Maine lobsters had a big year and set a record value of $725 million
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s lobster industry rebounded in 2021 and set a record $725 million for the total value of lobsters brought to the docks, which was more than $300 million from more than in 2020, state regulators said Monday.
The state’s lobster fishery, by far the largest of its kind in the United States, fell below 100 million pounds in catch in 2020 for the first time in nearly a decade and reported approximately $412 million. In 2021, about 108 million pounds were caught, the most since 2018, the Maine Department of Marine Resources said.
Lobsters were also worth more money; last year’s $725 million easily eclipsed the previous high of around $541 million in 2016.
The price per pound of lobster soared in 2021, which contributed to the record value. The price to anglers at the docks rose to $6.71 a pound, an increase of about 60% from 2020 and easily a state record. Lobsters, and seafood in general, have cost many wholesalers, retailers and consumers alike during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This good year came at a time when the American lobster industry is adjusting to new, stricter fishing restrictions intended to protect the rare North Atlantic right whales, whose population has fallen to just 336 whales in 2020. .a world-class product” during a difficult time.
“But there are many challenges ahead, and it’s important that fishers stay engaged in the management discussions that will strive to make this stock resilient for future generations,” Keliher said.
Maine’s lobster fishery is also grappling with volatile trade markets and uncertainty caused by warming oceans. The industry is facing “rising operational costs due to inflation and supply chain issues” as it adjusts to whale protections that could put fishermen out of business, said Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.
“Maine’s lobster industry is strong, but we need to work harder to make sure it stays that way,” McCarron said.
Other coastal New England states also have lobster industries, although they catch far less than Maine. The species is also heavily caught by Canadian fishermen.