STONINGTON — Although news in the industry was generally grim, matching the national economy, 2009 was a good year for Stonington fishermen.
In a report on the status of the fishing industry released last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service ranked the top 50 ports in the United States, both by volume and value of landings, in 2009. Thanks primarily to the high value of its lobster landings, Stonington was ranked 31st among U.S. ports in terms of landed value. A year earlier, Stonington was ranked 48th.
Last year, fishermen in Stonington had landings valued at $26.5 million. That represents a 72 percent increase from the $15.4 million landed value of the port’s catch reported in 2008.
Although fishermen land some crab, shrimp and halibut in Stonington, lobsters represent the vast majority of landings in terms of value. According to still preliminary figures released by the Maine Department Marine Resources (DMR), lobster landings in Stonington totaled some 8.5 million pounds last year. The landed value of the catch was just over $24 million, representing an average boat price of $2.83 per pound.
According to the fisheries service, total landings in Stonington during 2009 were some 14.8 million pounds. That represents a nearly 15 percent decline from the 17.4 million pounds landed the previous year.
The drop in landings volume left Stonington ranked 45th among U.S. ports. A year earlier, the island port ranked 39th in the nation.
For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.