- Associated Press - Friday, March 26, 2021

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s combined commercial fishing industries managed to top $500 million in value last year despite challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s fisheries were valued at about $516.8 million at the docks last year, the Maine Department of Marine Resources said on Wednesday. That was the ninth highest value in the history of the state, the department said.

The state’s lobster fishery anchored the total at about $406 million. State marine resources commissioner Patrick Keliher said lobster dealers developed new markets in the face of a market collapse caused by the pandemic. Lobstermen also adjusted their fishing effort to the market, and the industry’s adjustments “resulted in a good boat price during a year with seemingly insurmountable obstacles,” he said.

The second highest valued marine species in the state was the softshell clam, which was valued at about $15.7 million. Clams were followed by scallops at about $6.8 million. Other valuable fisheries included menhaden, a fish which is used as bait for lobster, and oysters, which are grown by aquaculture businesses.

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