PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's fishing industry set a state record for the value of seafood species brought to the docks in 2021.
Maine is one of the most important commercial fishing states in the country, in part because it's home to by far the largest lobster fishing industry. The Maine Department of Marine Resources said Monday the value of commercially harvested species in 2021 was more than $890 million.
The previous record of more than $733 million was set in 2016. The increased value of several seafood products in 2021 helped the state set the record. Lobster harvesters earned nearly 60% more at the docks for their catch in 2021 than in 2020. That fishery alone was worth more than $730 million last year.
Soft-shell clams, oysters and scallops also saw increases in value. Baby eels, which are important as seed stock for Asian aquaculture companies, also saw a big jump in per-pound value.
“On the heels of a global pandemic that has challenged every link in the supply chain, the men and women who harvest, cultivate, process and sell seafood from Maine continue to ensure that the highest quality products find their way to market," Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement.