PORTLAND (AP) – The value of Maine’s lobster catch plunged in 2008 because of the global economic meltdown at the end of the year.

The Department of Marine Resources reported Wednesday that lobstermen caught 67.4 million pounds valued at $235.6 million. While the harvest was up by about 3 million pounds from 2007, the value of the catch fell $49.7 million.

Commissioner George Lapointe said the numbers show him that the lobster population off Maine is in good shape, but the industry is in economic distress.

The declining value of the catch not a surprise after demand and prices for Maine’s signature seafood tanked last fall.

AP-ES-04-15-09 1647EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.