The value of lobsters, Maine’s most valuable seafood, jumped by 75% in 2021, according to updated data from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Knox County harvesters were paid nearly double for their catch in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the preliminary figures from the DMR.

At $725 million, the statewide landed value for the lobster catch jumped by 75% from 2020, by far the single largest increase in value, year over year, according to the state. The increase in value from 2020 to 2021 ($312,464,172) was more than the total landed value in 2009.

Knox County harvesters landed 29.1 million pounds of lobsters in 2021, with a value of $202 million. That compares to 26 million pounds landed in 2020 with a value of $115 million

In 2019, Knox County harvesters brought in 28 million pounds of lobsters with a value of $143 million.

Knox County is second to Hancock County in lobster landings.

Waldo County saw landings of 435,000 pounds valued at $3.1 million in 2021. This compares to 514,000 pounds landed in 2020 that were valued at $2.2 million. Lincoln County landed 6.5 million pounds of lobsters valued at $43.1 million. This compares to 5.4 million pounds landed in 2020, with a value of $23.2 million.

Harvesters, however, experienced higher costs, including sharp rises in fuel.

“The Maine lobster industry remains a cornerstone of our states coastal economy and identity because of the uncompromising commitment to quality that follows every lobster, from trap to table,” Gov. Janet Mills said Monday, Feb. 14, in a news release.

Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said in the release, “The extraordinary value earned last year by Maine lobster harvesters is a clear reflection of strong consumer confidence in the Maine lobster brand and the products and people it represents.”

Not only was the 2021 value a record-setter, but the volume of landings continued a 12-year run in which harvesters brought to shore nearly, or more than, 100 million pounds. At 108 million pounds, the 2021 landings increased by more than 10 million pounds over 2020, a jump of more than 10 percent.

“Last year was one for the books and it should be celebrated,” Keliher said. “But there are many challenges ahead, and it’s important that fishermen remain engaged in management discussions that will strive to make this stock resilient for future generations.

“Despite those challenges, the Maine lobster industry continues to show tremendous commitment to the delivery of a world class product,” he said.

Landings information for all other commercially harvested Maine species will be available in March after data has been fully audited.