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March 6, 2023

Value of Maine's lobster catch hits a 10-year low in 2022

Courtesy / University of Maine The value of Maine's lobster catch was $388.6 million for 2022, down from a record of $742.2 million in 2021.

Maine lobstermen in 2022 landed the least valuable catch they've seen since 2013, according to the Department of Marine Resources, bringing in product valued at $388.6 million, down from $742.2 million in 2021.

The per-pound value of $3.97 was on par with the average boat price of the past decade, but a significant reduction from the all-time high of $6.71 per pound in 2021.  

"The 2022 lobster landings were very much in line with what the lobster industry expected," said Patrice McCarron, policy director at the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. "2022 was a difficult year financially for lobstermen. Boat price was extremely low so lobstermen took fewer trips in an effort to keep costs down and stretch profits. We are hopeful that the economy has stabilized and that lobster prices will improve in 2023."

The number of pounds harvested in 2022 also dropped when compared to 2021. Lobstermen brought in 97 million pounds of lobster in 2022, compared to 110 million in 2021.

The last time the lobster catch was valued at less than $400 million was in 2013, when it was $370.4 million, a record value at that time.   

The Mills Administration blamed the rising costs of fuel and bait and a decrease in the price per pound for the year-to-year decrease.

“Maine’s lobstermen were facing tremendous uncertainty about their future last year over pending federal whale regulations, compounded by the high costs for bait and fuel,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “Yet they still brought to shore nearly 100 million pounds of quality Maine lobster, which reflects this industry’s resilience when confronted with a difficult and dynamic economic environment.”

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March 11, 2023

Dear Janet… would you like to buy my lobster boat? We’re only resilient because we’re making huge sacrifices… doesn’t mean we want to be broke!!

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