Maine lobster catch in 2017 dips to lowest level in six years


PORTLAND (AP) — Regulators in the state that dominates the U.S. lobster haul say the catch of the crustaceans fell to its lowest level since 2011 last year, but the industry remains strong.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources says fishermen in the state caught a little more than 110.8 million pounds (50.3 million kilograms) of lobster last year. The state had topped 120 million pounds (54 million kilograms) in five consecutive years.

Maine fishermen also made slightly less money on lobster last year. They were paid $3.91 per pound at the docks for lobsters last year, down from about $4.08 per pound in 2016. Prices remained steady to consumers, who usually pay $8 to $10 per pound for lobsters.

The 2017 catch numbers were the sixth highest on record according to state data that go back to 1880.