While the port of Portland has finally pulled even with Gloucester, Massachusetts, in fish landings, it could be a hollow victory as federal regulators prepare to impose a new set of restrictions that will likely batter the groundfishing fleets in both ports.
The ports of Portland and Gloucester tied for second place in New England in commercial fish landings in 2013, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Fishermen in both ports landed 62 million pounds of fish.
New Bedford, Massachusetts, the nation’s top port for scallop fishermen, landed more than twice that amount – 130 million pounds – according to NOAA’s annual Fisheries of the United States report, making it the No. 1 port in New England by volume in 2013. It ranked No. 14 by volume nationally, valued at $379 million.
Portland’s catch was valued at $32 million, while longtime rival Gloucester reported $42 million. Portland’s lower value reflects that it lands more herring, a low-value fish.
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