Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Lobster Index

I just talked to my father for a while on the phone. As you might remember, my father is a lobsterman in Maine. He has his own boat and a few hundred traps; this is pretty much how he makes his living. Anyway, currently lobster is selling very cheap because many people consider it to be a luxury food. It occurs to me that "the lobster index" might be one way to gauge the state of the US economy. I don't know if lobster is a "lagging indicator", but for my father and most of the people on his island, it is pretty much central to the economy.

So, currently the going price for lobster is $2.75/lb. I will update if the price goes up or down. I'll also note that, for those of you who like lobster, it is possible to get it for about the same price as hamburger currently.


Brian Dunbar said...

So, currently the going price for lobster is $2.75/lb

Is this tracked somewhere on the web, like the price of corn?

rufus said...

I don't know. My father generally knows what they're getting in Maine and the other states in New England. I was surprised to find that the also coordinate their efforts with the Canadian lobstermen- the Canucks haul and sell mostly in the winter and the Americans focus on the summer. But they're very well-organized among themselves. They actually figured out very early how to maintain a replenishing stock, and are now considered pioneers of a sort.