Maine’s lobster catch boosted state’s marine resources to $631 million value in 2015
The value of Maine’s marine resources reached an all-time high of USD 631 million (EUR 575 million) in 2015, up USD 33 million (EUR 30 million) from 2014, due in large part to record earnings in the lobster industry.
Data released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources listed the lobster industry as valued at USD 495 million (EUR 450 million), with bonuses paid to harvested increasing the total landing value of Maine’s lobster fishery to USD $511 million (EUR 465 million).
With landings over 121 million lbs, 2015 marked the fourth year in a row in which Maine lobster harvesters landed more than 120 million lbs. The per-pound average of lobster in Maine increased by more than 10 percent from 2014, going from USD 3.70 (EUR 3.36) per pound in 2014 to USD 4.09 (EUR 3.72) per pound in 2015.
“This past year saw a continuation of steady and historic lobster landings throughout the season. The increase in value reflects growing demand for Maine lobster,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
Maine’s softshell clam industry, valued at USD 22.5 million (EUR 20.4 million), was Maine’s second-most-valuable fishery in 2015, the same place it occupied in 2014. While per-pound values were up 23 percent over 2014, the fishery registered a drop in landings of 1 million lbs.
Ranked third-most lucrative for Maine in 2015 was its herring fishery, valued at USD 13 million (EUR 11.8 million). Maine’s elver fishery recorded an USD 11.4 million (EUR 10.3 million) value for 2015, nearly USD 3 million more than 2014.
Commissioner Keliher said diversifying Maine’s marine industries base was key to the future of the state’s economy.
“While this year’s value and landings are great news for our coastal economy, we also recognize that lobster represents more than 81 percent of the overall value of our commercial fisheries,” Keliher said. “It shows that we all must be working hard to build and sustain our commercial fisheries and to create more diverse opportunity, be it with traditional commercial fisheries or an expanding the role of aquaculture. This work is critical to ensure we can adapt to changes in landings and value in future years."
More landings data from the Maine Department of Marine can be found at http://www.maine.gov/dmr/comfish.htm.