This article more than appalled me, I was hurt and offended. Genevieve McDonald, F/V Hello Darlin’ II

I am a commercial fisherman out of Stonington, Maine, and though I do not speak on their behalf I am the Downeast Region Representative on the Maine Lobster Advisory Council. I was utterly appalled by the article, What it’s like to kill hundreds of lobsters a day, written by “coastal reporter” Alex Acquisto. click here to read the story

“We pulled the hot lobsters, one by one, out of their cage and into the traveling container. It was a grisly scene — many of the lobster’s eye holes were empty, which made me imagine them getting so hot that they exploded out of their heads. Disembodied limbs and white, gelatinous residue — which I later found out is the lobster’s equivalent of blood — was spread across many of the bodies, which looked bloated.”

The Maine lobster industry is not only vital to the economy of coastal Maine, but is also one of the last natural resource revenue builders in the state of Maine. Through the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative fishermen have invested millions of dollars to promote Maine lobster. But it’s more than that – the Maine lobster industry is iconic. For many of your readers in Washington, Hancock, Waldo, and Knox counties lobster is integral to our culture, identity, and sense of place.

This article more than appalled me, I was hurt and offended. I have been a faithful reader of the Bangor Daily News for decades, and relied on your publication to be a trustworthy news source. There is nothing in this article that is news. Cooking for the masses is hard and dirty work, whether it be a hunters breakfast, a church supper, or cooking off lobsters at the Maine Lobster Festival. I was blindsided by what was clearly an effort to smear the Maine lobster industry. But I am certain I was not nearly as blindsided as the organizers of the Maine Lobster Festival who trusted the Bangor Daily News to send a reporter who would not cast their event in such an unfavorable light.

I am shocked that as editor of this newspaper, you allowed this story to run with complete disregard for those who may be negatively impacted, or for your own relationships. Do you expect moving forward anyone in the fisheries will agree to an interview with this so called, “coastal reporter?” Are you intending to no longer report on fisheries issues without input from the industry? The Bangor Daily News has and can do better that this.

The people of Maine are not social media “likes” and Internet hits. I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Secretary William S. Cohen, and in our conversation he reminisced about the days when the media was a source of information, not sensationalism, and if people had an issue with what was written they wrote a Letter to the Editor – well, here’s mine. And if the Bangor Daily News prefers to value poor quality, sensationalism over the people of Maine, our culture, traditions, and livelihoods – you can count me out of your readership.


Genevieve McDonald
F/V Hello Darlin’ II
Stonington, Maine