PORTLAND, Maine - California has its raisins, Florida its oranges and Vermont has maple syrup. Now, Maine's lobster industry is trying to market its brand more broadly and increase sales of what's already the state's best-known seafood.
A state law taking effect in October will raise the annual marketing budget for lobsters to more than $2.2 million, a six-fold increase. The goal is to grow demand in the U.S. and abroad, while increasing prices to help fishermen increase their income.
The law creates what's known as the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, which replaces the Maine Lobster Promotion Council.
Its budget is projected to grow from $750,000 for the current fiscal year to $1.5 million next year and $2.2 million after that. The council's budget this past year was about $370,000.