Back in February, I wrote about the closing of the last remaining sardine cannery in the US. Bumble Bee Foods, citing a reduction in US herring catch limits, shut the former Stinson Cannery in April. It was a big blow to the town of Prospect Harbor, where unemployment is high. It was big news at the time - sardine canneries were once a huge part of the New England economy, especially in Maine - and the story was widely reported at the time.
The former Stinson cannery is in the news again, although this time it's not attracting nearly as much attention (probably because it's good news this time.) Live Lobster Company of Chelsea MA has agreed to purchase the plant with an eye toward expanding its operations into processed lobster.
For now, the company wants to use the plant as a purchasing station for locally-caught bugs, and they want to begin operations as soon as possible with lobster buying and bait sales. The company's primary business is live lobster wholesaling to customers in Europe, Asia, and the United States, but the availability of the cannery has presented them with an opportunity to expand into processed lobster sales.
Eventually, Live Lobster Co. expects to have about 130 employees at the Prospect Harbor plant (the same number of jobs lost when Bumble Bee moved out.) And because the lobster catch is seasonal (June through November) they plan to expand into shrimp and crab canning as well, to keep their employees working year-round.