The expanding market for lobsters in China is continuing to grow, with the country setting a record for the value of its imports of the crustaceans from the United States.
American lobster was almost unheard of in most of the mainland until 2010, when the value of imports soared 250 percent to about US$7.4 million (HK$57.72 million).
Last year, China imported more than US$108 million in lobsters from America, surpassing the previous high of about US$90.2 million in 2014.
"We've opened new markets in Asia, which is booming," said Dave Cousens, president of the Maine Lobstermen's Association. "Everything is clicking now."
Chinese importers took in more than 6.35 million kilograms of US lobsters last year -- also a record -- topping the previous high of about 5.94 million kg the year before.
Interest in American lobster has climbed in other Asian countries as well, such as South Korea, which grew from less than US$5 million in imports in 2010, to nearly US$28 million last year. Vietnam's imports grew from US$142,940 to more than US$31 million in the period.
Atlantic Canada also has a large lobster fishery, and exports the same lobster species to Asia.