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Maine's fishermen brought in seafood valued at a record-breaking $891M last year

Maine Daily Life Pogy Fishing
Robert F. Bukaty
Fishermen on Capt. Tim Bayley's vessel "Persistence" haul in a purse seine net full of pogies on Casco Bay, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, off Portland, Maine. The pogies will be used as bait by lobster fishermen.

Last year Maine's fishermen and women brought in seafood valued at a record-breaking $891 million dollars — 20% higher than the previous record. The Department of Marine Resources says the value of the 2021 haul also signaled the massive bounce-back of seafood harvests and prices after the pandemic-damaged 2020.

Lobsters, clams, elvers and oysters, in that order, were the highest valued harvests last year. Lobster remained by far Maine's biggest fishery, with prices at the dock averaging an unprecedented $6.71, which drove the value of Maine's lobster fishery to more than $730 million.

Lobstermen continued to see high prices hovering around $11 a pound through mid-March this year, although that's moderated more recently.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.