Tag Archives: Julie Keene

Eastern Maine Skippers dip toes in murky waters

What’s bugging people in the fishing industry in your town? How do you find out? What can you do about it? More than 100 students from the Downeast eight high schools that participate in the Eastern Maine Skippers program travelled to the Schoodic Institute last week to learn how to answer those questions. The students were gathered at the first of four “full cohort events” planned for the current school year — as much to give them the opportunity to meet one another as to get a start on acquiring the problem-solving skills that can help keep the fisheries, and fishing industry, in their communities sustainable. click here to read the story 18:11

Maine’s latest fishing frenzy brings in $1,200 a pound — and it’s not lobster

It is just past midnight, rain clouds stalking a full moon, and Julie Keene is out on a muddy riverbank in thigh-high rubber boots and a camouflage jacket, a headlamp strapped over her hair. As she wrestles with an oversize fishing net, Keene tells how she went from rags to riches, and that’s not a story many fishermen tell. Just a few years ago, the sardine factory in her hometown of Lubec had closed, and Keene was scrounging for a living digging clams and gathering periwinkles from the beach. “We were so damn poor we were on food stamps,” Keene said.Then came what for Maine was the equivalent of a gold rush. It was slimy, squirmy baby eels — in such demand in Asian markets that they were suddenly more profitable than even the beloved Maine lobster. One memorable night in 2012 when the baby eel were running strong, Keene was paid $36,000 — in cash — for her catch Click here to read the story 10:17