New Brunswick lobstermen were feeling the pinch in 1989

Low lobster prices left fishermen fighting for whatever they could get for their catch.

Prices were so low that some fishermen were getting just 50 cents per pound of lobster

Low lobster prices

32 years ago
Duration 1:48
Midday reports on the low cost of lobster in 1989. 1:48

Lobster fishermen were feeling the pinch in 1989.

Not from the lobsters they caught, but from the money they weren't hauling in.

That left them desperate to get what they could for their catch, as they dealt with the reality of rock-bottom lobster prices.

"The processors are only buying 1,000 pounds a day from each boat, because they still have lobster left over from the spring," reporter Willa Jeffrey told Midday viewers in August 1989.

"Fishermen end up giving the rest away or selling it for as little as 50 cents a pound."

On the other hand, the people who liked to buy lobster were able to buy a lot of it — or to buy it for much less than usual.

'It's a good buy'

Carl Libby bought lobster at a Fredericton store after noticing the price was lower than it had been in years. (Midday/CBC Archives)

"Instead of buying two or three, they will buy seven or eight or 10," said Yvon Daigle, a store manager in Fredericton who spoke to CBC's Midday about the drop in lobster prices.

Carl Libby was one of those customers taking advantage of the low prices. He told a CBC reporter he'd changed his dinner plans when he saw the price of lobster.

"It's a good buy," said Libby, who could not recall lobster at the same price for quite a few years.

Jeffrey drew a line under how different the situation was for the lobstermen and the people consuming their catch on dinner plates.

"So, what's being called the worst season in 50 years for lobster fishermen could be the best ever for consumers," said Jeffrey.

"Almost overnight, an expensive delicacy has turned into a more affordable treat — a treat that could put a lot of fishermen out of business."

Lobster prices were so low that some fishermen were getting just 50 cents a pound for their catch. (Midday/CBC Archives)

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