A cruise ship operated by Holland America Lines plans to buy a ton of lobsters for its passengers when it arrives at Mt. Desert Island's port at the end of next week.
According to the Mt. Desert Islander, Bar Harbor town officials, a state senator, the local chamber of commerce, Cruise Maine and the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound worked together to cut through the red tape that previously blocked efforts to sell lobsters directly to cruise liners, the local weekly reported.
Warren Pettigrow of the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound told the newspaper the deal was "one small step in the right direction" given all the other problems Maine's lobster industry has faced this summer stemming from a glut, historically low prices and high fuel and bait costs.
Meanwhile, as reported by The Associated Press, as many as eight lobster-processing plants in Atlantic Canada have suspended operations in response to ongoing blockades by Canadian lobstermen who've demanded that the plants stop accepting low-priced Maine lobsters. More than half of Maine's annual harvest, which last year topped 100 million pounds, is processed in Canada. There are about two dozen processors in Canada; Maine has three processing plants of any size.