University of Maine

ME - Maine fishermen haul in $485 million catch, landings down overall

ROCKPORT — Maine lobstermen spent much of 2019 crying into their beer over a poor catch but by the end of the year, if they were crying at all, it was into a glass of Champagne.

According to the Department of Marine Resources, last year Maine’s lobster harvesters landed 100,725,013 pounds of the iconic crustacean, marking the ninth year in a row, and just the ninth year ever, that landings topped 100 million pounds. Despite a 17 percent decline in pounds landed from 2018, and notwithstanding the Trump administration’s trade disputes, the value of the catch topped $485 million. That made 2019 the fourth most lucrative in history for the lobster fishery as a result of a 20 percent increase in average price per pound paid to fishermen.

“A lot of lobstermen made a lot of money last year,” DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher said during a break at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.

Last year wasn’t good just for the lobster industry. According to figures released by DMR last Thursday morning, at $673,910,558, Maine’s 2019 commercial fisheries landings were the second most valuable since the state began keeping records. That total represented an increase of more than $26 million over 2018’s landings.

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