July 8, 1999 -- Northeast Commercial Fisheries Revenues Hit $957 Million in 1998


NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Region
Contact: Jon Gibson (508) 495-2228


COMMERCIAL FISHERIES
AND MARICULTURE REVENUES
FOR NORTHEAST COASTAL STATES
HIT $957 MILLION IN 1998


Gloucester, MA--Ex-vessel (dockside) revenues from commercial fisheries and farmgate revenues
from mariculture operations in Northeast coastal states during 1998 totaled $957.2 million. 
Revenues were 3% lower than those in 1997, but were 2% higher than those in 1996.
   These revenue values are preliminary data prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service's
(NMFS's) Northeast Region.  The region's ten coastal states are Maine, New Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and
Virginia.
   Changes in harvests and revenues from one year to the next stem from several causes, including
changes in the underlying populations of sought-after fisheries species and in the effort of
fishermen/mariculturists to catch/raise various species as determined by market demand, government
regulations, etc.


SUMMARY OF REVENUE AND HARVEST DATA

States:  In 1998, Maine retained its first place in ex-vessel and farmgate revenues for the fifth year
in a row.  Maine's 1998 revenues of $277.4 million were a 2% increase over 1997 and a 12%
increase over 1996.  The top five revenue-producing species landed in Maine in 1998 were American
lobster ($137.2 million), Atlantic salmon ($60.4 million), green sea urchin ($17.1 million), softshell
clam ($10.1 million), and northern shrimp ($6.5 million).  The eggs, or "roe," of the green sea urchin
are considered a delicacy in the Far East export market.
   Maine, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware showed increased ex-vessel and/or farmgate revenues
from 1997 to 1998, and those four states plus Rhode Island showed increased ex-vessel and/or
farmgate revenues from 1996 to 1998.  Massachusetts and New Jersey showed increased harvests
from 1997 to 1998, and those two states plus Delaware showed increased harvests from 1996 to
1998.
   Refer to Table 1.

Ports:  In 1998, New Bedford, Massachusetts, retained its first place in ex-vessel revenues.  New
Bedford's 1998 revenues of $93.5 million were a 10% decrease over both 1997 and 1996.  The top
five revenue-producing species landed in New Bedford in 1998 were sea scallop ($35.1 million),
goosefish ($12.3 million), winter flounder ($9.1 million), ocean quahog ($8.0 million), and
yellowtail flounder ($5.8 million).  Goosefish is not only harvested for its flesh, but also for its liver
which is considered a delicacy in the Far East export market.  Ocean quahog, a large bivalve
mollusk, is most often used in prepared seafoods such as clam chowder.
   In 1998, ten Northeast fishing ports had ex-vessel revenues in excess of $10 million.  From
1997 to 1998, three of these ports showed increased revenues; from 1996 to 1998, five showed
increased revenues.
   Between 1997 and 1998, one port was added to the list of major ports (i.e.,
Provincetown/Chatham, Massachusetts), and three ports (i.e., Boston, Massachusetts, and
Vinalhaven and Stonington, Maine) were dropped.  The latter two Maine ports rely heavily on
American lobster harvests, and had appeared on the list of major ports only in 1997 -- the peak year
of the Northeast Region's harvests of that species.
   Refer to Table 2.

Species:  In 1998, the fishery for American lobster retained its first place in ex-vessel revenues.  The
1998 harvest of $254.1 million of lobster was a 5% decrease over 1997, but a 5% increase over 1996. 
Maine accounted for 54% of the 1998 lobster harvest, Massachusetts for 19%, and New York for
12%.
   Of the 52 species or species groups which each provided more than $1 million in ex-vessel or
farmgate revenues during 1998, 25 showed an increase over 1997; 27  showed an increase over 1996. 
Among the top-ten species in 1998 revenues, Atlantic menhaden (+25%), Atlantic salmon (+22%),
longfin inshore squid (+21%), Atlantic cod (+4%), blue crab (+1%), and northern quahog (+0.3%)
showed increased revenues over 1997; goosefish (-3%), American lobster (-5%), sea scallop (-13%),
and Atlantic surfclam (-17%) showed decreased revenues.
   Two low-value species, Atlantic menhaden and Atlantic herring, dominated the harvested
poundage.  Over 517 million pounds of menhaden were harvested in 1998, a 4% decrease from 1997,
and a 16% decrease from 1996.  Menhaden is a small, oily, non-seafood fish species which is used
primarily for production of meal, oil, and solubles, and secondarily for livestock feed and for bait
by commercial and recreational fishermen.  Over 179 million pounds of herring were harvested in
1998, a 16% decrease from 1997, and a 7% decrease from 1996.  Herring is not only a seafood
species, but also a bait species; it is used extensively in the trap fisheries for American lobster.
   Refer to Tables 3 and 4.


SOURCES AND AVAILABILITY OF HARVEST DATA

   Harvest and revenue data on Northeast fisheries are collected throughout the year by both the
NMFS and the various state marine fisheries agencies in the region.  Finfish and shellfish purchasers
("dealers") who buy directly from fishing vessels operating under federal permits are required to
report their purchases to NMFS monthly.  These monthly dealer reports provide the bulk of the
available harvest and revenue data.  For those fisheries managed by federal quotas (summer flounder,
Atlantic surfclam, etc.), the dealer reporting requirements are even more frequent.

Table 1.   Ex-vessel and farmgate revenuesa and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries and mariculture operations by state in the Northeast during 1996-98

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                   1996                                      1997                             1998                 
                          Millions         Millions               Millions         Millions         Millions          Millions
    State                 of Dollars       of Pounds            of Dollars       of Pounds          of Dollars       of Pounds                

Maine                      247.9                    259.7              273.3          271.3          277.4          213.1
Massachusetts              231.4                    236.7              214.8          230.0          204.4          252.5
Virginia                    90.4                    629.7               97.7          583.9          110.7          563.0
New Jersey                  94.0                    179.3              100.0          175.4           90.9          195.9
New York                    86.7                     61.3               96.8           62.8           84.3           57.5
Rhode Island                70.7                    137.5               74.7          131.6           71.1          131.4
Maryland                    52.5                     69.0               64.3           76.6           67.2           61.5
Connecticut                 48.4                     20.9               49.5           19.4           34.4           17.6
New Hampshire               13.5                     11.1               12.6           10.9           11.2           10.1
Delaware                     4.3                      5.7                5.2            9.1            5.6            7.8

Total                    939.9                  1,611.4              989.0        1,571.1          957.2        1,510.4

               
a Ex-vessel revenue is based on prices paid for the harvest prior to any onshore handling, processing, or reselling.
b Harvested poundage consists of meat weight for bivalve (e.g., sea scallop) and univalve (e.g., conchs) mollusks, and live weight for
all other species.
c Total may differ from sum of components due to rounding error of components.
 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                Table 2.       Ex-vessel revenuea and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries for major portsc in the Northeast during 1996-98                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1996                           1997                        1998                                            Millions         Millions        Millions         Millions     Millions         Millions     State                 of Dollars       of Pounds       of Dollars       of Pounds    of Dollars       of Pounds         New Bedford, MA               104.4         91.4             103.8           84.2           93.5           87.4 Pt. Judith, RI                 45.9         79.2             47.5           74.9           41.8           75.2 Portland, ME                   38.8         78.3             43.2           74.9           35.2           46.5 Cape May/Wildwood, NJ          30.9         82.7             29.7           71.1           29.3           94.0 Gloucester, MA                 24.3         76.9             23.5           81.5           28.4          107.1 Pt. Pleasant/Longbeach, NJ     22.2         31.9             27.3           42.5           26.9           45.6 Atlantic City, NJ              21.6         40.9             20.8           39.0           17.8           37.3 Newport News, VA               15.6          6.2             13.3            7.7           15.9            6.7 Montauk, NY                    10.1          9.4             13.5           13.5           12.1           12.7 Provincetown/Chatham, MA        9.8         17.8              9.3           16.9           10.2           17.8                
a Ex-vessel revenue is based on prices paid for the harvest prior to any onshore handling, processing, or reselling.

b Harvested poundage consists of meat weight for bivalve (e.g., sea scallop) and univalve (e.g., conchs) mollusks, and live weight for all other species.

c Major ports arbitrarily defined as those yielding $10 million or more in ex-vessel revenue for 1998.  


Table 3.   Ex-vessel revenuea and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries for American lobster by state in the Northeast during 1996-98

                                      1996                                   1997                        1998                 
                            Millions        Millions             Millions         Millions    Millions         Millions
    State                   of Dollars       of Pounds          of Dollars       of Pounds   of Dollars       of Pounds        

Maine                         107.0              36.1              138.0           47.0          137.2           47.0
Massachusetts                  64.5              15.3               52.1           14.9           48.6           13.3
New York                       32.9               9.4               38.1           10.9           29.9            8.5
Rhode Island                   18.8               5.4               19.9            5.7           19.1            5.4
Connecticut                     9.8               2.9               11.1            3.5           12.1            3.7
New Hampshire                   6.6               1.6                5.5            1.4            4.7            1.2
New Jersey                      2.3               0.6                3.3            0.9            2.5            0.7
Maryland                        0.1              <0.1                1.0           <0.1           <0.1           <0.1
Virginia                       <0.1              <0.1               <0.1           <0.1           <0.1           <0.1
Delaware                        0.1              <0.1               <0.1           <0.1           <0.1           <0.1

Total                       242.2              71.4               268.1           84.2          254.1           79.8

               
a Ex-vessel revenue is based on prices paid for the harvest prior to any on-shore handling, processing, or reselling.

b Harvested poundage represents live weight.

c Total may differ from sums of components due to rounding error of components.


Table 4.   Ex-vessel and farmgate revenuea and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries and mariculture operations for major speciesc in the Northeast during 1996-98
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
         
                                                 1996                                          1997                      1998                 
 
                                     Millions             Millions                Millions     Millions      Millions            Millions
    State                           of Dollars          of Pounds                 of Dollars   of Pounds     of Dollars          ofPounds       

American lobster                     242.2                  71.4                  268.1           84.2          254.1           79.8
Blue crab                             62.6                  81.3                   80.1           96.2           81.1           77.2
Sea scallop                           96.0                  17.4                   87.0           13.2           75.6           12.2
Atlantic salmond                      46.3                  22.0                   49.5           27.0           60.4           29.0
Atlantic menhaden (pogy)              37.3                 615.9                   33.5          540.3           41.8          517.1
Northern quahog (hard clam)           30.8                   6.3                   34.1            6.7           34.2            6.2
Goosefish (monkfish, angler)          32.3                  58.5                   34.3           61.9           33.2           57.4
Longfin inshore squid                 18.6                  26.8                   26.5           35.7           32.1           41.6
Atlantic surfclam                     38.2                  63.4                   35.2           58.0           29.2           54.0
Atlantic cod                          26.7                  31.5                   24.5           28.6           25.5           24.5
Eastern oyster                        37.1                   6.2                   39.4            7.0           22.0            5.2
Ocean quahog                          20.4                  46.4                   19.9           43.9           18.4           39.9
Green sea urchin                      24.1                  22.2                   20.5           18.8           17.4           15.5
Winter flounder (blackback, lemon sole) 14.5                10.5                   15.7           11.7           15.1           11.2
Summer flounder (fluke)               14.1                   8.6                   13.7            7.3           14.4            8.2
Silver hake (whiting)                 13.6                  35.7                   15.1           34.3           13.4           33.0
Softshell (soft clam)                  8.3                   2.2                    9.9            2.3           12.2            2.8
Bluefin tuna                          16.5                   2.0                   16.4            2.2           12.0            2.3
Yellowtail flounder                    7.6                   5.3                    9.5            6.3           10.9            8.1
Atlantic herring                      10.9                 193.3                   11.6          213.6           10.8          179.1
American plaice (dab)                 12.4                   9.7                   11.4            8.7           10.3            8.1
Striped bass                           5.1                   3.0                    8.2            5.6            9.2            6.3
Northern shortfin squid                9.7                  37.4                    6.0           29.3            9.1           49.3
Pollock                                4.5                   6.5                    5.3            9.4            8.1           12.3
Haddock                                1.5                   1.3                    3.6            3.3            7.9            6.3
Northern shrimp                       15.1                  21.0                   11.5           14.0            7.6            8.1
Spiny dogfish                          7.5                  39.9                    5.5           35.7            6.8           40.5
Witch flounder (gray sole)             7.7                   4.6                    6.6            3.9            6.5            4.1
Scup (porgy)                           6.3                   5.9                    6.4            4.8            6.1            4.2
Atlantic croaker                       3.8                  10.9                    4.5           16.3            4.8           14.4
Tilefish                               4.2                   2.5                    4.9            3.9            4.8            2.9
Atlantic mackerel                      4.6                  34.6                    9.5           33.9            4.7           27.5
Swordfish                              5.7                   1.9                    5.1            2.0            4.7            2.2
Skatese                                6.3                  31.3                    3.3           23.1            4.1           30.7
Black sea bass                         3.6                   3.2                    3.5            2.4            4.0            2.4
White hake                             4.6                   7.2                    3.2            4.9            3.8            5.2
American eel                           4.5                   0.9                    6.0            0.8            3.4            0.8
Sea wormse                             2.4                   0.5                    2.5            0.5            3.4            0.7
Butterfish                             5.1                   7.7                    4.6            6.0            2.4            4.2
Bigeye tuna                            2.8                   0.8                    2.7            0.9            2.4            0.9
Weakfish (squeteague)                  1.1                   1.7                    2.1            3.7            2.3            5.1
Horseshoe crab                         1.5                   5.1                    1.2            6.1            2.1            7.0
Red deepsea crab                       0.6                   1.4                    1.9            3.8            1.8            3.5
Bluefish                               1.7                   5.3                    1.6            4.9            1.8            5.0
Spot                                   1.4                   3.3                    1.5            3.6            1.8            4.7
Conchse                                1.8                   0.8                    2.1            1.3            1.5            0.9
Jonah crab                             1.2                   2.3                    1.9            4.1            1.4            2.8
Catfishese                             1.4                   2.5                    0.9            2.7            1.3            3.9
Yellowfin tuna                         1.9                   0.9                    2.7            1.3            1.3            0.6
Atlantic rock crab                     0.5                   1.6                    0.9            2.5            1.1            3.0
White perch                            1.0                   1.7                    1.1            2.4            1.1            1.7
Blue mussel                            2.3                   5.8                    1.7            4.4            1.1            2.8

               
a Ex-vessel revenue is based on prices paid for the harvest prior to any onshore handling, processing, or reselling.

b Harvested poundage consists of meat weight for bivalve (e.g., sea scallop) and univalve (e.g., conchs) mollusks, and live weight for all other species.

c Major species arbitrarily defined as those yielding $1 million or more in ex-vessel revenue for 1998.

d Entire harvest from mariculture operations.

e Category comprises several species.

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(File Modified Nov. 24 2004)