December 8, 2021

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Only The Finest Women

Maine Woman, 101, Still Hauling Lobster : NPR

Virginia Oliver, age 101, measuring and banding lobsters on her son Max Oliver’s boat, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, off Rockland, Maine. The state’s oldest lobster harvester has been carrying out it because prior to WWII.

Robert F. Bukaty/AP


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Robert F. Bukaty/AP


Virginia Oliver, age 101, measuring and banding lobsters on her son Max Oliver’s boat, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, off Rockland, Maine. The state’s oldest lobster harvester has been accomplishing it because in advance of WWII.

Robert F. Bukaty/AP

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) — When Virginia Oliver started trapping lobster off Maine’s rocky coast, Planet War II was a lot more than a ten years in the potential, the digital visitors signal was a recent creation and couple of women of all ages were harvesting lobsters.

Just about a century afterwards, at age 101, she’s nevertheless undertaking it. The oldest lobster fisher in the condition and possibly the oldest a person in the environment, Oliver continue to faithfully tends to her traps off Rockland, Maine, with her 78-12 months-aged son Max.

Oliver commenced trapping lobsters at age 8, and these times she catches them using a boat that the moment belonged to her late spouse and bears her personal title, the “Virginia.” She explained she has no intention to stop, but she is worried about the health and fitness of Maine’s lobster inhabitants, which she explained is subject to large fishing stress these days.

“I have done it all my life, so I may as properly continue to keep undertaking it,” Oliver mentioned.

The lobster marketplace has altered around the class of Oliver’s several many years on the drinking water, and lobsters have grown from a performing class food items to a delicacy. The lobsters fetched 28 cents a pound on the docks when she first beginning trapping them now, it truly is 15 periods that. Wire traps have replaced her beloved outdated picket ones, which these days are made use of as kitsch in seafood restaurants.

Other features, although, are remarkably very similar. She’s nevertheless loading pogeys — lobster-converse for menhaden, a small fish — into traps to entice the crustaceans in. And she’s continue to getting up extensive in advance of dawn to get on the boat and do it.

She was destined for this everyday living, in some strategies. Her father was a lobster vendor, setting up all over the change of the century, and instilled a really like of the company in Oliver, who would join him on excursions.

Wayne Gray, a household pal who life nearby, stated Oliver had a quick scare a couple of a long time ago when a crab snipped her finger and she had to get 7 stitches. She hardly ever even thought of hanging up her lobster traps, though.

“The health practitioner admonished her, mentioned ‘Why are you out there lobstering?'” Grey mentioned. “She claimed, ‘Because I want to’.”

Soon after all these a long time, Oliver however gets energized about a lobster evening meal of her individual and typically fixes just one for herself about when a 7 days. And she has no designs to stop lobstering any time shortly.

“I like accomplishing it, I like becoming together the water,” she said. “And so I am heading to preserve on doing it just as extensive as I can. “