Maine lobstermen are talking about tying up their boats, and dealers are suggesting they haul fewer traps to get prices back up as the global economic crisis sends shivers through the state’s signature industry.

The wholesale price of Maine lobster has plunged more than 20 percent in the past week to as little as $2.60 per pound in some harbors. Dealers say the international credit crisis has effectively shut off orders from major processors in Canada.

Meanwhile, consumers are losing their appetite for lobster as they watch the financial markets fall.

Demand is down just as Maine enters its peak lobster season. Near-record prices for fuel and bait aren’t helping lobstermen either.