Knowledge Exchange

News

Aquatic / Fishing

Lobster

  • 2021 was a very strong year with a record $725 million lobster harvest, and significant renewed interest in boat upgrades/building.
  • Despite the solid earnings in 2021, there is a high level of concern about the unknowns surrounding whale protection, offshore wind farm development, and the long-term health of the fishery as waters warm in the North Atlantic.

  • The industry is facing pressure to protect the endangered Northern Right Whale from extinction. A 950-square-mile area of federal waters in the Gulf of Maine was closed to lobstering from October to January. There are also requirements for significant changes to traps and lines that are scheduled to take effect on May 1, although elected officials have asked for a 2-month reprieve as fishermen are struggling to obtain the required gear.

Scallops

  •  Scallop pricing remains high. Some pressure from imports on smaller sizes has been noted. Fishing allocations for the 2022-23 season have come in with reduced catch limits, although this was expected.

Groundfish

  • Pricing for most species remains high. Landings were generally down slightly across the board last year, but this was made up for by higher prices. Permits and landing quotas restrict profits and growth. Embargoes and shipping constraints have limited imports from Russia, which has supported U.S. seafood prices.