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.
    • 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.