ROCKPORT, Maine — Maine Lobstermen hauled in more than 119 million pounds of lobster in 2018, an encouraging sign after the catch dropped off the previous year.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources released its annual landings report showing the 2018 catch increased over the 2017 landings by about 8 million pounds.
The value of those lobsters at the dock was over $484.5 million also a jump from the year before.
The information is welcome news as lobster harvesters and others gather at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport. The catch is still well below the record high from 2016, but with dock prices averaging around $4 per pound, according to DMR, most fishermen still had a profitable year.
The lobster fishery faces significant challenges in 2019 particularly from a sharp cut in the allowable catch of herring, a prime source of bait, and the threat of new restrictions on traps and rope to protect right whales.