Why is Lobster So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)

Do you want to know why Lobster is so expensive when it used to be a common meal for everyone? Read on to know more!

why is lobster so expensive

Lobsters are a family of marine crustaceans.

In fact, lobster was once thought of as a supper for the working class.

In colonial New England, lobsters were so plentiful that they frequently washed up on the coast, making them easy to catch.

But after years of New Englanders over-harvesting lobsters and the continued population increase in the United States, the lobster population began to decline, leading to scarcity and increasing demand for them as a commodity.

Nowadays, catching lobsters is a laborious process.

This is due in part to the fact that crustaceans need a lot of care because they develop slowly, consume a lot of food, and are prone to illness.

A lot of technology is used to ensure the lobsters’ health when they are transported across the country alive as well as to promote their healthy growth.

In this article, you will find out why lobsters are so expensive.

Why is Lobster So Expensive?

One of the most expensive things you can purchase is lobster.

Not only is lobster pricey, but it’s also difficult to find it in the dead of winter when many people want it for Christmas dinner, which drives up the cost even further.

These answers explain why lobsters are so expensive.

1. Popularity

why is lobster so expensive

The popularity of lobsters is the main reason for their high cost.

Since they were readily available on the shores and within reach of everyone who lived by the ocean in the 1800s, lobsters were regarded as the poor man’s protein.

However, when preservation techniques improved, there was a greater global demand for lobsters due to the wider consumer base.

Additionally, some cuisines discovered a method to eat lobsters that appealed to even society’s upper classes.

Currently, lobster is in such high demand and is so widely consumed that it is regarded more as a luxury and premium seafood.

With fewer lobsters available due to their increasing demand, the market prices have risen over time and have done so up until this very moment.

2. Fresh Servings

why is lobster so expensive

As lobsters can only survive in cold waters, they must be kept in specialized freezing tanks with lots of ice.

The primary factor in its price increase is this frozen cost. Live lobsters are in high demand.

Fresh lobster is the best to eat. So, after catching them, it’s important to preserve them. They are now more expensive to catch alive and cook right away, which is unfortunate.

You should know that a lot of resources are used to maintain lobsters in the best possible condition, even if you purchase them frozen.

Due to the high cost of lobster transportation and preservation, you should expect to pay a costly price.

Though you may not be paying for the shipping and preservation of a freshly caught lobster when you eat one, you are paying for the superior quality of a freshly caught lobster.

3. Difficult to Catch

why is lobster so expensive

The primary challenge is catching the lobsters in bulk. In regions with chilly weather, it becomes more expensive to catch.

It takes skilled workers, equipment, and special boats with storage tanks to get to the location where lobsters abound to catch them.

Because of this, various kinds of seafood are typically caught by hand, with the use of specialized equipment and knowledge.

Because they are valuable and require a lot of work to catch, lobsters are more expensive as a result.

Additionally, lobsters are more prevalent in temperate waters.

Because of this, it costs more to catch it in areas with colder climates. The explanation is that areas without temperate waters have smaller lobster populations.

4. Shipping Lobster is Expensive

why is lobster so expensive

Transporting lobsters across the nation is an expensive operation, since they need to be consumed as soon as possible.

They must be alive in transit if they’re going to be alive at the restaurant.

This procedure entails astronomical expenditures.

The animals will fare best if they are not transported in tanks the entire time, but they must maintain moisture.

In order to increase the likelihood of life, the humidity, oxygen, and temperature levels are all meticulously regulated.

The restaurants must then mark up these significant shipping charges even more before passing them on to us hungry customers.

5. Some Lobsters Die in Transit

why is lobster so expensive

Even though it costs a lot to export lobsters, not all of them make it!

Not all lobsters reach their destination unharmed, despite rigorous attempts to keep the environment under control while they are in transit.

While elastic bands are frequently used to hold their claws closed, this is not always a reliable way to keep them apart from one another.

Even with their claws bound, very active lobsters on the voyage may still result in the same issues.

Additionally, transit itself is never a guarantee.

A lobster won’t live on a truck forever, not even in ideal circumstances.

Lobsters often only survive a short time on travel.

Therefore, any shipment delays could result in the expensive loss of a complete bulk purchase.

A restaurant or grocery store bulk order that includes dead lobsters has still been paid for.

Additionally, those companies still need to turn a profit.

The cost of the lobsters that couldn’t be sold is taken into account when determining the price of the lobsters that can be used.

You should know that you just might be buying one at the cost of two.

6. Lobsters are Difficult to Farm

why is lobster so expensive

Why not raise lobsters instead of catching them, which is such a low-yield, unpredictable operation?

After all, a variety of pricey seafood, including salmon and shrimp, are effectively farmed.

It’s difficult to farm lobster.

Lobsters grow quite slowly, to start with. It can take an adult 7 to 10 years to mature from an egg to the size of a meal.

Second, they cost a lot to maintain.

To become a size that can be sold, lobsters require a lot of food. It’s a very low return on investment, especially given that only a small proportion of their meat can be removed from their shells.

The lobsters might even start eating one another if a grower makes the mistake of underfeeding them.

Their chances of survival are slim.

The disease can affect lobsters, especially when they are young. A single contagious sickness might prevent the animals from eating and surviving!

Apart from illness, lobsters generally have low survival rates. Only two out of every 50,000 eggs are anticipated to mature.

Overall, despite the drawbacks, the unpredictable seas are the preferred method of obtaining lobsters.

7. Lobster Isn’t Consistent Year-Round

why is lobster so expensive

Although American lobsters are available year-round and can be obtained in our oceans, they are much quicker to catch when they are in season.

Crustaceans are most active during the peak harvest season, which is normally from the summer through the end of the year. 

Although frequently in fewer numbers, they are nonetheless catchable in the earlier months.

After all, they wouldn’t be stumbling around in the undersea lobster traps if they weren’t active!

Fishermen must always charge more for the creatures to make up for the poor catches in the early part of the year.

8. Many Females Have to Be Thrown Back

why is lobster so expensive

Even the right-sized lobsters can’t all be kept.

Even if a female lobster meets the requirements for sale in terms of size, it must be put back if she is carrying eggs.

Fishermen mark the lobster before they do so to show it laid eggs.

The mark will endure for a while.

Even if the lobster isn’t now laying eggs, it must be tossed back if another fisherman later catches it.

By allowing egg-producing females to continue populating the ocean, these crucial steps help the lobster population in the long run.

However, in the short run, they lead to lower catches for fishermen and higher prices for end users.

9. The Supply Chain is Longer Than Most

why is lobster so expensive

The lobster supply chain has greater difficulties than normal.

Every player in a supply chain must raise prices to achieve a profit margin.

The fishery, the market, and ultimately the restaurant are possible steps in the fishing sector. Or the fisherman, the processor, and then the grocery store.

However, high-end, low-yield products like lobster can draw more guests.

For seafood sold into more formal markets, the Reef Resilience Network states that supply chains can include any number or combination of mid-chain players (e.g., aggregators, primary processors, traders, wholesalers, dealers, secondary processors, distributors, transporters), who transform, package, and move product from the point of production to the point of sale.

In addition to the price of lobster rising with each stage of this procedure, lobsters have highly specific transportation requirements, which drive up the cost even further.

10. Lobster Catching Equipment Cost

why is lobster so expensive

Specialized traps are required for professional hunting. These traps are expensive and large.

They must be transported to the hunting region by enormous ships. You will be required to supply all necessary tools if you wish to hire a lobster trapper.

The lobster industry is a very lucrative one, hence you will need several tools to succeed, and these tools are expensive.

Some of these tools include

Tickle Sticks

Tips for finding the right tickle stick for your next lobster-catching trip.

Lobster Nets

Choosing the right lobster net is key to catching and keeping your spiny lobster.

Lobster Gloves

An essential piece of equipment for catching the Florida spiny lobster is lobster gloves due to the spiny shells.

Lobster Bags

Once you catch the lobster, make sure you have a lobster bag that keeps them contained.

Spare Air

An additional very useful tool for those quick lobster-catching dives is Spare Air. It can also be useful whenever you are scuba diving.

Underwater Fishing Lights

Catching lobsters at night requires the right equipment and proper lighting is crucial. With many lighting options, this review will help you choose the right light.

Also, customer expectation is also a factor contributing to the high prices.

Finally, people are under the mistaken perception that lobster is a more expensive food.

Because of this, people can get suspicious when they see inexpensive lobster because they assume they are being duped in some way.

As a result, they expect lobster to be pricey.

This effectively indicates that, at least in part, customers’ expectations regarding lobster costs are to blame.

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