Lobstermen will soon have several new tools to help understand their business' profitability and navigate future challenges.
In 2011, more than 1,000 lobstermen participated in an in-depth industry survey conducted by GMRI. When the resulting report is released this summer, it will equip lobstermen and fishery managers with an analysis of the revenues and costs associated with lobstering operations.
This data provides financial benchmarks that will allow lobstermen to examine how different economic, operational, and fishery management changes would impact businesses of comparable size and location to their own.
"If gas and bait prices go up, what adjustments can a lobsterman make to stay profitable?" posed Alexa Dayton, manager of the project. "Blanket statements are easier to make, but the right decision is likely different if you're landing 100,000 pounds of lobster a year compared to 10,000 pounds."
The report builds on complementary survey data collected by GMRI in 2005. Together, the data sets form a time series that fishery managers and industry leaders can use to examine long-term economics and industry-wide impacts. Preliminary data has already been used by the Maine Lobstermen's Association to help evaluate the industry's ability to contribute to the cost of increased marketing efforts for Maine lobster.