Maine fisheries value jumps USD 2m in 2013
Recently issued 2013 reports for Maine’s commercially harvested marine resources reveal an increase in value of more than USD 2 million (EUR 1.45 million) over 2012 but a decrease in volume landed by more than 15 million pounds.
The reports are still considered preliminary as the department continues to receive and audit landings data throughout the year.
Lobsters, the state’s most lucrative fishery, experienced another year of record landings and value. At 125,953,876 pounds lobster landings were the second highest on record since the Department of Natural Resources (DMR) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) began keeping records.
In addition, the per pound value increased by USD 0.20 (EUR 0.15) from USD 2.69 (EUR 1.95) to USD 2.89 (EUR 2.10).
“While an increase in price per pound is a good sign, it is still the second lowest since 1995, which underscores the importance of the efforts of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative,” said Patrick Keliher, DMR commissioner.
The preliminary report indicates that the total landed value for Maine lobster in 2013 was USD 364 million (EUR 264.5 million), a USD 22 million (EUR 16 million) increase over 2012 and USD 30 million (EUR 21.8 million) over 2011.
Another bright spot for Maine’s commercial fishing industry is the report of an increase in scallop landings of 138,136 meat pounds (without the shell), from 286,411 to 424,547, which resulted in an increase in landed value of more than USD 2 million.
“This is a true success story in Maine’s commercial fishing industry,” said Keliher. “It is the result of a forward looking management plan combined with the sacrifices of Maine’s commercial scallop harvesters. I’m tremendously proud of the work of our science and policy staff which has worked diligently to ensure that this resource is managed for a sustainable future.”
While the decrease in overall landings is attributed in large part to a more than 4 million pound decline in shrimp landings from the previous season, the decrease in pounds landed is also attributed to a decline in farmed salmon landings.
The department reported that there were 7,320 commercial fishermen in 2013, of those 4,239 were active commercial lobster harvesters. The top five fisheries in terms of active commercial harvesters were lobster, soft shell clams with 1,749, eel with 759, and marine worms with 652 and periwinkles with 613.