Maine Lobster Catch Bounces Back, But Falls Short Of Previous Peak

Mar 1, 2019

Maine's lobster catch bounced back last year after dipping in 2017, but didn't reach the heights established in some recent years.

The haul was up from last year, in terms of both money and catch size, but did not reach the peak established a few years back, according to Maine's Department of Marine Resources.

Lobster landings in Maine.
Credit Maine Department of Marine Resources

 

Steve Train, a Long Island lobsterman who chairs a regional lobster board, says the last five years have been a high run, but ups and downs are expected.

 

"We can't stay at the top all the time," he says. "It would be nice but we're dealing with an environment that's dynamic. It would be nice to jump back up a little bit, but I don't think we're in a bad place any time we're over 100 million."

 

Maine lobstermen brought in more than 119 million pounds of lobster last year valued at $484.5 million, state officials say.  It was only the seventh time in history that more than 110 million pounds of Maine lobster were landed.  Officials say the total value of all marine landings in Maine last year was among the highest of all time.

 

Maine elver harvesters pocketed $21,747,190 in 2018. The total was an increase of $9.5 million, or 78 percent, over 2017. The value of Atlantic Herring placed it third overall at $16,565,907. A recent member survey from the Maine Lobstermen's Association found that 82 percent of members are concerned that herring quota cuts will lead to broad economic crisis for the industry.

 

In a press release, Maine Gov. Janet Mills said that “this industry is the cornerstone of Maine’s coastal economy, and the value of this year’s catch reflects the dedication and sacrifices of the men and women who work on the water and those who make sure this quality product gets to market.”

This post will be updated.