Lobstering may capture the imagination of authors and artists, but the act of hauling Maine’s signature crustacean is just one part of the state’s $1.5 billion trap-to-table industry – it takes a sprawling network of dealers, retailers and processors to get the annual harvest to market.
This behind-the-scenes supply chain landed an outsize amount of the industry’s share of federal pandemic relief. While lobstermen received $14.9 million in small Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans and at least $300,000 in large ones, it was spread out among almost 1,400 fishermen. On the supply chain side, 134 companies netted more than $9.1 million.
Dealers who buy a lobsterman’s haul for resale got 76 loans. Those included $2.6 million in small loans, averaging $40,699 each, and at least $2.5 million in large loans, including four of at least $350,000 each to Carver Shellfish in Beals, Maine Shellfish Co. in Ellsworth, Greenhead Lobster in Stonington and Maine Coast in York.
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