Wild Caught Lobster vs Pounded Lobsters - Maine Lobster Now

Wild Caught Lobster vs Pounded Lobsters

Apr 05, 2024Julian Klenda
Wondering more about wild-caught lobsters and what they compare to? What do all these terms mean? We can help educate you on how lobsters are caught and stored. We will give you the details other companies don't want you to know when it comes to the truth behind wild-caught lobsters. Don't get caught up in the sales pitch, there are better quality lobsters than others, and how they are handled plays a huge part in the product delivered to your door.


What is a Wild Caught Lobster?

At Maine Lobster Now, we are committed to providing you the best wild-caught Maine lobster. This means the lobsters are caught right off Maine's coast and delivered to us directly from the lobster boats. So I'm sure your thinking, "Are their farm-raised lobsters?". The answer is no, there are currently no farm-raised lobsters. So if all lobsters are caught in the wild, shouldn't all lobsters be wild-caught? Technically yes! However, the way lobsters are stored can really determine the quality of lobster that you eat. The term you are actually looking for is "fresh-caught," which means it was recently harvested. Another interesting fact is Canada also has wild-caught and 'fresh-caught' lobsters as well.  
Wild Caught Lobster

Wild-Caught Maine Lobster

We consider wild-caught Maine lobster from local lobstermen to be the absolute best. Check out our section on Maine vs. Canadian lobsters to learn more about the difference in taste. Maine lobstermen must follow the Maine Department of Marine Resources regulations, which ensures the sustainability of the lobster population. The state of Maine does not allow large companies to own fleets, so all lobstermen own their own boats and work for themselves.

What Are Pounded Lobsters?

Lobsters With Eaten Antennas Diagram

Pro Tip: If the lobster antennas are eaten down to nothing, this could mean the lobster has been held in a tank / tidal pound for a long duration of time.

  A pounded lobster is a live lobster that is stored in a tidal pound along with many other lobsters. A tidal pound is a portion of the ocean that is sectioned off to store these lobsters, these exist both in Maine and Canada. The whole point of this process is to buy lobsters when they are cheap and sell them when demand rises after the summer season is over and make more money. This isn't a bad idea, however, the problem with the lobster pounds is that numerous lobsters live in a small space for months at a time. They are fed scraps and oftentimes eat the dead lobsters in the pound. These lobsters can catch shell disease, and antibiotics are required to stop the spread to the other lobsters in the pound. We do not use pounded lobsters or sell any lobsters will shell disease. At Maine Lobster Now, we refuse to sell pounded lobsters. Some vendors consider these "fresh" because they do live in a saltwater environment. However, we do not consider these wild-caught lobsters, and we will not accept any pounded lobster for delivery to our customers.


Brief History Of Tidal Pounds

The first lobster pound appeared on Vinalhaven in 1875, and others quickly followed. Lobster pounds work in the same manner as the smack boats. The lobsters are kept in tanks with water passing freely through them. The first lobster pound was in a deep tidal creek, but today they are more common on docks floating in the harbor. Using the pound, dealers can wait for the price of lobster to increase or allow a newly-molted lobster time to harden its shell. Another less common definition of a lobster pound can be a large holding area for lobster created by wharves and netting. The tide cleans and refreshes the holding area. You can witness this design at Riverview Lobster Pound in Pemaquid, Maine, which was built in 1888 by Freeman Grover. The area of this pound is two acres of surface and, according to its owners, “can accommodate over 50,000 pounds of lobsters comfortably”.  
Lobster With Shell Disease

Lobster With Shell Disease


What is a Tubed Lobster?

A 'tubed lobster' is what people have done to try and combat the tidal pounds negative effects on lobsters. To prevent lobsters from eating each other and spreading shell disease, people are now storing lobsters in tubes. Although this begins to solve some problems, this now wild creature is basically confined to a cell for the rest of its existence and doesn't use its muscles or appendages at all. Since it is difficult to feed lobsters in tubes, they typically start to lose muscle mass and their shell becomes leather-like because it is malnourished and can't shed. So after a while, the lobster holding companies will take blood samples of the lobsters to see how much meat is inside them for processing and see how malnourished they actually are. I know this may be horrifying to some people, but it is the world we live in. We do not support these types of storing processes and this is certainly not humane. We sell only fresh-caught, wild Maine lobsters that have not been pounded or tubed.

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