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Plummeting prices don't help

The lobster fishery has had some very, very good years

— but also some tough ones — from the mid-1980s right up to 2007, when lobsters were fetching as much as $12 a pound wholesale at the dock. This summer, lobstermen have been getting $2.50 a pound, a 19-year low.

That, plus a doubling of the cost of the herring lobstermen use as bait and high diesel prices, have thrown a wrench into the lobstering business this year. But Maine Marine Patrol Maj. John Fetterman doesn’t think that’s the only — or even the major — cause of the recent escalation in violence.

“It’s a factor, but it’s one of many,” he says. Include personal vendettas and family feuds among them.

See related articles:

- Lobster wars: 'Good people' doing bad things

- There's a heroic side to the alleged shooter

- Three boats are sunk in second dispute

This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issue.