New Shell Lobster – The Time is Now

New shell lobster season is not a season like baseball or striper fishing. While the peak harvest does coincide with those great summer and fall pastimes (and might we add, lobster goes really well with watching your favorite team!), the Maine new shell season is not a season based around opening or closing.

New shell lobster
New shell lobster – fresh off the boat, ready to be packed and shipped to you!

Rather, the “season” is based around Mother Nature’s schedule and new shells are a naturally occurring part of the lobster’s growth. Lobsters have an exoskeleton, which means their shell is the “skeleton.” In order to grow in size and weight, they must shed their old shell. Lobsters are always growing their next shell, so once they molt, they already have a new shell to protect them. Referred to locally as “jelly bellies” those just-molted lobsters are so soft that they feel like jelly and fishermen return them to the water to harden up. At this time, they are also susceptible to predators. So the lobster hides until he reenergizes after the stressful molt process. And then he’s on the move!

The lobster’s appetite is huge – and it is his hunger that will eventually lead him to a lobster trap. Lobsters have a strong sense of smell and they are attracted to the oily bait in lobster traps. Lobsters will go in and out of traps at will, but if the lobster fisherman times his hauls just right, he will successfully harvest a bounty of new shells destined for worldwide markets.

New shell lobster is delicious because during the shedding process, they take on more water than usual. This saturation helps them to break open their shell to molt. It helps us because they are marinating in delicious, briny goodness that our customers and their consumers look forward to each year.

Learn more about our new shell pricing and availability.