Lobster Economics

by Christopher Paul on July 14, 2014

Ian Brown reporting on the economics of lobster fishing for the The Globe and Mail:

To a lobster enthusiast, of course, cheap lobster sounds like a good, i.e. delicious, thing. But it never materializes. There is a voodoo to lobster economics. What used to be poor man’s fare, the fallback meal of people too impoverished to afford anything else, is now a billion dollar business and a universal mark of luxury – with the result that a lobster that sells for $3.50 on the wharf can cost $60 and more on a restaurant plate in New York or Toronto or Shanghai, regardless of how many lobsters are pulled from the sea. How this happens is the life story of Larry the Lobster.

Apparently, there is a surplus of supply — a “glut” as they call it — but you almost wouldn’t know it from the prices most people pay for lobster at the dinner table. Brown covers the life, death, and markup of Larry the Lobster in this fascinating narrative that I’ll be sure to remember when I dunk Larry’s relative into a pot of boiling water during my vacation in a few weeks.

via The Loop

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