Shepparton News

101 and still loving lobsters

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ROCKLAND: When Virginia Oliver started trapping lobster off Maine’s rocky coast, World War II was more than a decade in the future, the electronic traffic signal was a recent invention and few women were harvesting lobsters.

Nearly a century later, at age 101, she’s still doing it. The oldest lobster fisher in the state and possibly the oldest one in the world, Mrs Oliver still faithfully tends to her traps off Rockland, Maine, with her 78-year-old son Max.

Mrs Oliver started trapping lobsters at age 8, and these days she catches them using a boat that once belonged to her late husband and bears her own name, the Virginia.

She said she had no intention to stop, but she was concerned about the health of Maine’s lobster population, which, she added, was subject to heavy fishing pressure these days.

‘‘I’ve done it all my life, so I might as well keep doing it,’’ Mrs Oliver said.

The lobster industry has changed over the course of Mrs Oliver’s many decades on the water and lobsters have grown from a working class food to a delicacy.

The lobsters fetched 28¢ a pound on the docks when she first starting trapping them; now, it’s 15 times that.

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