MARYLAND AT A GLANCE

SEAFOOD

PRODUCTION


[photo, Red and yellow crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland] A prominent producer and processor of seafood, Maryland is a national leader in supplying blue crabs and soft clams. Indeed, fifty percent of the total blue crab harvest in the United States is provided by the Chesapeake Bay. Besides blue crabs, important commercial species in Maryland include striped bass, oysters, soft clams, flounder, perch, spot, croaker, catfish, sea trout, and bluefish.


Red & yellow crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, December 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Yellow crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland] Each year, the Maryland seafood industry contributes nearly $600 million to the State's economy. In 2017, the commercial landings value of Maryland's seafood industry was $82,166,333. Annual commercial landings have averaged over 50 million pounds since 2000.

Within the Department of Agriculture, the Seafood Marketing Advisory Commission promotes increased distribution and consumption of Maryland seafood.

Yellow crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, December 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Department of Agriculture's True Blue Program certifies restaurants that get at least 75% of their crabmeat from Maryland blue crabs. Maryland started a campaign to encourage the harvesting and eating of blue catfish, an invasive species that has spread throughout the Chesapeake Bay. In September 2018, the Blue Catfish Purchasing Initiative, a partnership of the Departments of Agriculture, General Services, and Natural Resources, was launched to sell cases of catfish harvested in Maryland to State institutions, including hospitals, public schools, and correctional facilities.


COMMERCIAL LANDINGS

2017

2018

Blue Crabs 30,655,095 lbs. 27,822,304 lbs.
Striped Bass 1,829,352 lbs. 1,768,923 lbs.
Eastern Oysters 671,372 lbs. 464,562 lbs.
Total 33,155,819 lbs. 30,055,789 lbs.

DOCKSIDE VALUE

2017

2018

Blue Crabs $48,535,248 $45,330,371
Striped Bass $7,060,881 $6,062,924
Eastern Oysters $10,473,078 $6,734,364
Total $66,069,207 $58,127,659


COMMERCIAL LANDINGS

2013

2014

2015

2016

Blue Crabs 24,797,479 lbs. 24,690,009 lbs. 28,758,709 lbs. 36,734,433 lbs.
Striped Bass 1,980,942 lbs. 2,352,749 lbs. 1,708,439 lbs. 1,718,135 lbs.
Eastern Oysters 1,404,052 lbs. 1,196,279 lbs. 1,190,855 lbs. 886,953 lbs.
Atlantic Surf Clams* 607,104 lbs.
Total 28,789,577 lbs. 28,239,037 lbs. 31,658,003 lbs. 39,339,521 lbs.

DOCKSIDE VALUE

2013

2014

2015

2016

Blue Crabs $50,167,200 $52,848,816 $52,084,172 $54,534,038
Striped Bass $8,042,530 $8,091,937 $6,194,121 $7,130,594
Eastern Oysters $13,826,873 $15,686,740 $15,092,747 $12,264,899
Atlantic Surf Clams* $359,040
Total $72,395,643 $76,627,493 $73,371,040 $73,929,531


COMMERCIAL LANDINGS

2009

2010

2011

2012

Blue Crabs 38,800,823 lbs. 66,261,696 lbs. 51,162,683 lbs. 43,741,302 lbs.
Striped Bass 2,812,118 lbs. 2,509,831 lbs. 2,343,044 lbs. 2,285,432 lbs.
Eastern Oysters 497,980 lbs. 431,857 lbs. 355,999 lbs. 618,010 lbs.
Atlantic Surf Clams* 3,012,672 lbs. 1,905,632 lbs.
Total 42,110,921 lbs. 69,203,384 lbs. 56,874,398 lbs. 48,550,376 lbs.

DOCKSIDE VALUE

2009

2010

2011

2012

Blue Crabs $52,049,384 $79,054,851 $60,325,856 $60,466,889
Striped Bass $5,180,242 $5,424,979 $5,622,975 $6,172,364
Eastern Oysters $3,849,265 $4,384,916 $3,690,888 $5,709,679
Atlantic Surf Clams* $1,924,384 $1,365,088
Total $61,078,891 $88,864,746 $71,564,103 $73,714,020


COMMERCIAL LANDINGS

2005

2006

2007

2008

Blue Crabs 34,914,410 lbs. 29,445,503 lbs. 30,783,649 lbs. 34,871,781 lbs.
Striped Bass 2,339,307 lbs. 2,484,727 lbs. 2,640,433 lbs. 2,655,304 lbs.
Eastern Oysters 737,853 lbs. 273,894 lbs. 317,076 lbs. 249,449 lbs.
Clams 6,000,192 lbs. 7,755,776 lbs.
Total 43,991,762 lbs. 39,959,900 lbs. 33,741,158 lbs. 37,776,534 lbs.

DOCKSIDE VALUE

2005

2006

2007

2008

Blue Crabs $39,961,167 $31,140,947 $41,699,956 $50,115,293
Striped Bass $4,234,445 $4,591,321 $5,333,386 $5,231,848
Eastern Oysters $3,434,963 $1,237,726 $3,146,123 $2,277,057
Clams 3,984,752 4,889,357
Total $51,615,327 $41,859,351 $50,179,465 $57,624,198


COMMERCIAL LANDINGS

2001

2002

2003

2004

Blue Crabs 25,933,144 lbs. 26,480,553 lbs. 27,816,215 lbs. 35,627,324 lbs.
Striped Bass 2,049,269 lbs. 2,085,103 lbs. 2,193,375 lbs. 865,603 lbs.
Eastern Oysters 1,274,210 lbs. 566,990 lbs. 158,873 lbs. 42,791 lbs.
Clams 11,697,861 lbs. 10,338,082 lbs. 7,448,952 lbs. 7,270,048 lbs.
Total 40,954,484 lbs. 39,470,728 lbs. 37,617,415 lbs. 43,805,766 lbs.

DOCKSIDE VALUE

2001

2002

2003

2004

Blue Crabs $34,680,693 $30,338,384 $34,532,409 $41,179,384
Striped Bass $3,418,363 $3,759,313 $3,916,027 $1,507,564
Eastern Oysters $3,789,301 $2,172,418 $706,256 $181,003
Clams 6,989,059 6,586,775 4,737,336 4,653,632
Total $48,877,416 $42,856,890 $43,892,028 $47,521,583


COMMERCIAL LANDINGS

1997

1998

1999

2000

Blue Crabs 45,575,161 lbs. 30,870,447 lbs. 35,371,030 lbs. 22,847,019 lbs.
Striped Bass 2,485,714 lbs. 2,883,360 lbs. 2,430,310 lbs. 2,705,143 lbs.
Eastern Oysters 1,429,409 lbs. 2,460,954 lbs. 2,439,995 lbs. 2,368,236 lbs.
Clams 5,571,676 lbs. 6,235,742 lbs. 6,333,836 lbs. 6,876,074 lbs.
Total 55,061,960 lbs. 42,450,503 lbs. 46,575,171 lbs. 34,796,472 lbs.

DOCKSIDE VALUE

1997

1998

1999

2000

Blue Crabs $43,579,383 $34,269,494 $38,858,674 $30,842,600
Striped Bass $3,412,371 $3,716,949 $3,886,182 $4,215,711
Eastern Oysters $4,507,620 $7,635,153 $7,111,469 $7,192,089
Clams 3,466,155 3,533,342 3,294,558 3,687,762
Total $54,965,529 $49,154,938 $53,150,883 $45,938,162

*Due to reclassification of data collection from 2011 - 2013, statistics reflect only landings for Atlantic Surf clam, the largest landed single species reported by the Office of Science and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Source, 1997-2000: Fisheries Service [now Fishing & Boating Services], Department of Natural Resources
Source, 2001-: Office of Science & Technology, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

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