When people think of the top industries in the state, commercial fishing doesn’t always come to mind. It should.
The industry is a huge economic engine, and as you will see in these slides from the state Division of Marine Fisheries, it is becoming more of a powerhouse. As you look through the charts, and read the related Over the Bar, you will see how the fisheries have changed as some seafood, scallops for example, is more in demand – causing prices to rise.
The success of the state’s fisheries isn’t about the success of one or two species this year or next, it’s about how local fishermen adapt to a changing ocean and how residents of Massachusetts continue to value the fish off our shores.
Last year was a strong year for commercial fisheries across the state, according to Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.
Scallop and lobster sales were pivotal in driving prices higher and hopefully turned people on to other tasty seafood.
Here is a closer look at how lobster values increased quickly.
The height of the lobster prices still fell short of the scallop values.
When the pandemic struck is clear in this chart of lobsters’ weekly value.
Scallop values rose steadily through 2021.
The numbers for oysters tell a different story as the pandemic shut down their markets for a time.
New England is famous for groundfish, such as cod and haddock, and those numbers held steady. But with restrictions on cod more fishermen have turned to dogfish, skate, and monkfish. Those values aren’t captured here.