Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Aquatic / Fishing

Lobster

  • Prices were below the 5-year average for much of 2020, due to the loss of restaurant markets. However, since August, prices have risen significantly and are now 15% above the 5-year average and in line with 2019 levels.
  • Trade issues continue, which has put Canada in a more favorable position to capture export market share. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a negative impact on lobster exports, both due to demand destruction as well as the decline in airfreight capacity. 2020 shipments were down sharply from 2019.
  • Issues surrounding the endangered Northern Right Whale continue to concern the lobster industry. Both Maine and Massachusetts have been working to propose fishing gear changes that will protect the remaining Right Whales. However, no conclusion has been reached yet. Massachusetts has proposed restricting lobstering in state waters through May.
  • Federal relief funds were made available to lobster fishermen through the Seafood Trade Relief Program, which paid $0.50/lb for lobster based on 2019 landings. The program is administered by the USDA, and signups continue through January 15, 2021.

Scallops

  • Scallop prices have held up well. They are seeing over $15/lb. for 20-30 scallops which is very high. The trend the last couple of years shows high pricing from October – February (cold weather months). Some fisherman are shifting their Days-At-Sea to favor those months.

Groundfish

  • Regulations and quotas remain limiting for the industry. Prices have suffered due to COVID restrictions on restaurants.

Aquaculture

  •  In our territory, these producers are highly dependent on foodservice sales and thus have suffered due to COVID-related restaurant closures.