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2012 Landings Increase 10 Percent Over 2011, Value Increases by 20 Percent

Recently issued 2012 reports for Maine’s commercially harvested marine resources reveal a 10 percent increase in pounds landed and a 20 percent increase in value over 2011. Reports compiled by the Maine Department of Marine Resources show that as of February 19, 2013 314,989,031 pounds with a boat price of $521,533,430 were landed in Maine in 2012.

The reports are still considered preliminary as the department continues to receive and audit landings data throughout the year.

The increase in pounds is primarily credited to a growth in lobster and farmed salmon landings for 2012. The Department also attributes most of the 20 percent upturn in value to the increase in salmon landings and to an increase in elver prices, which hit a record high of $2,600 per pound last year due in large part to surging demand in Asia.

Preliminary 2012 reports indicate that 126,091,174 pounds of lobster with a value of $338,942,522 were landed, which are the highest lobster landings and value recorded since DMR and National Marine Fisheries Service began keeping records. The pounds and value increased over 2011 by more than 21 million pounds and $4 million.

However, the average price-per-pound of $2.69 for 2012 was the lowest on record since 1994. For reference, 2011 landings were 104,896,584 pounds with a value of $334,716,325 and $3.19 per pound.

The department also reports that there were 7,266 active Maine commercial fishermen in 2012. Of those, 4,288 were active commercial lobster harvesters out of 5,963 lobster license holders. The top five fisheries in terms of active harvesters included soft shell clams with 1,709, marine worms with 689, periwinkles with 648, and elvers with 565.

The species with the greatest increases compared with 2011 pounds and value include alewives, groundfish, eels and scallops. The species with the greatest decreases compared to 2011 landings in terms of pounds and value include crabs, spiny dogfish and worms. Urchins and mussels saw a decline in pounds landed and shrimp and Mahogany quahogs saw a decline in value.

Landings report data are available on the Maine Department of Marine Resources website at http://www.maine.gov/dmr/comfish.htm.

February 28, 2013