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Coronavirus outbreak could lead to lower lobster prices in Florida

Posted: 3:18 PM, Feb 17, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-27 11:11:04-05
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NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — The coronavirus outbreak in China may be good news for lobster lovers here in Florida.

"For the next month or so, we can enjoy lobster for a reasonable price," said Steve Gyland, the owner of Cod & Capers Seafood Marketplace and Café in North Palm Beach.

There are six weeks left in Florida's spiny lobster season, which ends on March 31.

Gyland said a majority of Florida lobster fishermen sell their lobsters to China, and the demand overseas has dramatically risen over the past few years.

"The fishermen went from getting an average of $5 to $6 a pound to getting, during the Chinese New Year, as much as $20 a pound for lobster," said Gyland.

However, because many flights to China have been suspended over the coronavirus outbreak, Gyland said Florida fishermen are unable to ship their seafood to China, and therefor have an overabundance of lobsters that they need to get rid of.

"Now the guys that can’t ship to China, they're getting what they are really worth in this market," said Gyland.

Gyland added market value in South Florida is about $10 per pound, a lower price that's being passed onto consumers.

"As they have this overage of lobsters, the consumer in South Florida and the Keys will be able to take advantage of a good savings," said Gyland.

Gyland said it's unclear exactly how much of a savings we can expect and for how long.