Officials Say Lobster Catch May Be Much Less This Year

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP)- Members of the lobster industry say Maine's lobster haul might be less this year, and prices have drifted downward for both lobstermen and consumers.

American lobster fishing is in the midst of a multiyear boom, with Maine fishermen setting a record of nearly 131 million pounds last year. Fishermen in the state have caught more than 100 million pounds for six years in a row after never previously reaching that total.

But market analyst John Sackton says some in the industry believe catch could be as much as 30 percent off this year. Meanwhile, prices for live lobsters are lagging behind last year.

Maine is far and away the biggest lobster producing state in the U.S. Maine fishermen accounted for more than 80 percent of the nationwide catch last year.