The State of Maine may look at increasing its lobster processing capabilities instead of shipping lobster to Canada to be processed.
Two of Maine’s three lobster processors suggested the change during a meeting with Gov. Paul LePage on Friday.
A spokesperson for the governor's office described the meeting as a fact-finding mission.
Earlier this month, fishermen in southeastern New Brunswick blocked Maine lobster from being processed, saying plant owners were paying rock-bottom prices because of a glut of American lobster.
Maine is looking for ways to improve its lobster industry, said Annie Tselikis, the education co-ordinator for the Maine Lobstermen's Association.
"The processing facilities that are here in Maine certainly are working really hard and are very efficient at what they do," she said.
"They all have different business models. Some of them are completely vertically integrated from the boat to the final point of sale for their product going into retail, or restaurant, or food service.
"I think we're on the right track, but I think we still have more work to do."
The industry is facing a number of challenges and increasing production alone won’t help the situation, said Tselikis.
"To simply increase the processing capacity without also increasing the demand, or, you know, promotion or marketing of Maine lobster, or lobster in general … you're not creating a home for the product on the other end," she said.
"So to simply process alone without increasing market and marketability of the product isn't going to be the silver bullet that everybody seems to think it’s going to be."
The processors will now pay $3 a pound for canners and $3.50 for market lobster.
But the fishermen maintain they need $4 a pound to make a living.