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NOAA Releases Fisheries Statistics For 2020

In May NOAA released its 2020 Fisheries of the U.S. report detailing commercial, recreational and aquaculture landings in the United States. Lobster was once again the nation’s second most valuable seafood valued at $563 million just behind crabs valued at $584 million. No Maine fishing ports were listed in the nation’s top 20 for value of catch or landings.

Total Landings and Value Decline

In 2020, U.S. fishermen at ports in all 50 states landed a combined total of 8.4 billion pounds valued at $4.8 billion. Landings dropped by 10% compared to 2019 and by 15% in value. While each region of the country saw a drop in landings and value, losses were mainly out of Alaska and Louisiana. Alaska pollock, chum salmon, sockeye salmon and herring all hit a new five-year low. Louisiana saw new five-year lows for both menhaden and shrimp. In New England landings declined 7% and value declined by 21% compared to 2019.

Top Port by Volume

Dutch Harbor, Alaska was the top port by volume for the 24th year in a row, landing 800.1 million pounds of seafood valued at $186.7 million. Alaska pollock accounted for 92.1% of the volume and 52.2% of the value. Snow crab and king crab accounted for 2.1% of the volume, but 34.6% of the value.

Top Port by Value

New Bedford, Massachusetts was the top port by value for the 21st year. The port landed 115.4 million pounds valued at $376.6 million. Sea scallops made up 83.6% of the value and 26% of the volume.

Highest Landings Value by Species

Crabs were the highest value species landed at $584 million. Lobster landings were worth $563 million, followed by scallops at $488 million, salmon at $478 million, and shrimp at $435 million.


Canada (24%), China (16%), Japan (13%), South Korea (9%) and the Netherlands (7%) were the nation’s top markets for U.S. seafood exports. According to NOAA, overall U.S. exports of edible seafood products “dropped significantly” in 2020. The U.S. exported 2.4 billion pounds of seafood, which is down 14.9% from 2019. Those exports were valued at $4.4 billion, down 16.1% from 2019.

OverFished Species Assessment

The annual Status of Stocks 2021 was also released in May. The report provides an assessment of the 460 stocks managed by NOAA Fisheries. At the end of 2021, there were 26 stocks on the overfishing list and 51 on the overfished list. NOAA Fisheries conducted a stock assessment in 2021 for one previously unassessed stock, Atlantic blacktip shark. The population was determined to be not subject to overfishing and not overfished.


Meanwhile, Maine 2021 Data Show Lobster Remains the State's Dominant Commercial Species


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