September 24, 2021

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American “lobster girl”, 101 years old and still fishing

Posted on Sunday 01 August 2021 at 21:28

101-year-old American Virginia Oliver has been fishing for crabs off the northeastern coast of Maine for more than nine decades, and he is not sure if he will retire.

According to local historians, the 100-year-old is the oldest professional lobster fisherman in Maine.

Three days a week, Virginia Oliver sails with her 78-year-old son Max, who helps her steer the boat named after her husband.

“I will do this … until I die,” the fisherwoman told AFP. “People tell me, why are you going? Because I like it. I’m old enough to be my own boss.”

Her friends nicknamed her Ginny, while others called her “Lobster Lady”. She has always lived in Rockland, a small town in Maine, and still lives on the street where she was born.

“Ginny is fantastic,” says David Causens, former president of the Maine Lobster Fishermen’s Association, a self-employed business.

“For as long as I can remember, Ginny has always fished, frankly,” he says.

At 3:30 in the morning, Ginny already wakes up and at 5:00, she is in the boat.

The pair have several hundred traps and work as a team to harvest precious crustaceans. Max loads the traps on the boat, while Ginny measures the crabs and bends them.

Wear fishing equipment, boots and rubber gloves and inspect each of the powerful 100-year-old lobsters to ensure they meet regulatory levels, breeding species and conserving resources at the same time.

She sometimes plays the role of captain of the boat, but avoids taking the lead when there is heavy fog.

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“She will never stop,” Max promises.

“She’s always on the move, always busy. Sometimes it makes me tired to think about it,” he explains.

At the end of the day, the crabs are brought to a coop, which allows both fishermen to get the best price.

The “woman with crabs” is not about to change her boat and her mussels to a quiet retirement life tomorrow: she says she has no plans to stop her activity.