Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Aquatic / Fishing


  • While statistics for the 2019 season are not yet available, 2018 turned out to be a good year for the Maine lobster industry.
  • The value of the catch was the second highest on record at $485.4 million.
  • Despite a continued strong catch, there are issues that concern the industry. (i.e. trade issues with China and Europe continue which has shifted sales from the U.S. to Canada.)
  • Reduced herring catch levels will impact bait supply, and there is a great deal of concern related to the protection of the endangered Right Whale, which could result in closures of fishing areas, or required conversion of vertical lines to some more whale-friendly format yet to be developed.
  • The lobster population continues to move northward as the waters in the gulf of Maine get warmer. 


  • Scallop prices have held up well and stocks look good.
  • Larger scallops are still commanding premium prices.
  • Permit values remain strong. 


  • Although the stocks of many protected species of groundfish are rebuilt, regulations and quotas remain limiting for the industry.
  • On April 14-15 the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) met by webinar to postpone consideration of Groundfish Monitoring Amendment 23, which would have been a complete overhaul of the industry’s groundfish monitoring program. NEFMC is considering steps it can take to assist those in the groundfish and scallop fisheries.