Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, March 30, 2017
Stonington still top port for lobster landings
Lobster boat Sailor’s Way docks at the Stonington fish pier on a recent morning while a dealer’s truck waits for the day’s catch.
by Anne Berleant
With 17.4 million pounds of lobsters hauled onto its docks in 2016, valued at $65.3 million, Stonington continued its rein as the top lobster port in Maine for the ninth straight year. The port also was the top port for all commercial landings, with a total value of $67.68 million, with the prized crustacean accounting for 96.5 percent of all commercial landings, more than double the 45 percent ratio statewide. That makes good value for Stonington since across Maine lobster landings account for 74 percent of the value of commercial landings.
The local increase for lobster landings was 1.2 million pounds and just over $3 million dollars from 2015, according to data issued by the Maine Department of Marine Resources, with 2016 data not considered final.
Statewide, 130,844,800 pounds of lobsters were landed for a boat value of $533,094,366, a $32 million increase. Of those, 25 percent were from Zone C, which includes East Penobscot Bay and the towns of Deer Isle, Stonington, Blue Hill, Brooksville, Brooklin, North Haven, Vinalhaven, Matinicus and Isle au Haut. And half of those landed in the Stonington port—roughly 13 percent of all landings across the eight zones in Maine.
Lobstermen were paid an average of $4.07 per pound, a 0.2 cents drop from last year.
Vinalhaven, with $42.27 million in commercial landings, was named the second highest port. Portland, Beals and Rockland rounded out the top five ports for 2016.