Turner Cove Isle Au Haut, Maine


Down at the dock this morning, at a time when the rest of us
are just getting going, I was surprised to see a few lobstermen
still standing around. I asked why it was they were idle and
they said "No bait." Their bait supplier was having a hard
time catching enough herring for them. They thought it might
be because large nets are being used offshore to sweep the
ocean clean of baitfish.

So I asked them about some other bait substitutes like animal
products. They weren't satisfied with that approach. They say
the lobsters prefer herring. I can't say as I blame the
lobsters because I like herring myself.

I like herring as sardines in oil or mustard sauce. The
lobsterman say that lobsters aren't as picky; they just like
herring dead. Then there are other lobstermen who don't like
the idea of feeding animal products to lobsters. They think
it a bit unnatural or something. But I don't see it as bad
as feeding animal waste to edible plants. The material gets
reprocessed in either case.

The men were still waiting for word about bait when I left
the dock. I hope they got enough to fill their barrels. It
seems too bad that such a sustainable fishery as lobstering
should be handicapped by bait shortages.