Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Aquatic / Fishing


  • 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.
  • Trade issues with China and Europe have caused concern, but they did not seem to impact prices at the dock, as other customers managed to fill the void.
  • The main issues going forward are the impact that herring catch levels will have on bait supply for protection of Right Whales, which could result in closures of fishing areas, or required conversion of vertical lines to some more whale-friendly format yet to be developed.


Prices are similar to this time last year, due to high catch levels, and flat demand. Larger scallops are still commanding premium prices. Permit values remain strong. The wild stock remains ample.


  • Although the stocks of many protected species of groundfish are rebuilt, regulations and quotas remain limiting for the industry.
  • Permit trading remains limited as regulations continued to ratchet down quotas and days-at-sea.
  • Prices have held steady, and the catch has been good on the species vessel owners are allowed to land.