We'll take your lobsters, eh? Canadian imports from US soar

Trade hostility from across the ocean was supposed to take a snip out of the U.S. lobster business, but the industry is getting a lifeline from its northern neighbor.

Heavy demand from Canada is buoying American lobster as both countries head into the busy holiday export season, according to federal statistics and members of the industry. It’s a positive sign for U.S. seafood dealers and fishermen, even as the industry struggles with Chinese tariffs.

China emerged as a major consumer of American lobster earlier this decade, but the country slapped heavy tariffs on exports in July amid its trade kerfuffle with President Donald Trump’s administration.

Those tariffs took the wind right out of the export market into China for companies such as Gloucester-based Intershell and Mortillaro Lobster Inc. Monte Rome, owner of Intershell, said Wednesday his company recently made a major shipment of lobsters to Canada — the first since the Chinese tariffs were enacted — that he expected ultimately would end up in China

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