Maine Memory Network
Maine's Online Museum

Login · My Account · Show Album



Lobstering - 11 items.

Created by Lyman Moore Middle School students

View options: slideshow view | list view

Item 6312

A retired lobsterman

A retired lobsterman / Maine Historical Society

Lobstering is a way of life in Maine. Lobster is one of the states' largests exports and an important part our economy and identity.

Lobstering is also an important part of Portland?s waterfront community and economy. In addition to lobstermen, the lobster industry provides jobs to people who load and unload boats, trap makers, bait dealers, fishermen who supply the bait dealers, dockmakers, lobster dealers, auctioneers, and people who work in seafood restaurants.

We chose to research lobstering because of our family connections to lobstering in Portland.


Item 4168

Plan of Falmouth Neck, 1690

Plan of Falmouth Neck, 1690 / Maine Historical Society

Lobsters were so plentiful in Colonial Days that the native Americans used lobsters to fertlize their land and to bait fishing hooks.


Item 9452

Choosing Lobsters for a Clambake, Squirrel Island, 1921

Choosing Lobsters for a Clambake, Squirrel Island, 1921 / Stanley Museum

In the 1900's lobsters were harvested for prisoners and the poor. The majority of all lobsters were captured before they'd had a chance to reproduce even once.

Today Maine Lobsters are considered a delicacy and shipped around the world. Tourists often say that their stay in Portland would not be complete with out a lobster dinner.


Item 12757

Waterfront, Brooklin

Waterfront, Brooklin / Sedgwick-Brooklin Historical Society

The industry has remained stable providing jobs for people on the coast of Maine while shipbuilding started to crumble. Fishermen were affected by the lack of shipbuilding and had to find other ways to fix their boats. Lobstermen had to learn how to fix there own boats or find someone to fix the boats for them. We now have fiberglass boats so it's not hard to replace.


Item 12986

Fishing trawler 'Kingfisher,' ca. 1917

Fishing trawler 'Kingfisher,' ca. 1917 / Maine Historical Society

The gasoline engine served as the springboard for the development of the modern lobster boat. By the early 1900s, gas-powered lobster boats gradually replaced many of the sailboats and rowboats.


Item 11158

Plugging crusher claws, Portland, ca. 1930

Plugging crusher claws, Portland, ca. 1930 / Maine Historical Society

Many animals besides humans eat lobsters. Other than humans, cod fish are probably the lobsters principle enemy, followed by other bottom dwelling fish, such as flounder, sculpins, wolffish, eels, rock gunnels. Even raccoons have been known to raid coastal lobster businesses.


Item 6094

Burnham and Morrill Red Jacket lobster label

Burnham and Morrill Red Jacket lobster label / Maine State Archives

Individual states manage lobster fishing within their three mile boundaries. This Star Lobster packing label comes from the Portland Packing Company in Portland, Maine.

During our research we walked the waterfront and talked to a number of people that work in the lobster industry. They included lobstermen, a bait dealer, the owner of a lobster pound, and a lobster shipping plant. In the past they used to ship lobsters cooked, but now, because of all the improvements in technology, lobsters can be sent alive around the world.

On Union Wharf we visited a lobster cannery.


Item 7717

In the bag, Castine, 1931

In the bag, Castine, 1931 / Maine Historical Society

Maine imposes a maximum legal size of 5 inches carapace-length. Carapace-length is the length of a lobster as measured from the eye socket to the begining of it's tail. The breeders, which may produce 100,000 eggs rather than 10,000 average eggs, can stay in the population of lobsters.


Item 7758

Old Nep, Eastport, ca. 1925

Old Nep, Eastport, ca. 1925 / Maine Historical Society

The minimum size for legal lobsters was increased in 1988 after scientists persuaded the lobstermen to get the law changed. The legal size was increased by two inches to 3 5/16 inches. Femal lobsters bearing eggs must be released back into the ocean after being caught in a lobster trap. Femals with eggs contribute to the population of lobsters and should be kept off the dinner table.


Item 1456

Digging clams in Maine, ca. 1930

Digging clams in Maine, ca. 1930 / Maine Historical Society

A Special Thanks to:
Steve Bromage, Phoebe Tureen, Rob Inman, The Maine Historical Society, Capt. Jeff Monroe, Angela Clark, and Mr. St. Pierre for making this program possible.


Item 6492

Orr's Island Wharf, ca. 1900

Orr's Island Wharf, ca. 1900 / Maine Historical Society


Fishtown Eduction Series. Lobstering on the Benjo

Maine Lobster Prmotaion Council
A day in the life of a maine lobster harvester