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Maine's Lobster Catch Is Off By 40 Percent From Last Year

Preliminary data show that Maine’s lobster catch is well behind last year’s pace.

Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher told the American Lobster Management board on Monday that at the end of September, the harvest was about 40 percent lower than the year before and between 35 and 40 percent off the five-year average.

Most of the harvest takes place between June and November. Marine Resources spokesperson Jeff Nichols says a full review of landings data will be done at the end of the year, but that the lower numbers may be due in part to the cost and availability of bait and lobsters shedding their shells later than usual.

“The shed is when lobsters move inshore, where the majority of fishermen in Maine actually fish,” he says.

Nichols says more work will be done to fully understand this year’s lobster numbers, and a landings report will be issued some time in March.