December 26, 2012

Fewer fishermen, but higher revenues in 2011

The number of fishing vessels fell to about to about 800, but groundfish revenues for rose from $83 to $90 million.

The Associated Press

FALMOUTH, Mass. — A new federal report indicates a smaller Northeast fleet caught more fish and made more money in the 2011 fishing year than the year before.

click image to enlarge

In this January 2008 file photo, commercial fishing boats from Maine in Gloucester, Mass. A new federal report indicates a smaller Northeast fleet caught more fish and made more money in the 2011 fishing year than the year before.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

The report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was released Wednesday. It said the number of vessels fell from 890 to 805 in the 2011 fishing year, which ended April 30, 2012.

But the fleet landed nearly 62 million pounds of bottom-dwelling groundfish, such as cod and flounder, compared to about 59 million pounds the year before. And gross groundfish revenues rose from about $83 million to about $90 million.

The report comes during a 2012 fishing year that sees much of the groundfish catch lagging behind last year's pace. Meanwhile, the slow recovery of key fish stocks is mandating huge, controversial cuts in 2013 catch limits.

This story will be updated.

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