Fishermen around the state are hoping a million-dollar investment in the Portland Fish Exchange can breathe new life into one of the nerve centers of the state’s fishing industry.
The 28-year-old fish exchange, located on Portland’s waterfront, is critical to the state’s groundfish industry because it is Maine’s only live seafood auction, hosting sales of cod, flounder and pollock five times per week. The city-owned facility frequently houses ten tons of fish in a day and attracts local buyers and those from New York and Boston.
But the volume has dipped in recent years as New England’s groundfish industry has struggled. The exchange moved close to 30 million pounds of fish per year in the early 1990s but now averages about five million pounds per year, Portland Fish Exchange General Manager Bert Jongerden said.
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