The Shellfish Wars: Lobsters, Shoalies, Olys, Atlantics and Pacifics vie for supremacy

untitled maine lobster in vancouverIf you’ve ever idly wondered why lobsters are such a big deal in New England and Maritime Canada but haven’t gained a claw-hold at our similar latitude in the Pacific, you’re not unique — the question has come up since at least the 1880s. Among many instances of European-Americans endeavoring to reconfigure the West Coast’s animals, plants and landforms to our liking, efforts to establish lobsters here have to be counted as a failure … so far. In 1888 two shipments totaling 565 adult lobsters and 104,000 fry were planted off the Pacific coast between Monterey Bay and the Strait of Juan Fuca. “What the result of this will be can be conjectured, but cannot be definitely determined until after the lapse of sufficient time to give the lobsters an opportunity to grow and multiply,” J.W. Collins told Congress in his landmark “Report on the Fisheries of the Pacific Coast of the United States.” Already naturally providing such a delicious bounty of seafood options, the natural spirits of the North Pacific must have concluded this attempt was human hubris of the worst sort, and slapped it down. But we didn’t give up. Read the rest here 15:06

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