Life as a Lob­ster­man

Straight talk and tips from Bruce Fer­nald, a sixth-gen­er­a­tion lob­ster­man from a coastal vil­lage in Maine

SAVEUR - - (re)consider The Lobster -

“I named my boat Bar­bara Ann, af­ter my wife, and I put it in the wa­ter March through De­cem­ber. A lot of guys go all year round, but I’ve been fish­ing for 44 years and I don’t have to and I don’t want to.

“About 65 to 70 peo­ple live in our town on Lit­tle Cran­berry Is­land, and about 24 of them have lob­ster boats. Two of them are my broth­ers, and my fa­ther was one of the found­ing mem­bers of the lob­ster co-op we all be­long to. It’s a pretty tight-knit com­mu­nity: There’s one res­tau­rant, and it’s open June through Oc­to­ber when tourism brings the num­ber of peo­ple in town up to about 300. There was a store in town, but it didn’t sur­vive.

“There’s a state law that says you can’t have more than 800 lob­ster traps. So I have 800 traps. My grand­fa­ther and fa­ther used to use wooden buoys and traps. Once full with lob­sters, you had to haul them into the boats by hand. Now we use hy­draulic mo­tors. They whisk the trap out of the wa­ter in un­be­liev­able time. All the traps are wire now, with two lob­ster en­trance points in­stead of one. I miss the smell of the wooden ones, but other than that, not much has re­ally changed.

“When the wa­ter warms up to around 40 to 42 de­grees on the ocean floor, the lob­sters be­gin mov­ing closer to shore. The sweet­est, ten­der­est ones come in be­tween July and Oc­to­ber. When I cook them, I like to steam them in a pot with 2 to 3 inches of wa­ter. Add but­ter, a salad, some bread, and cham­pagne, and I’m happy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.