundant in the Gulf of Maine, where the stock is considered healthy. The Georges Bank lobster stock started to decline in 2005, but is still considered relatively high. Stock in Southern New England is depleted due to a combination of factors but is not overfished, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Habitat impacts ( Wild)

Most American lobsters are caught with wire-mesh traps placed on the seafloor. Although these traps have the potential to do damage to rocky areas where lobsters live, measures have been taken to minimize risk, including size limits on gear and using weights to minimize movement. There is also some evidence that lobster pots can have positive effects on the environment by temporarily serving as a reef habitat and shelter from trawls and dredges.

Bycatch

American lobster pots and traps tend to have low bycatch rates. However, endangered North Atlantic humpback and right whales have gotten entangled in lobster fishing gear and died, causing ongoing concern. Lobster traps can also result in a high number of shellfish and crab bycatch. Regulations require that lobster traps have biodegradable escape panels and escape vents so ghost fishing does not occur, according to the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service.

Management effectiveness

In the U.S., the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and NOAA Fisheries manage American lobster stocks cooperatively. In Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada manages the resource. Management measures include stock assessments every two to five years, trap surveys, gear restrictions, permit requirements, limits on harvest amounts, size limits, and electronic reporting. While management in the American lobster fishery is generally considered effective, the Monterey Bay Aquarium rated the harvest strategy management in Southern New England a very high concern in mid-2012 because American lobster stock there was so depleted and had not improved.

Conservation Criteria - Farmed

Name Country State / Province
AGE Lobster Inc. Canada Nova Scotia
Albion Farms & Fisheries Canada British Columbia
Alewive's Brook Farm United States Maine
Allseas Fisheries Corp. Canada Ontario
Aqua Star United States Washington
Arctic Fisheries Ltd. United States New York
Atlantic Red Crab Company United States Massachusetts
Azuma Foods - Canada Co., Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Barry Group, Inc. Canada Newfoundland and Labrador
Blue Ribbon Meats United States Ohio
Boston Lobster Company United States Massachusetts
Boston Sword and Tuna United States Massachusetts
Bristol Seafood United States Maine
Calendar Islands Maine Lobster United States Maine
Catanese Classic Seafood United States Ohio
Chatham Seafood Enterprises United States Massachusetts
City Fish Canada Alberta
Clearwater Fine Foods United States Virginia
Codfathers Seafood Market Canada British Columbia
Darel Co Inc. DBA Elafood USA United States Massachusetts
Dennisport Lobster Co. United States Massachusetts
Dorr Lobster Co., Inc. United States Maine
Empire Fish Company United States Wisconsin
Euclid Fish Company United States Ohio
Fisherman's Market International Inc. Canada Nova Scotia
Foley Fish United States Massachusetts
Gidney Fisheries Limited Canada Nova Scotia
Global Seafoods Ltd. Canada Nova Scotia
Goat Island Lobster United States Maine
Gulf Atlantic Seafood, Inc. Canada New Brunswick
Harbor Pride Seafood United States California
Hudson Valley Seafood United States New York
I. Deveau Fisheries Ltd. Canada Nova Scotia
Imperial Seafood and Shellfish Inc. United States Ohio
JD Kelley Fisheries United States Maine
John Nagle Co. United States Massachusetts
JP's Shellfish, Inc. United States Maine
Lobster Trap United States Massachusetts
Lusamerica Foods, Inc. United States California
Lynch Lobster United States Massachusetts
Maine Coast Lobster United States Maine
Maine Shellfish Company United States Maine
Maple Ridge Farm and Fishery United States Maine
Marder Trawling, Inc. United States Massachusetts
Mazzetta Company, LLC. United States Illinois
Mikuni Wild Harvest United States Washington
Mood Fisheries Ltd. Canada Nova Scotia
New Meadows Lobster United States Maine
Northeast Oceans United States Massachusetts
Northern Lakes Seafood & Meats United States Michigan
Ocean State Fresh United States Rhode Island
Ocean's Catch, Inc. United States Rhode Island
Off The Hook Community Supported Fishery Canada Nova Scotia
OM Seafood Company United States Oregon
Pacific Harvest Seafoods United States California
Port Clyde Fresh Catch United States Maine
Precious Cargo Seafood Company United States Oregon
Providence Bay Fish Company United States Rhode Island
Ready Seafood Co. United States Maine
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Royal Star Foods Canada Prince Edward Island
Sam Rust Seafood United States Virginia
Sanders Lobster Company United States New Hampshire
Santa Monica Seafood, Inc. United States California
Sarasota Seafood Company United States Florida
Sea to Table, USA United States New York
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
Seattle Fish Company United States Colorado
Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico United States New Mexico
SHS, LLC. United States Colorado
Shucks Maine Lobster United States Maine
Sogelco International, Inc. Canada Quebec
Steve Connolly Seafood Company Inc. United States Massachusetts
Whitecap International Seafood Exporters Canada Newfoundland and Labrador
Wild Edibles, Inc. United States New York
Wild Fish Direct LLC United States Florida
Xsealent Seafood Company Canada Nova Scotia
Yankee Fisherman's Coop United States New Hampshire