Boiling Point

Who knew Massachusetts had such a lobster-rich tradition?

Caught Red-Handed: Contrary to popular belief, lobsters do not mate for life. Photograph by IStockPhoto.

Caught Red-Handed: Contrary to popular belief, lobsters do not mate for life. IstockPhoto.

Mainers aren’t the only ones with a taste for lobster — or the only ones pulling the sweet-fleshed crustaceans out of the sea. There’s a long and proud lobstering tradition right here in Massachusetts, too. In fact, it just so happens that we’re the state that invented the lobster trap, and we have not one, but two professional sports teams named for the delicious ocean dwellers (a tennis outfit and a paintball squad).


Year the lobster trap was invented in Swampscott.

37.4 lbs.

 The weight of Big George, the largest lobster ever caught in the state. Trapped in 1974, he was more than 2 feet long.

1 in 100 million

 Estimated chance of a lobster being albino. One was snagged by a Gloucester crew in 2010.

Shelling It Out
Average dealer-reported price per pound of lobster

2005   $5.01
2009   $3.61

Claws and Effect
Top Massachusetts cities and towns: Total lobster catch (in pounds), 2009
Gloucester   1,815,408
Plymouth   949,789
Beverly   725,195
Boston   725,025
Marshfield   688,315
Rockport 667,875

Chasing Tails

>Top Massachusetts cities and towns: Active commercial lobstermen, 2009
Gloucester   139
New Bedford   101
Rockport   61
Plymouth   60
Marshfield   53
Boston   44


Total lobster catch is determined by lobstermen’s home port rather than where catch was landed. 2009 Massachusetts Lobster Fishery Statistics (preliminary) courtesy of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.