Presents a dilemma facing one of the largest lobster wholesalers in the fishing village of Vinalhaven, Maine. Lobster prices were lowest in the last months of the year before the lobsters migrated to deeper waters and were harder to catch, but raised quickly to an annual high in March. Owner Bob Brown had recently purchased three lobster pounds, which together held up to 180,000 pounds of lobster. In these penned-in areas, lobsters can be nurtured for up to six months before the risk of disease becomes too great, and having multiple pounds reduces the risk of disease for the entire inventory. Prices had been holding above average, but Brown knew that early-season prices held no guarantee about prices later in the year. He has to decide how many of the pounds to open up for the season, whether to install an aeration system in one or more of his pounds, when to start putting lobsters into the pounds, how many to hold, and how long to keep them.
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