Driven By Lobster, Value of Maine Fisheries Landings Rises

May 9, 2017

Landings of finfish and shellfish in Maine accounted for over $588 million in revenue in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, and more than 39,000 jobs, according to numbers released Tuesday by NOAA Fisheries.

The total landings in Maine for 2015 were up more than $40 million compared to 2014 and up more than $112 million compared to 2013.

Rita Curtis, a NOAA Fisheries division chief for economics and social analysis, says American lobsters drive Maine fisheries.

“Maine lobster was up again, about $40 million. Prices were up we’ll say about 10 percent, more or less. Soft shell clams were up,” she says.

Curtis says, across the board, there was a lot of good news for Maine.

Nationally, U.S. fisheries contributed a little less than $208 billion in sales, a decline from nearly $214 billion in 2014, which the government stressed was a “banner year.” The number of fisheries jobs was down 12 percent to 1.6 million.

At the same time, NOAA Fisheries says that the number of U.S. stocks on the overfishing and overfished lists remains near all-time lows.