Tag Archives: Department of Marine Resources

Lobster buyer gets his license yanked

A hearing examiner has upheld the one-year suspension of the license of a lobster buyer accused of failing to report a portion of the purchases made off a barge based in Seal Cove in Tremont. In August, Maine Marine Patrol officers summonsed Donald Crabtree Sr. of Crabtree Seafood in Brewer on a charge of violating the Department of Marine Resources’ (DMR) reporting requirements, a civil violation. Crabtree appealed his suspension. A hearing examiner last week determined that the suspension is justified, according to Sgt. Troy Dow of the marine patrol. Crabtree began using the town-owned Seal Cove Wharf as a base for his lobster business in the spring of 2015. He was mooring his 45-foot barge there and used the facility’s ramp to load bait before motoring into Blue Hill Bay to sell bait to fishermen and buy lobsters from them. The day’s catch later was offloaded at the ramp. click here to read the story 11:16

Trying to make a living

As soon as Old Man Winter indicates he’s loosening his grip on the Maine coast and spring is finally in the air, lobstermen will begin to rig their traps in preparation for the upcoming fishing season. One of their prime concerns this year, as in any year, will be questions about bait supplies and costs. Like other businessmen, how much money lobstermen take home at the end of the day, and what their annual profits will be, depends upon their costs and the price per pound their lobsters bring at the dock. In addition to any boat payments they may have, and for some fishermen with newer boats, these are high, they’ll be eyeing current fuel and bait costs.,, continue reading the op-ed here 10:32

Potential coral protection rules could have big impact on Downeast lobstermen

The New England Fishery Management Council has put rules to protect deep sea corals on the fast track, rules that will have a major impact on lobstermen — primarily from zones A and B with some from Zone C — who set their gear around Mount Desert Rock and Outer Schoodic Ridge. The council is considering management measures to reduce impacts to corals from commercial fishing activities in three areas in the Gulf of Maine. One of the proposals would impose a total ban on fishing in the protected areas which, according to an analysis the Department of Marine Resources submitted to the council several months ago, are located in waters that produce about one-third of Maine’s lobster landings in terms of value. Now DMR is asking lobstermen who fish in the potentially closed areas for information that will help the department in its efforts to prevent the fishing bans. continue reading the article here 08:38

Maine’s Scallop season off to a good start

Five weeks into the scallop season the winter weather has begun to take a toll on fishing days, but not on landings. According to the Department of Marine Resources, when fishermen have been able to get off the mooring they have been seeing good landing. With snow, bitter temperatures and howling winds increasingly the norm since the last week of December, scallopers working outside the well-protected waters of Cobscook Bay got a break — or at least a chance for some relief — when several limited access areas opened to fishing on Monday, Jan. 2. While four segments of the coast were closed to fishing on New Year’s Day after their harvest targets were reached, the opening of the limited access areas gave an additional opportunity to the drag fleet in more protected waters once a week. So far, boat prices remain strong, and have even strengthened since the season’s opening. Read the story here  08:03

Are Maine halibut headed for trouble?

Go to Scales, an elegant waterfront restaurant on a Portland pier, and a plate of pan-roasted halibut with hazelnuts, brown butter and new potatoes will cost you $38, tax and tip extra. Go down to the dock in Lubec or Stonington during May and June, when Maine fishermen are allowed to harvest halibut from state waters inside the three-mile limit, and $38 would buy you about 5 pounds of halibut, if you could buy less than a whole fish directly off the boat. And that’s the problem. Over the decade between 2006 and 2015, the last year for which the Department of Marine Resources has figures, the boat price for halibut increased some 44 percent and landings increased from just 30,018 pounds worth about $139,000 to more than 93,000 pounds that brought fishermen some $623,000. Now federal fisheries regulators are saying that halibut may be in trouble. Read the story here 12:14

Marine Patrol seeks permission to bug boats that fish for “bugs”

Last November, the Marine Patrol charged a Spruce Head lobsterman with fishing 156 lobster traps more than the 800 he was authorized to fish. In October, a trap war between fisherman from Lobster Management Zones B and C reached such epic proportions that the state offered a $15,000 reward for information that could help the Marine Patrol with its investigation of incidents that, according to the Department of Marine Resources, had generated considerably more than $350,000 in lost gear. Zone B extends from Schoodic Point to Newbury Neck in Blue Hill Bay while Zone C stretches from Newbury Neck to Cape Rosier. Long before all that excitement came to public attention, DMR last April proposed legislation that would significantly expand the Marine Patrol’s authority to place electronic surveillance devices on commercial fishing boats surreptitiously, without first obtaining a search warrant from a judge or permission from the boat owner. Read the story here 08:42

Lobster buyer charged

A lobster buyer based out of Seal Cove is facing a year’s suspension of his license and a fine for allegedly violating Department of Marine Resources (DMR) reporting requirements. Donald Crabtree Sr., 48, of Crabtree Seafood in Brewer was summonsed Aug. 10 on a charge of violating the reporting requirements rule Chapter 8, a civil violation. Crabtree is scheduled to appear in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court for a dispositional conference on Dec. 16. According to Jeff Nichols, communications director of the DMR, the charge follows an investigation that began in the summer months of 2015 and continued through much of the summer of 2016. Crabtree is accused of buying lobsters from fishermen and not giving out sales receipts, Nichols said. Lobster buyers are required to report all transactions, including those made with cash. Read the story here 08:59

Lobstermen accused of ‘scrubbing’ female lobsters get license suspensions

The licenses of two Maine lobstermen have been suspended for six years because the Department of Marine Resources determined that the men illegally removed eggs from female lobsters. Dexter Bray Jr., 36, of Stonington and Philip Poland, 42, of Cushing will lose their licenses as the result of separate investigations, the Department of Marine Resources said Tuesday in a press release. Bray is accused of “scrubbing” female lobsters – removing eggs from the underside of a female lobster’s tail. Marine Patrol investigators said an anonymous tipster contacted them last spring and told them that Bray had tried to sell two egg-bearing lobsters at a lobster co-op in Stonington. Bray could face a fine of as much as $1,600. Investigators who received an anonymous complaint last summer said that Poland removed eggs from three female lobsters. Poland could face a fine of as much as $1,900. Read the rest of the story here 07:50

Dec. 1 – Scallop season opens with high hopes

smr_scalloping-042After an eight-month hiatus when, like summer tourists, the only scallops in local stores are “from away,” the Maine scallop fishing season is finally opening, at least for a handful of harvesters. All along the coastline, licensed scallop divers are allowed to start fishing for the succulent bivalves today, Thursday, Dec. 1. Dragger fishermen will have to wait to wet their gear until next Monday, Dec. 5. The season opens on an optimistic note. Over the past five years, scallop landings have increased steadily, from just over 175,000 pounds of scallop meats (about 1.5 million pounds in the shell) during 2011 to almost 453,000 pounds in 2015. According to Trisha Cheney, a resource management coordinator at the Department of Marine Resources, 635 harvesters—77 divers and 558 draggers–had licenses to fish for scallops last year and are eligible to get licenses in 2016. Of that group, Cheney said, 445 licensed harvesters actually participated in the fishery. There were, she said, 52 active divers, 373 active draggers and 20 “unknown” harvesters who DMR can’t identify as working in either category. In 2009, only 168 harvesters fished for scallops in Maine. Read the story here 21:32

Effort to protect deep-sea coral has lobster industry on alert

10042762_h13584979-600x450Over 400 Maine lobstermen could lose their traditional fishing territory under a proposal to protect deep-sea corals in the Gulf of Maine. The New England Fishery Management Council is considering a plan that would ban fishing in four designated coral zones spanning about 161 miles of federal waters in the Gulf of Maine – Mount Desert Rock, Outer Schoodic Ridge, Jordan Basin and Lindenkohl Knoll. Here, often on steep rock walls deep under water where sunlight cannot penetrate, scientists have found dense, delicate and slow-growing coral gardens of sea whips, fans and pens. During the cold-weather months, when 52-year-old Jim Dow usually fishes for hard-shell lobsters in deep federal waters, his buoys will encircle Mount Desert Rock, where the lobster is so plentiful that boats will sail for hours to drop traps there. As a result, fishermen call it the Meeting Grounds. He said word is just starting to spread about the coral protection plan, but he said the fishermen he has talked with say they didn’t even know there was coral in the deep canyons below. Read the rest here 10:16

1st Biloxi Bay oyster harvest of 21st century opens Tuesday

biloxi oystersFor the first time in at least 40 years, Biloxi Bay will open for oyster harvesting. The state Department of Marine Resources said in a news release reefs in the Biloxi Bay portion of the Mississippi Sound will open at sunrise Tuesday. DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller says the harvest of oysters for the first time in 40-plus years in Biloxi Bay is nothing less than historic. Miller says the opening of the oyster reefs confirms water quality has improved in the Bay. Officials say harvesting is limited to oyster tonging. No dredging will be allowed. The limit is 15 sacks per day. Artificial reefs will not be open for oyster harvesting. There will be a station in the Ocean Springs Harbor for fishermen to check in and out each day. link 10:26

Declining biotoxin levels – Some Down East shellfishing areas reopened

On Thursday, the Department of Marine Resources re-opened somedomoic-acid-mass of the coastline between Calais and Cutler for the harvest of clams, mussels and carnivorous snails, and said clamming will be allowed on a portion of the coast between Isle Au Haut to Winter Harbor. Shellfish harvesting on much of the Down East coast remains restricted because of an algae bloom that produces a toxin that can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning, or ASP, in humans. It is unclear if the limited reopening Thursday means the bloom is clearing up or if harvesting bans will be removed in other areas soon. “We can’t speculate, but we continue to test shellfish and phytoplankton along the coast, both inside and outside the impacted areas, and will re-open areas as soon as test results allow,” said Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the department of Marine Resources. Lifting the emergency restrictions was a relief to clammers who have been kept off the flats for the last two weeks. Read the story here 08:32

Two lobstermen accused of fishing violations following seven-month DMR investigation

me_maine_marine_patrolA fisherman accused of trying to secretly catch lobsters and his sternman have been charged with multiple fishing violations, according to state officials. Duston Reed, a 34 year-old lobsterman from Waldoboro, was arrested Aug. 18 by the Maine Marine Patrol and taken to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. The arrests of Reed and his sternman, Jeremy Yeaton of Friendship, came after a seven-month investigation, according to a news release from the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Reed was charged with fishing lobster traps that were not marked with a buoy, fishing untagged lobster traps, falsifying physical evidence and tampering with a witness. A total of 40 unmarked, untagged traps allegedly owned by Reed were recovered by Marine Patrol officers after an investigation determined where they were being used. Read the story here 21:55

Swipe card system will help track Maine sea urchin fishery

dmr-swipe-card-300x199Maine’s 2016-2017 sea urchin season will be a repeat of last season in terms of the number of fishing days and daily landing limits. But state regulators are launching a new swipe card system to track the activity of harvesters and dealers. The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) hopes the system will create efficiencies for fishermen, dealers and DMR staff. They also hope it will support efforts to keep the fishery sustainable. By automating required weekly dealer reports, previously done on paper, “swipe cards reduce the chance of human error which can occur when transcribing landings information,” said Trisha Cheney, DMR resource management coordinator for sea urchins. Read the story here 10:08

Shortage of herring for lobster bait market maxes out Maines Pogey Quota for the first time.

625968-20160805_Feature_03-1024x683The offshore supply of fresh Atlantic herring, the go-to bait for most Maine lobstermen, has been in short supply, driving prices up as much 30 percent in late July, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association said. The shortage triggered near-shore fishing restrictions to try to stretch out the summer herring catch in hopes of keeping bait bags full as Maine’s lobster season hits its peak. With herring getting scarce and expensive, fishermen have turned to other bait for relief, especially the pogie, the local name for Atlantic menhaden. It’s the No. 2 bait fish among Maine lobstermen, according to a state Department of Marine Resources survey. Maine fishermen have never landed the state’s entire pogie quota, which is set at about 166,000 pounds annually. But this year they had caught all of that and a bit more by July 31, said Megan Ware, head of the menhaden program for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which oversees the pogie catch and other migratory fisheries on the East Coast. Read the story here 09:41

Kevin Kelly – scallop counter for the Maine Department of Marine Resources

918819_216855-20160607_sourcemeet2Kevin Kelly has been at the Department of Marine Resources for almost 32 years, working on the groundfish and lobster fisheries before being assigned to scallops about nine years ago. He’s very fond of the fishery and the tough souls who making a living from it during Maine’s toughest season. “It’s dwarfed by lobster of course, but to the people that do it is a really big deal, especially with the loss of some of these other fisheries,” he said referring to shrimp and groundfish. We called him up to talk methods, marine resources and menus. Despite the expertise he’s developed, he’s not a scallop biologist. “My own kids probably think I sit at a desk and stare at scallops all day. But I deal more with the fishery and assessments than with the organism.” Was it part of his grand plan to spend his whole career at the Department of Marine Resources? He chuckled. “That was a long time ago. I can’t remember my plan.” Read the story here 08:35

Commercial Fisherman Andy Mays given the first DMR Excellence Award. Congratulations, Andy!

Andy Mays is not often at a loss for words. But when the Southwest Harbor lobster fisherman and scalloper was called up on stage at the Fisherman’s Forum banquet earlier this month to receive a new award from Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Commissioner Patrick Keliher, he was caught off guard. “I’m speechless. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been speechless,” he said. The DMR Excellence Award, presented for the first time this year, recognizes industry members who participate with the department to ensure a sustainable future for Maine’s commercial fisheries. Mays was honored for his 25-plus years of service and participation on DMR advisory councils. A great story about a great guy. Read the rest here 14:41

2015 a half-billion dollar lobsterpalooza for Maine fishermen

The Department of Marine Resources released its preliminary 2015 commercial fisheries landings Thursday night and the news was astonishing. According to DMR, the value of Maine’s commercially harvested marine resources topped $600 million in overall value in 2015. The total, $631,768,531, is an all-time high and an increase of more than $33 million over the previous record set in 2014. The largest single increase in value was in the state’s lobster fishery, which saw its total landed value jump by more than $37 million and the average per pound boat price increase by more than 10 percent, from $3.70 per pound in 2014 to $4.09 per pound last year. Read the rest here 08:59

Marine Resources Committee approves stripped-down version of lobster license changes

pat&govsmLawmakers on the committee that handles marine resources issues voted Wednesday to make modest changes in the rules that control lobster fishing licenses in Maine, side-stepping a more controversial proposal for access to Maine’s most lucrative fishery. Members of the Marine Resources Committee voted 11-1 to increase the age for young people to finish a required apprenticeship program, and to take steps to verify the validity of hundreds of names on a license waiting list. The action was a compromise between attempts by the Department of Marine Resources to trim the waiting list without hurting the resource and established lobstermen, who were opposed to what they saw as a loss of control and the potential for overfishing. Read the rest here 14:38

Maine Lobstermen pack Augusta hearing on controversial proposed licensing changes

Seth Morrissette works as a sternman on a lobster boat out of Friendship. He came to the podium at the Legislature’s Marine Resources committee, Wednesday, carrying his 3-year-old son, Levi, on his shoulders. His voice cracking, he told the lawmakers that his son would get his lobster license before he did. Morrissette was among a group who testified in support of a series of changes that would, in the words of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher, “strike a difficult balance” between 5,800 current license holders and the nearly 300 on a long and unpredictable waiting list. Read the article here 21:21

How a groundfish disaster today can spawn a different-looking fishery tomorrow

lobdrag041813-2.jpgThe federal government declared the Northeast groundfish fishery a disaster in 2012. But disaster arguably struck the region’s groundfishing fleet, particularly in Maine, long before that. In 1982, there were 328 vessels from Maine actively fishing for groundfish. By 2012, the number had fallen to 63 vessels participating in the first true industry that took root in colonial America — fishing for cod, haddock, flounder, pollock, hake and other ocean bottom dwellers. In 2014, 52 Maine vessels held groundfish permits. Read the article here 21:20

Lobster Advisory Council opposes limited lobster licenses

lobsterDM0811_468x521As a Feb. 10 hearing before the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee nears, Maine lobstermen continue to debate a bill that would tweak the system by which commercial lobster licenses are issued. The proposals included in the bill were first presented to industry members in a round of town hall-style meetings hosted by Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher during the summer and fall. The ideas have also been discussed in meetings of the state’s seven regional . Read the article here 08:54

The quest to save South Mississippi’s oysters – Fishermen begin oyster relay under DMR program

9673587_GThe quest to save South Mississippi’s oysters continued Monday. Coast fishermen were out on the Mississippi Sound all morning working to relocate oysters. The fishermen were working with the Department of Marine Resources to not only save the oyster crop, but to also save their livelihood. For the first time in months, the  was alive with activity as fishermen readied their boats for a day’s work. Over the past five years, many of these fishermen have had a very limited amount of time on the water, if any. “Everybody’s excited to do it,” said fisherman Shelby Cooper. Read the article here 10:12

Marine Resources Committee schedules hearing on elver legislation

american eelThe Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee has scheduled a public hearing on a bill introduced by Rep. Walter Kumiega (D-Deer Isle) that would give the Department of Marine Resources more flexibility in managing the elver fishery. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13, in Room 206 of the Cross Building in Augusta. Kumiega has also offered a bill that, he said, would improve the state’s lobster licensing procedures and reduce the waiting time for fishermen trying to enter the fishery. Read the article here 09:55

Opponents seek to reverse decision on oyster farm approval

10029921_H16655799-600x450Even though state and federal agencies have approved plans to establish a 50-acre oyster aquaculture site in Goose Cove, area residents and officials are voicing strong objections to the project and are asking federal officials to revisit the issue. Mark Nadel, a seasonal resident who spends summers on Goose Cove, said the combination of attracting large birds to the area and planes coming and going is a recipe for a repeat of the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson,” ROFLMAO! Read the article here, and support oyster food production! 16:50

Maine DMR closes Gouldsboro Bay and other areas to scallop fishing

mkThe Maine scallop fishing season opened on Dec. 1 and, less than two weeks later, Department of Marine Resources  closed it down in large areas of Downeast waters. Last week, DMR announced that, as of Sunday, scallop fishing in Gouldsboro and Dyer bays in Hancock County and Wohoa Bay, the Jonesport Reach and the department’s Inner Machias Rotational Area, all in Washington County, are done for this season. According to DMR, Keliher shut the fishery down in those areas “in order to protect Maine’s scallop resource due to the risk of unusual damage and imminent depletion.” Read the article here 08:29

Maine: Scallop season is under way, but maybe not for long

mkMaine’s winter scallop season opened last Tuesday, Dec. 1, and divers working in Blue Hill’s Salt Pond and outer harbor — both closed to draggers — got a nice surprise. According to Trisha Cheney of the Department of Marine Resources, divers in both areas were able to harvest their 15-gallon daily limit on opening day and the scallops they landed fetched an excellent price. Just how long the good news will last, around Blue Hill or elsewhere Downeast, is an open question. Read the article here 11:14

Maine – Industry confronts access issues as scallop season opens

SMR-Scallop-Meeting-1-300x199The Maine scallop fishery opened Tuesday morning, with predictions that the boat price will be high, the season short and the pressure to let more people into the fishery intense. Last week, Trisha Cheney, the Department of Marine Resources’ scallop resource coordinator, hosted an outreach meeting in Ellsworth to give industry members a heads-up about what to expect for the coming season and to hear their concerns about the fishery and the way it is managed by DMR. Read the article here 14:00

Maine Department of Marine Resources approves reduction to scallop fishing days

mkThe Department of Marine Resources has voted in favor of a 10-day reduction for the upcoming season. Scallop season runs from early December to mid-April, at a time when lobster fishing is not as lucrative. The area that will see a change this year, called Zone 1, runs from New Hampshire to the Penobscot River. Last season, scallop fishing in that zone was allowed on 70 days. This season, it’ll only be allowed on 60. Last year, though, the fishery saw an 18-year high in terms of profit. Maine scallops were worth almost $7.5 million.  Read the rest here 07:36

Censored Maine Fishermen Seek Assurances that Searsport Dredging Won’t Harm Bay

“My name is David Black and I’m from Belfast and I fish in this area out here. Wayne fishes beside me. We are the face of the destruction that this might cause out here.” Black says he worries the material will harm the bay’s fisheries. And he says state and federal regulators have not been listening to fishermen’s concerns.  “I went to a hearing on the dredging for the Department of Marine Resources in Searsport about three weeks ago,” he says, “and I wanted to make comments about the disposal site out here, and I was told that my comments were not appropriate – I could not make comments on this disposal site.” Read the rest here 08:31

Maine Elver fishermen report ‘horrible’ season

The 2015 elver fishing season has come to a disappointing end, local fishermen say. “Horrible,” fisherman Abden Simmons described it. “I don’t think I’ve caught half of what my quota was.” “Normally we have an eight-week season, but this year we had a four-week season,” Darrel Young, head of the Maine Elver Fishermen Association, said. The season actually began March 22, but Young didn’t catch his first elvers until May 3. Prices per pound of elvers ranged throughout the season from under $1,000 to a high of $2,700,  Read the rest here 15:04

Passamaquoddy tribe and state trying to find middle ground over use of fyke nets

Passamaquoddy tribal leaders and the Department of Marine Resources met Tuesday morning, trying to reach some common ground about a new emergency rule. The chief of the tribe would not go into detail about what the meeting was about, but he said these meetings are because of some disagreement between the two parties, specifically the use of fyke nets . Video, Read the rest here 09:05

DMR permanently revokes licenses of Swan’s Island fisherman

For the first time ever, a commercial fisherman in Maine has had all his licenses to fish permanently revoked, according to state officials. Citing Lucas Lemoine’s history of violations, Patrick Keliher, commissioner the state Department of Marine Resources, permanently revoked his commercial fishing licenses on Tuesday, department officials indicated in a prepared statement released Thursday evening. Lemoine, 33, had licenses to fish for scallops and lobster. Read the rest here 10:32

Fishing season for commercial red drum opens New Year’s Day in Mississippi

Commercial fishermen can welcome the new year with the opening of Red drum fishing season. On January 1, 2015 Red drum season opens for commercial fishermen at 12:01 a.m. with a commercial quota of  50,000 pounds. The Department of Marine Resources or (DMR) will close that season once that quota is met. commercial red drum season opens  Read the rest here 09:15

Maine scallop survey shows mixed results

Scalloper sc3675_02LUBEC, Maine (AP) — A Maine state government survey about the density of scallops from Penobscot Bay to Lubec shows mixed results for the fishery. The survey found that the density of harvest-ready scallops was significantly higher in the Bold Coast area in 2014 than in an adjacent area in 2013. The density of harvestable scallops was also higher in the Little Kennebec and Englishman Bay area in 2014 than an adjacent area last year. The survey results say five other areas – Addison, Frenchman Bay, Swan’s Island, Isle au Haut Bay and upper Penobscot Bay – had “poor scallop abundance.” The state Department of Marine Resources performed the survey in April 2014 10:11

Maine’s Scallop Fishing Season Begins in 1 Week

Maine’s scallop season begins in one week with state regulators again focusing efforts on rebuilding the fishery.  Department of Marine Resources say their 10-year rotational management plan for scallops in one of Maine’s three scalloping zones will be fully phased in this season. Read the rest here 08:43

UPDATED – Not Good: Lobsterman Jailed, Fined Over Illegal Lobsters

A Maine lobsterman who kept undersized and V-notched lobsters has been sentenced to two days in jail and fined $50,000. The Department of Marine Resources is also suspending his license for three years. Read the rest here 17:03

From pencil to computer: Lobstermen adapting to digital data collection

Just 10% of Maine’s lobster fishermen, selected randomly each year, are required to report landings and other data to the Department of Marine Resources. They use good old pen and paper, the forms provided by the DMR. In this digital age, that seems inefficient says Susan Corbett, CEO of Axiom Technologies in Machias. In recent years, she and Axiom, a broadband provider, have worked to develop an online data collection system for lobster harvesters. Read the rest here 10:10

Sen. Wicker goes fishing for information – how the DMR will handle almost $11 million in federal money

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker went on a fishing expedition Wednesday afternoon, and it wasn’t just to catch blue crabs and shrimp. It was to fish for information. While some tasty crustaceans were landed, his real purpose was to get a sense of how the DMR will handle almost $11 million in federal money to help revive the oyster and blue crab populations. Read the rest here 14:57

Maine Panel Approves 2014-15 Scallop Rules

The state Department of Marine Resources said Wednesday that the council signed off on proposed rules for the season. The rules call for the season to last from Dec. 1 to April 11. Zones one and two will have a 70-day season while zone three will have a 50-day season. Zone three includes scallop-rich Cobscook Bay. Read the rest here 16:16

Swan’s Island, Me: Islanders say lobster license waiting list unfair

Zeke Freelove waiting listAt age 31, with 15 years of lobster fishing experience under his belt, Zeke Freelove is betting he won’t be able to get a lobster fishing license until he’s 50. That’s because of the state’s limited-entry system, which leaves aspiring fishermen on waiting lists for years.hat’s because of the state’s limited-entry system, which leaves aspiring fishermen on waiting lists for years. Read the rest here 14:55

Biloxi: Department of Marine Resources: Miss. Sound oyster reefs either depleted or stressed

“It’s pathetic,” said George Stores, a Bayou Caddy oysterman and member of the Oyster Task Force who was on board a state boat as reefs were surveyed. “It’s absolutely pathetic. I’ve never seen it this bad.”Read the rest here 09:24

Mississippi oysters make a comeback – for a price

The Mississippi oyster industry is bouncing back from a triple whammy — Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil disaster and the Mississippi River flood — and is still a long way from its peak 10 years ago. Just over 78,000 sacks of oysters were harvested in the reporting year that ended June 30, according to Department of Marine Resources. Read more here 08:44

Maine DMR assents to fishing season sought by Scallop Advisory Council

The state Department of Marine Resources, acceding to the wishes of the Scallop Advisory Council, has proposed that draggers and divers be allowed to fish for scallops the same number of days in 2014-15 as the previous season. <Read more here> 17:54

Scallop fishermen argue against shortening season on Cobscook Bay

DENNYSVILLE, Maine — Patrick Keliher, Commissioner of the state Department of Marine Resources, came to listen to scallop fisherman on Tuesday afternoon. . Some of them gave him an earful. Leo Murray of Lubec called it “crazy.” Tracey Sawtelle of Lubec called it “baloney.” Read more here 12:12

Shrimp season looking good on opening day in Mississippi Sound

As the sun rose over the Mississippi Sound, hundreds of boats, big and small, were ready to drop the nets. A short time later, elation set in. John Guidry talked about his first drag. “45 minutes, and probably one of the best drags I’ve ever did in my life. Probably a good 50 pounds,” Guidry exclaimed. Read more here 17:41

State permanently closes lower Penobscot River to lobster fishing

BDNBUCKSPORT, Maine — State fishery officials have decided to permanently close 7 square miles of the lower Penobscot River to lobster and crab harvesting. The closed the area in February, citing concerns about elevated mercury levels found in lobsters along that section of river. Read more here 08:43

Last-minute arrival to Maine alewives festival: the fish

Now that the alewife run has begun, King said it will accelerate quickly. At Webber Pond on Seven Mile Stream in Vassalboro, he said he counted four fish Tuesday, 1,000 on Wednesday and more than 3,000 by midafternoon Friday. “For the environment, it’s a huge win,” said Jeffrey Pierce, president of the Alewife Harvesters of Maine. However, Pierce said the prevalence of predators raises new questions about wildlife management. Read more here  09:13

South Mississippi’s recreational and charter fishermen want more snapper

BILOXI — If South Mississippi recreational fishermen and charter boat operators had their way, they would get a larger share of the red snapper quota. That was the message of voting Tuesday night at the Red Snapper Summit put on by the state Department of Marine Resources. Read more here  13:32

Elver penalties mount amid extra scrutiny in Maine – Up to 14 fishermen face license suspensions

Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the state Department of Marine Resources, sits at the head of a conference table in his office in Hallowell, flanked by three marine resources officers and an assistant attorney general. Across the table sits Sean Manning, an elver fisherman from Sullivan with red eyes, a runny nose and a devastated expression. Keliher slides a box of tissues in Manning’s direction and asks him if he wants to say anything before the state revokes his elver fishing license.  portlandpress Read more here  09:28

Pesticide board to focus new tests on protecting lobsters

BDNAUGUSTA, Maine — The state Board of Pesticides Control is preparing to embark on a new program of water monitoring — sediment monitoring, more precisely — to focus on protecting marine life, particularly the state’s valuable lobster fishery. Read more here  08:45

New speckled trout rules will affect commercial fishermen

The most frequently caught fish in the Gulf will soon be off limits to part-time fishermen. The rule was needed because recreational fishermen were buying commercial licenses and selling their catches. Read more here  03:07

The Downeast Salmon Federation hopes ‘planting’ salmon eggs in rivers will restore population

The technique simulates natural activities of salmon reproduction. A female salmon creates a nest, called a redd, in the gravel of a streambed or riverbed in the fall. Using her tail, the fish scoops out a pit, lays her eggs, then covers them with gravel to protect them until they hatch in the spring. Read [email protected] 08:05

Scientists back off claims that Maine officials knew about mercury-tainted lobster years ago

msA day after saying state officials knew lobsters near the mouth of the Penobscot River contained unsafe levels of the toxin, researchers say the officials had older information that did not warrant issuing consumer alerts in 2010. But on Friday, after talking among themselves, the researchers said they had misremembered what information had been made available to the state and when it was made available. Read [email protected]  11:02

Lobsterman to find new place for traps after lobstering banned downstream from former chemical plant

BDN“It’s a very unfortunate thing,” he said Wednesday. “I hope that the state’s making the decision on good facts. I certainly do understand that decision. We have to protect the status of the Maine lobster at all costs. We’ve got to make sure we don’t do anything to jeopardize that. It’s unfortunate [the closure] is in the area where I’m fishing.” Darren Shute of Stockton Springs. Read [email protected]  08:49

Cobscook scallop fishermen bemoan emergency shutdown of season leaving, job loss, scallops to die of old age – DMR declines comment

There are “plenty of scallops around,” said Danny Jodway of Lubec, one of seven fisherman who gathered for breakfast at Helen’s Restaurant and invited reporters to listen to their grievances. Most fishermen can get their limit in roughly an hour, he said. Besides closing Zone 3, which comprises Cobscook Bay and the Saint Croix River, DMR also shut down five other small areas spread out along the coast. Read [email protected]  08:28  Link to comments Video and report from wlbz Bangor  10:22 Thank you, Vin!

Southwestern Maine likely to see further restrictions on scallop season

WISCASSET, Maine — The Department of Marine Resources on Wednesday took no action to further restrict scallop fishing from the New Hampshire border to Penobscot Bay, but said further steps — such as those already taken in the rest of the state — would be necessary to sustain the fishery through the rest of the season. Read [email protected]  08:53

Committee studies elver license rules

The Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee was scheduled to hold a work session Wednesday morning on a controversial bill that would force elver fishermen with licenses issued by any of Maine’s four federally recognized tribes to have those licenses validated in writing by the Department of Marine Resources. Read [email protected]  16:34

Fishermen Down East upset over Department of Marine Resources pending plans to curtail scalloping

The meeting in the Whiting Community Center was standing room only, with about 100 fishermen present. They did not take the news well, and at times there were testy exchanges between fishermen and Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the state Department of Marine Resources. Read [email protected]  22:08
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Divers brave chilly Down East waters for scallops

BDNEASTPORT, Maine — The sun is rising above Campobello Island as the Shelby Lee and Drusilla L. and a skiff motor their way to the other side of the breakwater from their mooring. Read [email protected]  23:25