TENANTS HARBOR — Sea Hag Seafood Inc. opened its doors this week, marking the start-up of Maine’s newest lobster processing plant. 

The plant, which is running a crew of about 20 people, processed 3,000 pounds of lobster on Thursday and has 4,500 pounds to do Friday, according to Sea Hag President and Chief Executive Kyle Murdock.

The Tenants Harbor plant has the capacity to process 40,000 pounds per day — 4.8 million pounds in a five-month season. Eventually, the plant could have more than 100 workers. Processors get paid $8 an hour to start during a training period, and will make roughly $9.50 an hour after that.

The arrival of Sea Hag comes during a season that has seen the lowest prices paid for lobster in 30 years and protests in Canada about the low boat prices. Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage has talked about the need to bolster processing capacity in the state rather than shipping the bulk of the business to Canada.

Seventy-five percent of the lobster catch in the United States and Canada gets processed, rather than sold live, and Canada controls more than 90 percent of the processing market, according to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine.

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