Notes from the island, music and zero carbon lobster harvesting.
Monday, July 9, 2012
No, lobstermen do not have to get in the boat if the price isn't reasonable. Lobstermen don't have to duct-tape their mouths shut about it either.
is nothing illegal about a public call to tie up for the purpose of
letting the temporary oversupply of lobsters correct itself, letting the processors
catch up and allowing the price to come back into balance with the value
of the product. This is actually an example of lobster harvesters being
intelligent market players instead of passively waiting for things to
There is no such thing asan illegal lobster "strike" because harvesters are not regulated as to
their production schedule with the exception of the state law
prohibiting harvests on Sundays between June 1 and August 31.
This is not price-fixing because there is no conspiratorial attempt to
artificially set a price. It is simply an adjustment to the harvest for
the purpose of allowing the market to correct itself.
Lobstermen are under no obligation to accept any particular price
because they are participants in what is supposed to be a free market.
Lobstermen also have a constitutional right to communicate about their
concerns regarding market conditions.