Still hauling lobsters at 101

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) — When Virginia Oliver started trapping lobster off Maine’s rocky coast, World War II was more than a decade in the future, the electronic traffic signal was a recent invention and few women were harvesting lobsters.

Nearly a century later, at age 101, she’s still doing it. The oldest lobster fisher in the state and possibly the oldest one in the world, Oliver still faithfully tends to her traps off Rockland, Maine, with her 78-year-old son Max.

Oliver started trapping lobsters at age eight, and these days she catches them using a boat that once belonged to her late husband and bears her own name, the “Virginia”. She said she has no intention to stop.”I’ve done it all my life, so I might as well keep doing it,” Oliver said.

She’s still loading pogeys — lobster-speak for menhaden, a small fish — into traps to lure the crustaceans in. And she’s still getting up long before dawn to get on the boat and do it.

She was destined for this life, in some ways. Her father was a lobster dealer, starting around the turn of the century, and instilled a love of the business in Oliver, who would join him on trips.

“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. “

Virginia Oliver, 101, works as a sternman, measuring and banding lobsters on her son Max Oliver’s boat PHOTO: AP