Probably the most important rule in lobstering is to respect and obey the regulations. and rule #1 is to be very careful when choosing a female lobster. Once you know its big enough, you need to make sure its not an egg-bearing female (pregnant) and that it hasn’t been for some time and luckily it’s pretty easy to tell on a lobster. If a female is pregnant, the tail will be littered in eggs. If they are new eggs, it is called a “green-egger”. And if they are reddish-brown, it is called a “brown-egger” like this lady we found.
There can be 1,000 – 100,000 eggs in there and there is no way i am going to be responsible for a lobster massacre. If a female is identified as a pregnant-bearing female by a commercial lobsterman, he or she will use a special tool and cut a “V” into the tip of the second fin to the right on the tail. This is called “V-notching” and is a common practice in the industry. This can protect the lobster for approximately 5 years before it molts and grows enough to heal its notch.
The prized Maine Lobsters only exist along the shores of New England and Eastern Canada and that’s a really small area when you compare that to other foods. There are no lobster farms out there and frankly, I’m glad about that. That means every lobster you encounter was pulled in and hand picked and approved by a lobsterman somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean and it is my responsibility to insure I don’t screw up a very sensitive crop.