Lobster Landings Surge, Settlement Declines
by Laurie Schreiber
ROCKPORT—What’s going on?
That’s the crux of the question among lobster scientists, who are trying to figure out why lobster landings continue to increase despite decreases in settlement of “young of the year” lobsters, as they’re called.
According to a press release from the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), issued March 3, 2016 marked the first year ever that Maine lobster harvesters landed over 130 million pounds, with a total of 130,844,773 pounds. It was also the fifth year in a row in which Maine lobster harvesters landed over 120 million pounds.
The fishery also saw a jump in value by more than $30 million, adding up to a record $533,094,366. When factoring in bonuses paid to harvesters by 14 of Maine’s 19 lobster co-ops, the overall landed value of Maine’s lobster fishery reached $547,249,010.