Commercial Fisheries and Mariculture Revenues
for Northeast Coastal States
Surpass $1 Billion in 1999

 
 
 

(July 5, 2000) Gloucester, MA -- Ex-vessel (dockside) revenues from commercial fisheries and farmgate revenues from mariculture operations in Northeast coastal states during 1999 totaled an all-time record of $1.067 billion. These revenue values are preliminary data prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS's) Northeast Region. The region's 10 coastal states are Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

In nominal dollars, the 1999 revenues were 11% higher than those in 1998, and 8% higher than those in 1997. In real dollars (i.e., adjusted for inflation), the 1999 revenues were 10% higher than those in 1998, and 5% higher than those in 1997.

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.
 
 
 

Summary of Revenue and Harvest Data
 

States:In 1999, Maine retained its first place in ex-vessel and farmgate revenues for the sixth year in a row. Maine's 1999 revenues of $323.8 million were a nominal 17% increase over 1998, and a nominal 18% increase over 1997. The top five revenue-producing species landed in Maine in 1999 were American lobster ($184.6 million), Atlantic salmon ($58.2 million), green sea urchin ($20.3 million), softshell clam ($10.5 million), and goosefish ($5.2 million). The eggs, or "roe," of the green sea urchin are sold internationally.

Massachusetts (+27%), Delaware (+23%), Maine (+17%), Rhode Island (+12%), New Hampshire (+12%), Connecticut (+11%), and New Jersey (+7%) showed increased ex-vessel and/or farmgate revenues from 1998 to 1999. New York (-10%), Maryland (-5%), and Virginia (-2%) showed decreased ex-vessel and/or farmgate revenues from 1998 to 1999.

Refer to Table 1 below.
 

Ports: In 1999, New Bedford, Massachusetts, retained its first place in ex-vessel revenues. New Bedford's 1999 revenues of $129.9 million were a nominal 39% increase over 1998, and a nominal 25% increase over 1997. The top five revenue-producing species landed in New Bedford in 1999 were sea scallop ($69.4 million), goosefish ($14.7 million), winter flounder ($7.7 million), ocean quahog ($6.9 million), and yellowtail flounder ($6.4 million). Goosefish is not only harvested for its flesh, but also for its liver. Ocean quahog, a large bivalve mollusk, is most often used in prepared seafoods such as clam chowder.

In 1999, 13 Northeast fishing ports had ex-vessel revenues in excess of $10 million, thus qualifying them for "large-size" port status. Another 17 ports had ex-vessel revenues in excess of $5 million, thus qualifying them for "medium-size" port status. From 1998 to 1999, 11 of the 13 large-size ports showed increased revenues.

Refer to Table 2.
 

Species: In 1999, the fishery for American lobster retained its first place in ex-vessel revenues. The 1999 harvest of $323.0 million of lobster was a nominal 27% increase over 1998, and a nominal 20% increase over 1997. Maine accounted for 57% of the 1999 lobster harvest, Massachusetts for 21%, and New York and Rhode Island for 8% each.

Of the 53 species or species groups which each provided more than $1 million in ex-vessel or farmgate revenues during 1999, 32 showed an increase over 1998, and 27 showed an increase over 1997. Among the top-10 species in 1999 revenues, sea scallop (+63%), goosefish (+38%), American lobster (+27%), northern quahog (+18%), Atlantic surfclam (+4%), and longfin inshore squid (+<1%) showed increased revenues over 1998; Atlantic salmon (-4%), Atlantic cod (-6%), blue crab (-8%), and Atlantic menhaden (-21%) showed decreased revenues. Northern quahog, also called hard clam, is a major item in the U.S. fresh seafood market. Atlantic surfclam is a typical ingredient in fried clam strips. Longfin inshore squid, also called loligo, is a major export item, especially to Mediterranean markets. Atlantic 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.

Two low-value species, Atlantic menhaden and Atlantic herring, dominated the harvested poundage. More than 415 million pounds of menhaden were harvested in 1999, a 20% decrease from 1998, and a 23% decrease from 1997. Almost 175 million pounds of herring were harvested in 1999, a 2% decrease from 1998, and an 18% decrease from 1997. Herring is not only a seafood species, but also a bait species; it is used extensively in the trap fisheries for American lobster.

Although seafood harvests are usually referred to as "fisheries" harvests, fish species make up less than half of the value of those harvests. In 1999, among the top 15 revenue-producing species, crustaceans (i.e., American lobster and blue crab) accounted for 45% of the value, mollusks (i.e., sea scallop, northern quahog, longfin inshore squid, Atlantic surfclam, eastern oyster, and ocean quahog) for 30%, and echinoderms (i.e., green sea urchin) for 2%.

Refer to Tables 3 and 4.
 
 
 

SOURCES AND AVAILABILITY OF HARVEST AND REVENUE 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. Most finfish and shellfish purchasers ("dealers") who hold a federal permit in the Northeast are required to report their purchases from fishing vessels to NMFS. Although the reports from these federally permitted dealers provide the bulk of the available harvest and revenue data, other data come from non-federally permitted dealers and from other sources as well.

Table 1. Preliminary ex-vessel and farmgate revenuesa and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries and mariculture operations by state in the Northeast during 1997-99


 
1997 1997 1998 1998 1999 1999
Millions 

of Dollars

Millions 

of Pounds

Millions 

of Dollars

Millions 

of Pounds

Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Maine  273.3 271.3 277.4 213.1 323.8 256.8
Massachusetts 214.8 230.0 204.4 252.5 260.2 198.3
Virginia 97.7 583.9 110.7 563.0 108.3 460.0
New Jersey 100.0 175.4 90.9 195.9 97.7 168.7
Rhode Island 74.7 131.6 71.1 131.4 79.3 126.2
New York 96.8 62.8 84.3 57.5 76.0 48.2
Maryland 64.3 76.6 67.2 61.5 63.8 67.1
Connecticut 49.5 19.4 34.4 17.6 38.1 18.4
New Hampshire 12.6 10.9 11.2 10.1 12.5 11.3
Delaware 5.2 9.1 5.6 7.8 6.9 8.4
Totalc 989.0 1,571.1 957.2 1,510.4 1,066.6 1,363.4

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

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

cTotal may differ from sum of components due to rounding error of components.


 
 
 
 
 

Table 2. Preliminary ex-vessel revenuea and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries for major portsc in the Northeast during 1997-99
 
1997 1997 1998 1998 1999 1999
Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Millions 

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Millions 

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

New Bedford, MA 103.8 84.2 93.5 87.4 129.9 86.1
Pt. Judith, RI 47.5 74.9 41.8 75.2 51.2 72.5
Portland, ME 43.2 74.9 35.2 46.5 42.4 55.6
Cape May/ Wildwood, NJ 29.7 71.1 29.3 94.0 36.5 64.0
Gloucester, MA 23.5 81.5 28.4 107.1 25.5 49.7
Atlantic City, NJ 20.8 39.0 17.8 37.3 20.0 41.2
Newport News, VA 13.3 7.7 15.9 6.7 19.2 6.4
Pt. Pleasant, NJ 16.8 32.4 16.7 32.9 17.3 35.0
Provincetown/ Chatham, MA 9.3 16.9 10.2 17.8 12.9 20.0
Long Beach/ Barnegat Light, NJ 10.5 10.1 10.2 12.6 12.4 9.9
Friendship, ME 7.2 2.8 8.5 3.1 12.1 3.6
Sprucehead, ME 9.8 3.8 8.5 3.8 11.8 3.9
Montauk, NY 13.5 13.5 12.1 12.7 11.5 12.0

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

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

cMajor ports arbitrarily defined as those yielding $10 million or more in ex-vessel revenue for 1999.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Table 3. Preliminary ex-vessel revenuea and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries for American lobster by state in the Northeast during 1997-99


 
1997 1997 1998 1998 1999 1999
Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Maine 138.0 47.0 137.2 47.0 184.6 53.5
Massachusetts 52.1 14.9 48.6 13.3 66.8 15.5
New York 38.1 10.9 29.9 8.5 27.3 7.1
Rhode Island 19.9 5.7 19.1 5.4 24.8 6.4
Connecticut 11.1 3.5 12.1 3.7 9.6 2.6
New Hampshire 5.5 1.4 4.7 1.2 5.9 1.4
New Jersey 3.3 0.9 2.5 0.7 3.6 0.9
Maryland 1.0 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 0.2 <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
Totalc 268.1 84.2 254.1 79.8 323.0 87.5

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

bHarvested poundage represents live weight.

cTotal may differ from sums of components due to rounding error of components.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Table 4. Preliminary ex-vessel and farmgate revenuea and harvested poundageb of commercial fisheries and mariculture operations for major speciesc in the Northeast during 1997-99
 
 
 
1997 1997 1998 1998 1999 1999
Species Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

Millions

of Dollars

Millions

of Pounds

American lobster 268.1 84.2 254.1 79.8 323.0 87.5
Sea scallop 87.0 13.2 75.6 12.2 123.0 22.4
Blue crab 80.1 96.2 81.1 77.2 75.0 77.5
Atlantic salmond 49.5 27.0 60.4 29.0 58.2 27.0
Goosefish (monkfish, angler) 34.3 61.9 33.2 57.4 45.9 54.6
Northern quahog (hard clam) 34.1 6.7 34.2 6.2 40.5 7.7
Atlantic menhaden (pogy) 33.5 540.3 41.8 517.1 33.2 415.9
Longfin inshore squid (loligo) 26.5 35.7 32.1 41.6 32.2 41.3
Atlantic surfclam 35.2 58.0 29.2 54.0 30.4 58.8
Atlantic cod 24.5 28.6 25.5 24.5 23.9 21.4
Eastern oyster 39.4 7.0 22.0 5.2 22.1 4.8
Green sea urchin 20.5 18.8 17.4 15.5 20.6 15.7
Ocean quahog 19.9 43.9 18.4 39.9 18.5 38.7
Summer flounder (fluke) 13.7 7.3 14.4 8.2 14.4 7.9
Silver hake (whiting) 15.1 34.3 13.4 33.0 14.3 31.0
Bluefin tuna 16.4 2.2 12.0 2.3 14.3 2.3
Winter flounder (blackback, lemon sole) 15.7 11.7 15.1 11.2 13.0 10.3
Softshell (soft clam) 9.9 2.3 12.2 2.8 12.4 2.7
Yellowtail flounder 9.5 6.3 10.9 8.1 11.4 9.8
Atlantic herring 11.6 213.6 10.8 179.1 11.0 175.0
Striped bass 8.2 5.6 9.2 6.3 10.3 6.0
Haddock 3.6 3.3 7.9 6.3 9.1 6.9
American plaice (dab) 11.4 8.7 10.3 8.1 8.5 6.9
Pollock 5.3 9.4 8.1 12.3 8.4 10.1
Witch flounder (gray sole) 6.6 3.9 6.5 4.1 6.6 4.7
Spiny dogfish 5.5 35.7 6.8 40.5 4.8 30.0
Black sea bass 3.5 2.4 4.0 2.4 4.8 2.9
Swordfish 5.1 2.0 4.7 2.2 4.8 1.9
Atlantic croaker 4.5 16.3 4.8 14.4 4.4 16.6
White hake 3.2 4.9 3.8 5.2 4.3 5.8
Scup (porgy) 6.4 4.8 6.1 4.2 4.2 3.3
Sea wormse 2.5 0.5 3.4 0.7 4.0 0.8
Northern shortfin squid (illex) 6.0 29.3 9.1 49.3 3.8 16.1
Bigeye tuna 2.7 0.9 2.4 0.9 3.7 1.3
Atlantic mackerel 9.5 33.9 4.7 27.5 3.6 26.4
Northern shrimp 11.5 14.0 7.6 8.1 3.5 3.8
Skatese 3.3 23.1 4.1 30.7 3.2 27.8
Weakfish (squeteague) 2.1 3.7 2.3 5.1 2.9 4.3
Butterfish 4.6 6.0 2.4 4.2 2.6 4.6
Tilefish 4.9 3.9 4.8 2.9 2.6 1.1
Conchse 2.1 1.3 1.5 0.9 2.4 2.1
Red deepsea crab 1.9 3.8 1.8 3.5 2.0 4.1
Bluefish 1.6 4.9 1.8 5.0 1.8 4.0
Jonah crab 1.9 4.1 1.4 2.8 1.7 3.4
Hagfish 1.0 3.7 0.9 3.2 1.4 5.0
Horseshoe crab 1.2 6.1 2.1 7.0 1.3 4.9
American eel 6.0 0.8 3.4 0.8 1.2 0.9
Spot 1.5 3.6 1.8 4.7 1.2 3.3
Yellowfin tuna 2.7 1.3 1.3 0.6 1.2 0.7
Catfishese 0.9 2.7 1.3 3.9 1.1 3.6
Channeled whelk 0.2 0.1 0.6 0.3 1.1 0.5
Atlantic rock crab 0.9 2.5 1.1 3.0 1.0 2.9
White perch 1.1 2.4 1.1 1.7 1.0 1.8

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

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

cMajor species arbitrarily defined as those yielding $1 million or more in ex-vessel or farmgate revenue for 1999.

dEntire harvest from mariculture operations.

eCategory comprises several species.

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(File Modified Nov. 24 2004)