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While landings saw unparalleled growth in 2012, preliminary numbers from the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) show the value of Maine lobster was down USD 3.7 million compared to 2011.

The Maine lobster catch for 2012 topped 123 million pounds — up about 18 percent from 2011 — valued at nearly USD 331 million.

“This unprecedented preliminary landings report provides us with both an opportunity and a challenge. We need to look closely at this abundant resource and address the challenges presented when supply exceeds demand, as it did this past year, resulting in a decreased overall value which affects the entire industry. To put this into perspective, in 2005, the industry landed 70 million pounds for USD 320 million,” said Patrick Keliher, DMR commissioner.

“We will be seeking input into the development of management measures that respond to abundant supply and its adverse impact statewide on boat price, particularly in the summer months. These issues are a big part of the dialogue I will be having with industry over the next month during a series of public meetings.”

The 2011 lobster landings of 104,887,598 pounds with a value of USD 334,690,345 were at the time the highest lobster landings and value ever recorded since DMR and National Marine Fisheries Service began keeping records. At that time, the pounds and value increased from 2010 levels by more than 8.6 million pounds and USD 15.7 million.

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