“Over time, we’ve done such a good job with our resource, that there are tons of lobsters, both big and small,” claims lobsterman, Damon Frampton aboard his 42-foot boat, a Main Way, named Vivian Mae after his youngest of 4 daughters. For Damon, family comes first. He has been married to his wife Theresa for 25 years. Born and raised in Newcastle, Damon has been lobstering on his own for 19 years and 25 years before that. Before he became a full-time lobsterman, at 18, Damon, a certified diver went to school in Houston, Texas for underwater welding demolition. However, he quickly gave it up deciding it was not worth the danger for such little pay and so he returned to what he knew: lobsters.
Damon pulls around 350 of his 1,200 traps five days a week throughout the New Hampshire waters year-round. For him a satisfying day’s catch consists of hauling in 500-600 lbs. of lobster, and when asked what a good day lobstering looks like he states, “Every day’s a good day when you’re on the water.” When not lobstering, he can be found road biking or camping at his family’s site in Ossipee, NH and he helps to promote the NH Fresh and Local Seafood label the best he can.
Within the local fishing community, Damon Frampton is considered an activist; continually working to innovate and improve the way New Hampshire’s local catch is utilized. With more lobsters being landed than ever before, profits and revenues continued to decline within the industry. Damon soon decided to begin his own business to help better the NH seacoast’s lobster market, diving head first into the field of distributing and processing, territory previously unfamiliar to him. In 2009, Damon, a licensed seafood dealer began his own lobster pound, Portsmouth Lobster Company, with the success of the local lobstermen in mind. An increase in the undesirable one-clawed lobsters known as culls began to bring down the price of lobstermen’s catch. Around the time he opened the lobster pound Damon met Dave Hickman. Damon and Dave partnered up and together found a way to add value to these undervalued specimens. Together with Dave Hickman and Dover, New Hampshire’s Terra Cotta Pasta Company, the lobster ravioli was born. Portsmouth Lobster Company successfully began producing the ravioli, distributing them throughout the region to local markets and stores, like Seaport Fish of Rye and Whole Foods, as well as several local restaurants such as the group of locally owned restaurants, The Common Man. Though the Portsmouth Lobster Pound itself has since closed due to economics and a lack of time to run it, Damon and Dave continue to produce the lobster ravioli as well as scallop ravioli, (scallops being his favorite kind of seafood to eat) lobster corn chowder and they are currently working on a Pollock fish stick. To New Hampshire seafood consumers Frampton says, “Support your local fishermen.” For now Damon holds on to his next big idea, a high quality fish stick made with pollock and other under-utilized fish that would otherwise go to waste.