Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "commercial fisheries"

Alewife Landings

Alewife Landings 1950-2011

Alewife landings crashed in 1981 and have yet to recover to any of the 1950-1980 levels.  While both the catch and value were depressed through 2000, more recent years have shown a rise in total value and price per pound. … Continue reading

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Atlantic Pollock Landings

Atlantic Pollock Landings 1950-2011

From 1950 to about 1974, commercial fishermen saw relatively low total value and prices per pound when landing American Pollock.  Then the landings increased and so did the total value and the per pound price. As the big landings began … Continue reading

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Atlantic Redfish

Acadian Redfish Landings 1950-2011

The once substantial landings of Atlantic Redfish by commercial fishermen began a severe, and as yet unending, decline, in 1962.  The many years of landings exceeding 60 million pounds has ended, with recent catches well below 200,000 pounds. The higher … Continue reading

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Blue Mussel Harvests

Blue Mussel Harvest 1950-2011

Prior to the mid-1970’s, blue mussel harvests in commercial fishing were relatively low.  Since then harvests appear to follow cycles, with higher yields in the late 1980’s, the mid-1990’s and the mid-2000’s.  Higher total values followed a similar trend.  “Whole … Continue reading

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Clam Harvests

Softshell Clam Landings Top Ten Towns 2011

While softshell clam landings by commercial fishermen are down from their peaks in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, the total value and price per pound have increased dramatically.  Some of the limits on clam harvests are a result of periodic … Continue reading

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Cusk Landings

Cusk-Price-per-Pound-1950-2011.png

After declining in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the landings of cusk by commercial fishermen rebounded, reaching a peak in 1985.  After another short decline, another peak appeared in 1993, followed by declining landings ever since. As the landings declined, the … Continue reading

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Dogfish Landings

Dogfish Landings 1973-2011

After two closures since 1964, a productive skate fishery still eludes commercial fishermen in Maine. The trendline in the Price per Pound chart is not very informative due to the erratic nature of the landings. YEAR POUNDS VALUE PRICE/LB 1964 … Continue reading

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Eastport

Location Map for Eastport

is on Moose Island at the end of a peninsular surrounded by Cobscook Bay and Passamaquoddy Bay. See video and photos. Visited by European fishermen and traders in the 1600’s, the area was settled in 1772. A proposed oil refinery was rejected based on concerns about oil spills and environmental threats. Once a fish canning center (the first sardine cannery in the U.S. opened in 1875), the city struggles against its isolated location. The historic downtown has undergone substantial restoration. Continue reading

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Economic Data

Agriculture Number of farms and acreage since 1930 Agricultural Subsidies Paid to Maine Farms 1999-2001 Labor Force Employment by Industrial Sector Employment by Top 50 Employers Labor Force, Employed and Unemployed Since 1976 Unemployment Rate: US, New England, Maine Since … Continue reading

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Gulf of Maine

Gulf of Maine Currents

The Gulf of Maine extends from Cape Cod in Massachusetts, to the coasts of New Hampshire, Maine, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, and to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. An important part of the Gulf is Casco Bay, which … Continue reading

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Haddock Landings

Haddock Landings 1950-2011

After declining from 1950 through 1973, landings of haddock by commercial fishermen rebounded sharply to a peak of over 5 million pounds in 1983.  However, an equally sharp decline has left the fishery far from the heady days of the … Continue reading

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Halibut Landings

Halibut Landings 1950-2011

The volume of halibut landings taken by commercial fishermen has never recovered from the relatively large numbers of the 1950s and 1960s.  Following some good years in the 1980s, landings dropped sharply and have yet to recover. The shortage of … Continue reading

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Herring Landings

Herring Landings 1950-2011

While still below the highs of the 1950s and early 1960s, Atlantic herring landings by commercial fishermen have been relatively consistent since the early 1990s in a range of 75 to 95 million pounds.  See this movie clip, about 1940, … Continue reading

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Jonesport

Map of Maine showing the location of Jonesport. Green areas are unorganized territories.

The town hosts a U.S. Coast Guard station, headquartered at the entrance to the Jonesport-Beals Bridge. See video and photos. The main village, a lobster fishing center, is located on Moosabec Reach and the Indian River. Two nature preserves are in the town, both on islands. A bridge across the Reach leads to the island community of Beals. Continue reading

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Lobster Landings

Lobster Landings 1950-2011

After almost forty years of basically flat lobster landings at about 20,000,000 pounds, the catch has trended upward since 1990.  While the value has increased consistently in current dollars, its rate of increased accelerated with higher catch figures. Landings vary … Continue reading

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Lobster Landings by Location

County Lobster Landngs 2011

Lobster landings occur all along Maine’s long coastline.  Stonington in Hancock County is by far the port receiving the largest amount and value of this commercial fishery. Lobster’s $435 million plus ex-vessel value accounted for 77% of the total value … Continue reading

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Mahogany Quahog Harvests

Mahogany Quahog Harvests 1984-2011

Mahogany Quahog (also known as “mahogany clams” or “hardshell clams”) harvests by commercial fishermen, in recent times, peaked in 1986.  A drop in the mid-1990s recovered for about ten years, then dipped to about $2.5 million in recent years. Since … Continue reading

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Monkfish Landings

Monkfish Landings 1974-2011

Commercial fishermen who harvest monkfish, also known as American goosefish, have had substantial landings for most of the period 1974 through 2011.  However, the recent rapid decline since the peak in 2005 is troubling and may signal several year of … Continue reading

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Northern Quahog Harvests

Northern Quahog Harvests 1984-2011

Harvesting Northern Quahogs by commercial fishermen has been a rocky business over the period for which data is available. (Gaps are related to quota regulations to protect the resource.) Otherwise known as “hard clams,” these shellfish are sometimes completely absent … Continue reading

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Periwinkle Harvests

Periwinkle Harvest 1950-2011

Historically low periwinkle harvests by commercial fishermen (averaging about 118,000 pounds per year) suddenly spiked in 1989 to 3.8 million pounds, then crashed to a level since 1993 of averaging about 616,000 pounds. In a narrow range of 6 to … Continue reading

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Scallop Landings

Scallop Landings 1950-2011

Scallop landing by commercial fishermen spiked in 1961 and in 1991, followed in each case by years of reduced landings. Total value was low from 1950 through 1970, regardless of the volume of meat obtained.  Since 1970 total value has … Continue reading

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Skate Landings

Skate Landings 1973-2011

Since 1973 the commercial fishery for skate had two, short lived, peaks.  It  has yet to recover from the decline that began in 1995.  The retuen had been modest at best, reaching $.25 per pound briefly.   YEAR POUNDS VALUE … Continue reading

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Urchin Harvests

Urchin Harvest 1964-2011

Once little exploited by commercial fishermen, urchin harvesting began in earnest in the mid-1980s. After reaching a peak in 1993, harvests declined to less than one-tenth of that in the peak year, with the total value falling in step. As … Continue reading

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White Hake Landings

White Hake Landings 1950-2011

From 1950 through 2005, commercial fishermen have taken an average of 4.5 million pounds of white hake per year. Since 2005 that average has dropped to 1 million pounds, lower than any other period since 1950. Begginning in 1985 the … Continue reading

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Winter Flounder Landings

Winter Flounder Landings 1950-2011

The boom and bust cycle of winter flounder landings by commercial fishermen has “busted” after a peak in 1982. With the scarcity, price per pound had been climbing until the fishery was closed in 2007. According to NOAA’s FishWatch program, … Continue reading

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Witch Flounder Landings

Witch Flounder Landings 1950-2011

Commercial fishermen are landing fewer pounds of Witch Flounder than ever since 1950.  Very high unusual landings in the 1980s have been followed by a severe decline that has practically eliminated the fishery. In response, the price per pound has … Continue reading

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Wolffish Landings

Wolffish Landings 1950-2011

After declining from 1950 to 1977, landings spiked then crashed with a consistent decline until the fishery was suspended in 2010.  During the decline in landings and total value, the price per pound continued to rise. In the deep ocean … Continue reading

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Yellowtail Flounder Landings

Yellowtail Flounder Landings 1950-2011

This species of the commercial fishery has a post-1950 history familiar to many others: moderate or low production, then a spike with several years of substantial landings, then a crash followed by a forced closure to rebuild the stock. It … Continue reading

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