ROCKPORT, Maine — The bizarre 2012 lobster fishing season may be over, but discussion of what happened and what might be done to prevent a repeat will figure prominently in the lineup of topics featured this week at the annual Maine Fishermen's Forum.
The forum, which organizers say typically attracts between 2,000 and 3,000 attendees each year, is scheduled from Thursday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 2, at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.
What Maine's $330 million lobster industry went through last year stands out among the ups and downs faced by Maine fishermen through the years. The industry, which has more than 5,300 licensed commercial fishermen, is the largest in the state and represents the largest lobster fishery in the country.
Unseasonably warm water temperatures last winter led to an early molting season and exceptionally high catches in the spring and early summer, when lobster dealers had difficulty finding customers for all the lobster that was unloaded at their docks. The resulting glut caused prices to plummet temporarily to less than $2 per pound, the lowest level fishermen had received in decades, and led to trade blockades by Canadian fishermen in New Brunswick.
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