ELLSWORTH, Maine — If there is anything commercial fishermen in Maine have learned over the past several years, it is that things aren't the way they used to be.
Scallop catches are creeping back up as prices have hit an all-time high. Elver prices have come down a bit but remain historically high after shooting into the stratosphere — along with statewide landings totals — in the past two years. Urchin landings, however, continue to slide while the populations of cod and northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine have sunk to their lowest levels on record.
But nothing touches the upheaval Maine's lobster fishery, by far the biggest in the state, has experienced. Warm water during the past couple of years disrupted the fishery's patterns, forcing prices down while landings totals have soared.
This year seems to be different in a way many in the lobster industry say is familiar and is a welcome change of pace. Lobsters have been shedding and growing larger shells later this year than in 2012 and 2013, which has meant the resulting increase in landings has not occurred as early as it did in the past two summers.
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