Two years ago the economy was roaring and lobster was a popular indulgence. Not anymore. Prices have dropped 30% to 50% since then as the industry has been hit with a staggering one-two punch a bumper shellfish crop that filled fish sellers' tanks just as the economy lost its way and left consumers feeling guilty or unable when it comes to expensive meals. At Mt. Kisco Seafood in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., owner Joe Dimauro says his premium hard-shell live lobsters now fetch $13.99 a pound, down from nearly $20. "They just weren't moving," he says. "Even the restaurants that buy from us were cutting back." Soft-shell lobsters like those at Stew Leonard's and other large food retailers fell to under $5 a pound from about $10 a pound. In recent weeks, the price has been moving modestly higher a trend that will surely gain momentum if the lobster harvest returns to normal and as the economy recovers.
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