Lighthouse Lobster enTrapment

blogmachias Machias Seal Island, the nesting place of Atlantic puffins and a working Lighthouse, is in the Grey Zone of a maritime dispute between the American and Canadian governments.

Since the 1870s, both nations have claimed sovereignty of the island. The United States government refers to the 1783 peace treaty with Great Britain whereas the Canadian government refers to a 1621 land grant given to the founder of Nova Scotia, Sir William Alexander.

bloggreyzone Furthermore, Canada has occupied Machias Seal Island Lighthouse since 1832 and protected the island as wildlife and seabird sanctuary since 1944 as proof of ownership. Until recently, the internationally disputed area called the Grey Zone has been quiet until the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans allowed Canadians to catch lobsters in the Grey Zone!

Friction between Canadian and Maine Lobstermen is rising as well as the prices of Lobster Grams according to Debo! There has been numerous reports of lobster sabotage as both governments claw their way out of this entrapment!

blogpuffins In the meantime, Captain John Norton hopes to continue his “Puffin Tours” to Machias Seal Island from Jonesport, Maine. Tourists can view up to 3,000 Clowns of the Sea (puffins) on the island flying around the Lighthouse! (Link to: You Tube Puffin Video)

The current 60-feet high Machias Seal Island octagonal concrete Lighthouse was built in 1915 and exhibits a Flashing White Light every 3-seconds 82-feet above sea level visible to a range of 17 nautical miles. The Lighthouse is staffed with two Canadian Light-keepers most likely for political territorial reasons.

blue_starMap Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Machias Seal Island Lighthouse.

Related News Story:
The lobster wars

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About Debbie Dolphin

Lighthouse author and photographer living in New England

Posted on October 26, 2007, in Humor News, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thank you all for your compliments!

    Your welcome, Debo!
    And, the online lobster prices are hard to swallow, too!

  2. I definitely wish I still lived in NE so I don’t have to have
    my lobster shipped to me in dry ice and styrofoam.

    P.S.-thanks for the link and mention.

  3. We took a trip up to Maine early in the Summer.
    I’ve always been fascinated by the lighthouses and the “lighthouse culture” served up via the gift shops.
    You have some wonderful photos here, and I’m certain to return!

  4. This is a nice site you’ve got here… fascinating stuff I never knew about!

  5. Hi Sue,

    New Englanders are fortunate to live near a prime seafood region. We buy lobsters when the local markets are selling lobsters at $5 a pound or less. When I see lobsters selling at $7 a pound or higher, they sit in the crowded tank!

    The sticker shock price of $50 for one lobster is unthinkable unless someone is starting a lobster farm by buying super stud lobsters!

  6. Wow. As someone who gets her lobsters for free, those prices would hurt. And hurt bad. And yeah, the shore price is still about that, maybe $3,50 or $3.75. I’d have to ask my son.

    Many places up here will pack and ship for a lot less, and are online too. Or at least can do phone orders. I’m in the wrong business, I can tell you. But then, I say that about everything.

    Hey, congrats on your new PR3! I got it too (PR3) for both and (from a nice round zero).

  7. Hi Sue,

    According to their website, Lobster Grams have been shipping Live Maine lobsters for 9 years. Currently, they are offering a 15% off special on two one pound lobsters for $52.65 (regular price of $62.00). The post has a story link.

    Gorton’s is shipping two 1.25 lb. lobsters for $134.95.
    Cape Porpoise Lobster is shipping a one pound lobster for $79.00.
    Using a $30 average shipping fee, Lobster Grams is the least lobster cost of $16, followed by $40, and $49 (a 1,633 % markup if the $3 boat cost is current).

    If I recall correctly, many Maine Lobster Companies have been shipping lobsters for the past 30 years and at least 8 to 10 years online.

    The Lighthouse post is about the irony of both nations being trapped in Lobster traps which may cause increased tensions during their long-standing peaceful dispute. I have no idea how many people don’t know about Maine Lobster regulations. And, I agree with you that the hard working Maine lobstermen and lobster-women will suffer the most followed by consumers “forced” to pay the increasing lobster prices or go without!

  8. What a lot of people don’t understand is that the
    Maine Lobsterman’s Association is the most tightly self regulated fishery in the world, which is the reason why it’s remained so stable over the years. Other fisheries have collapsed, yet Maine’s lobster catch grows. I don’t blame the Maine lobstermen and women for wanting to protect a territory they’ve worked hard to keep sustainable. And if the Canadians want the island, fine, but keep their lobstermen in their areas.

    Also, what is a lobstergram?

    I only know the boat price has gone down this year, to $3 a pound and less at times, while costs have risen, which hurts the lobstermen but obviously not the middlemen and retailers.

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