101-Year-Old Woman Still Harvests Lobsters the Way Her Father Taught Her Decades Ago


Virginia Oliver was just 11 years old when she started trapping lobster off the coast of Maine.

One hundred years later, she’s still at it.

The oldest lobster fisher in the state and possibly the world, Oliver still faithfully tends to her traps off the coast of Rockland, Maine with 78-year old son Max, according to the Associated Press.

At age 8 she started trapping lobsters for the first time.

Later, she began using a boat that once belonged or is now named after late husband, and bears her own name, “Virginia.”

The lobster industry has a long history on the water, and over that course of time lobsters have grown from being just another working class food to something you could call a delicacy.

Back in her youth they fetched mere cents per pound, now they are far more pricey: 28 cents per pound when she first started trapping, now the cost is 15 times that amount.

Wire traps have since replaced wooden ones, which these days sit in restaurants as decorations.

Virginia still utilizes classic techniques, however.

She still loads up pogeys, which are menhaden, also known as small fish, into traps to lure the unpredictable crustaceans in.

She still gets up early, long before the dawn, to hop into her boat and catch them as well.

Virginia’s father was a lobster dealer himself, starting around the turn of the century, and he took her on many trips.

Family friend Wayne Gray, who lives nearby, said Oliver had a brief scare a few years back after a crab snipped her finger and caused her to get seven stitches.

She remains devoted to her craft, however, even though doctors may not understand it.

Her longevity speaks for itself, as she always stays busy and keeps her mind busy as well.

“The doctor admonished her, said ‘Why are you out there lobstering?’ Gray said to the AP. “She said, ‘Because I want to’.”

Virginia still loves sitting down to a lobster dinner of her own at least once per week.

She says she has no plans to quit the profession anytime soon.

“I like doing it, I like being along the water,” she said.

“And so I’m going to keep on doing it just as long as I can.”

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