Give your mom something special this year. This lobster brunch recipe is sure to impress your mom and family on Mother’s Day.
Tag: Maine Lobster
As lobster lovers, we don’t only want to give you the best information possible about how tasty lobsters can be. We also want to provide a better understanding of the lobster as a species. Why? Because understanding leads to respect, which helps us all to better care for lobster populations and habitats. This will ensure that we can continue to enjoy them well into the future.
The role of mother is a big deal for any species. While that role and the life cycles of many animals are often common knowledge, others are more mysterious— this includes crustaceans like the lobster. We can take some of the mystery about the mother lobster away, and answer some questions, including: How does a lobster come into the world? What does a female lobster do throughout this process? When and why is it illegal to keep a female lobster after catching one?
Here is a run down on how to identify a female lobster, what the beginning life cycle of a lobster looks like, and why it is illegal at times to keep a female lobster after catching one.
How to Tell if a Lobster is a Female
There are a two noticeable differences between male and female lobsters.
- A female lobster tail is larger than a male lobster tail. This is because a female must have room to carry eggs.
- If you look underneath the lobster’s tail, you will see that a female’s feeders are soft and crossed, while a male lobster’s feeders are hard and touch while facing forward. There is a picture of this below.
Lobster Mate Selection
It takes a female lobster about one year from the time she hatches to become fully grown. Once she has reached her full size, she can reproduce. Lobster’s can reproduce only after the female has shed her old shell and is in the process of growing into a new firm shell. This process is called molting. Both male and female lobster’s molt throughout their life cycles.
The notion that lobsters mate for life as a pair is a myth. Several female lobster’s actually mate with one alpha lobster. Like many animals, when male lobsters encounter one another, sometimes in large groups, they will fight for dominance. They do this by locking together in an attempt to crush one another’s claws. This can, and often does, involve more than two lobsters. The claw fight can last for days. The male lobster that prevails will mate with the female lobsters in the surrounding area.
After that, finding a male lobster to mate with is mostly up to the female lobster. The female lobster will find the den of an alpha lobster and release a pheromone near the entrance. Pheromones are chemical secretions or excretions that prompt a certain response from a member of the same species. The scent of male and female sweat for example has the potential to attract members of the opposite sex in humans in a similar way.
After smelling the pheromone, the male lobster will be seduced into allowing the female lobster to enter his den. The male lobster will guard the female here for up to two weeks. During this time the female will shed her exoskeleton and the male will deposit sperm packets into her abdomen. The sperm is stored for up to 15 months until the female is ready to lay her eggs. After this is over, the female lobster leaves the den and the male waits for another female to come along.
Laying the Eggs
When the female lobster determines the time is right, she will release her eggs. The number of eggs on average is between 7,500 and 10,000. However, larger and older female lobsters can carry up to 100,000 eggs. The eggs pass the stored sperm and become fertilized. She then gathers the eggs and stores them under her tail for nine to 12 months. The eggs under her tail look like berries, which is why a female lobster with eggs is often referred to as a “berried lobster”.
A female lobster with eggs is illegal to catch and keep. It is a Maine state law to v-notch any lobster caught that has eggs, and to return them to the ocean. A v-notch is simply a v-shaped mark made on the tail. This is a sustainability practice that helps to support the lobster population by ensuring reproduction.
After nine to 12 months have passed, the female lobster will find a safe place and release the eggs from under her tail. The eggs are buoyant and if they aren’t let go in a proper place they could potentially float up, where they will likely be eaten by other fish. On average, approximately 10% of the eggs will survive long enough to reach adulthood. Lobster’s look like larvae when they first hatch, but after molting at least four times, they start to resemble an adult lobster. These tiny crustaceans then molt another twenty times over six to eight years before they are fully grown enough to reproduce or be caught and eaten.
This is a video of a female lobster finding warm water to begin releasing her eggs:
Fully understanding the life journey of any creature is an important part of harvesting them sustainably and ethically. At Maine Lobster Now, we are dedicated to protecting the Maine lobster populations and keeping their habitats healthy.
Our live lobster are wild caught sustainably off of the coast of Maine. Love lobster? Don’t miss out on enjoying fresh lobster right at home with your friends and family.
Mother’s Day is the most popular day for dining out in the United States. Avoid the long lines at restaurants and give your mom something special this year: a Maine style brunch that is sure to impress.
Lobster Eggs Benedict combines the elements of a traditional eggs Benedict, including creamy, tart Hollandaise Sauce, jammy eggs, and the crunch of perfectly toasted bread, with thick pieces of sweet, juicy lobster meat. It is the perfect brunch dish.
Step by Step Instructions to make a perfect Lobster Eggs Benedict
This recipe serves 4 people. It is easy to double or even triple if needed.
Start by making the Hollandaise Sauce.
Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- sea salt
Hollandaise Sauce Directions:
- Melt the butter in a double-boiler on top of the stove. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. When the butter has melted, whisk the egg mixture into the melted butter, stirring constantly and cooking until the sauce starts to thicken. Season to taste with sea salt. Remove the double boiler from the heat and keep the sauce warm over the hot water.
Other Lobster Eggs Benedict Ingredients:
- 4 english Muffins
- 16 asparagus spears
- 3 green onion stalks
- 1 pound of Maine Lobster Meat
- 3 Tbsp. Butter
- 8 poached eggs
How to Assemble Lobster Benedict:
- Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the asparagus spears to the pan. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, turning regularly to ensure an even cook. When the asparagus is bright green and soft enough to pierce with a fork, but still slightly crunch, it is done. Take out of the pan and allow them to cool, then cut them each in half.
- Cut the English muffins in half and toast each side. Next, place two halves on each plate. Place two asparagus halves on top of each English muffin.
- Sauté the Maine lobster meat in 1 tablespoon of butter until it is heated through. Place a portion of the meat on top of the English muffins and asparagus.
- Poach the eggs, then top each muffin half with a poached egg.
- Drizzle the Hollandaise Sauce.
- Dice the green onion and sprinkle over the top.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy. Happy Mother’s Day!
Lobstermen sorting Live Maine lobster On The Boat
Every day we talk to hundreds of people from all over the country with questions about wild caught, Maine lobster. In January and February, we are often asked if lobsters are available in the winter months. Questions like “Do they actually catch lobster in the Winter? Isn’t it cold and icy?” And the answer is yes, there are many lobstermen who brave the cold, snow, wind and rough seas to bring home their catch during the winter months. They are a hearty bunch who throw on a few extra layers and foul weather gear to keep working through the weather to bring you wild caught, Maine Lobster year round.
In Casco Bay, home to most of the boats that supply Maine Lobster Now (MLN), about 30-40% of the lobstermen fish year round. Those that pull their traps in for the winter usually do so in December or early January. The ones that keep fishing are allowed 800 traps in the water which is the same as the summer months. With that said, in the summer the lobsters are caught within 0-3 miles of shore. This time of year, lobstermen travel 20-40 miles in search of offshore run lobsters. In past years, the price of diesel has kept more fisherman at the dock in the winter. However, this year with diesel at $2.40 per gallon at the docks, more lobstermen have continued to keep fishing.
I caught up with Captain Hugh Bowen of the Long Haul out of Portland this week to ask him a few questions about winter lobstering. Klenda Seafood, our supplier of live lobster and fresh lobster meat, buys exclusively from Captain Bowen ensuring that we have fresh lobsters to deliver to your door even during Winter. I asked what time they started that morning and Hugh said “Late, about 5am. We usually start at 3 or 4am depending on the weather and tide. The day ends when we unload the catch at 6 or 7pm.” Captain Bowen keeps all 800 traps in the water during winter and he and his two-man crew haul them every two to three days.
Winter lobstering is very different than Summer lobstering. Lobsters move offshore when the water cools in the fall and lobstermen have to travel further to catch them. The lobster is also more spread out, and boats tend to catch less lobster in the Winter with more effort required. With that said, the price per pound for lobster is usually higher in the winter with less supply available and fisherman can make as much money for a day’s work as in the summer. However, they have to brave rougher seas, colder air and icy decks which makes it a much more dangerous work day.
As consumers of Maine Lobster, give thanks to the brave and salty local lobstermen of Casco Bay! Let’s be honest, they endure the long, cold, wet days for their paychecks. But they also rely on companies like ours to continue to purchase lobster from them year-round. They value our partnership as much as we do, knowing they have a steady stream of demand for the product they work so hard to harvest. We are certainly proud to be part of the local lobster community. We support local fisheries, local lobstermen and local businesses, all of whom contribute to the economic stability of the State of Maine. And in turn, you contribute by purchasing your lobster from Maine Lobster Now which supports the economy of the state we call home. We thank you for your continued patronage!
Written by Todd W. Miller, GM Maine Lobster Now