America's lobster industry is sending less of its catch to Canada as processing grows in New England, and the growth could have widespread ramifications for consumers who are demanding more lobster products every year.
U.S. lobstermen, clustered in the coastal New England states, have long sent a large amount of their catch to Canada's Maritime Provinces, where some two dozen companies process millions of pounds of lobster meat every year into everything from vacuum-sealed lobster meat packages to lobster pate. The processed lobster ends up in products like lobster ravioli and lobster pot pie that are growing in popularity with consumers.
But the dynamics of the processing industry are slowly changing. America exported about 69 million pounds of lobster to Canada in 2014, and the 2015 figure was less than 67 million, federal data show.
The trend comes as the lobster catch is booming, enabling the growth in processed lobster products. American fishermen set a record for lobster catch in 2012 and nearly topped it the following two years.
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