Latest Landings Figures Paint Grim Picture for Lobstermen



HALLOWELL — The news is in and it isn’t good.

Last week, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) released preliminary landings figures for the state’s 2008 lobster fishery. Seen in black and white, the numbers make for grim reading.

Last year, Maine lobstermen landed 67,355,098 pounds of lobster and sold their catch for $235,577,440. That sounds like a lot of money, but for lobstermen challenged by the high price of bait, diesel fuel and insurance, it wasn’t enough.

Although they landed nearly 3 million pounds more last year than in 2007, Maine lobstermen saw the value of last year’s catch drop almost $50 million compared with the previous year. The average boat price — the price fishermen get when they sell to a lobster dealer or co-op — dropped like a stone.

In 2007, the average price was about $4.43. Last year, fishermen got about $3.50, on average, for every pound of lobster they brought ashore — a 21 percent decline.

For more waterfront news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

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