Tag Archives: maine

Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation is working to limit Maine’s aquaculture lease process.

With aquaculture growing, one organization is concerned about continued conflict on the coastline. Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation was established two years ago. Executive Director of the non-profit, Cyrstal Canney said her group is fighting to reduce the size and amount of aquaculture leases. Canney did add her organization is not against aquaculture but wants to protect traditional fishing grounds. >click to read< 08:48

Opinion: The Reason for No Season – Jim O’Connell

These are 2 females. The black shelled female on the left did not shed this year for the first time skipping the yearly shed. It now has eggs. It was a pound and a half and does not have to shed every year anymore.,,, Canada is not protecting the reproductive potential with it’s seasonal rules. They force the lobstermen to throw the baby out with the bath water. Lobstermen who are trying to make a living for the whole year in two months are targeted on the most important lobster for reproduction.,,, The First Nations have publicly come out and said they want to improve the regulations on the present method for sustainability. Jim O’Connell, >click to read< 15:36

Lobsters to be given away to Mainers in Need Christmas Eve

Nothing says Maine generosity quite like giving away lobsters to those in need. And on Christmas Eve, no less. Local lobsterman, Noah Ames, and his family have been giving away lobster to those in need in the past and now, in the dumpster fire that is 2020, they’re not stopping as the need for food assistance is greater than ever. >click to read< with a message and details from Noah Ames! Merry Christmas!

Factory farmed salmon: inland farms offer alternative to diminishing wild stocks, with bigger carbon emissions

One of these land-based salmon farms is planned for Bucksport, Another is intended for Belfast,,, Meanwhile, Nordic Aquafarms, a Scandinavian company with two farms in Denmark, one in Norway and plans for another in northern California, has chosen Belfast for its site. A more ambitious project than that planned for Bucksport, the company hopes to create the second largest such farm in the world. Welcomed by officials for its potential contribution to the town’s economy, there has been opposition from some local people,,, Land based farming using an RAS, recirculating aquaculture system, raises the fish with no exposure to the ocean other than fast flowing, temperature controlled water which is pumped in and out of the fish tanks round the clock. >click to read< 14:15

Mayday call likely a hoax, search off Maine coast suspended

The Coast Guard said it has called off its search for three fishermen in the water off the Maine coast because the mayday call was likely a hoax. The mayday call said a 42-foot fishing boat was taking on water off the coast of Spruce Head in Knox County and the three crew members were putting on survival suits before going into the water. No name of the vessel was given in the mayday call. (no EPIRB alert) >click to read< 14:31

Maine’s booming seal population concerns local fishermen, biologists. Cod predation isn’t mentioned

Biologists say there are three points to consider: While the increase in harbor seals is creating a healthier ecosystem for the Gulf of Maine, it’s also creating problems for local lobstermen who say they’re a threat to their livelihoods, and it’s drawing new and potentially dangerous fish into our waters at a rate the state has never seen before. “I’ve had guys call me and say, ‘Are you having a problem with bait bags being ripped out because of the seals?’ and I say, ‘Yeah. I’ve had five or six.’ he says, ‘Rusty, I just had twenty traps in a row right, in a row. The seals went bang bang, bang, bang, bang right down through and ripped all the bags out,'” Court said. >click to read< Bait bags? What about cod fish bellies?!!

Despite an uncertain start to the fishery’s season, Maine lobster rolls on as the industry pivoted to new markets

Stonington lobster fisherman John Williams usually hauls his boat out in February for annual maintenance and paint in preparation for the start of the spring fishing season. “Then COVID started,”  The health emergency was worsening and the economy shutting down. That included one of the lobster industry’s biggest markets — restaurants. The large cruise ship and casino markets also slammed shut. International freight and shipping to China, emerging as a large consumer of lobster, had nearly stopped. “I got thinking about it and said, ‘This doesn’t look very good. We won’t have any market,’” Williams says. >click to read<  10:31

Maine awarded a $2.2M grant to develop a roadmap establishing an offshore wind power industry

The grant, to the Governor’s Energy Office in Augusta, is being made by the Economic Development Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The money will be matched with $267,624 in state funds and $112,457 in local funds. “Unleashing American innovation is critical to our global competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a news release. “This project will allow Maine to capitalize on its technical leadership in the wind power sector to diversify and grow the state’s economy and make it more resilient.”  >click to read< 13:48

An Update from Commissioner Keliher

Dear Industry Member, I’m reaching to share what’s been happening recently at DMR. It’s been a busy summer. CARES Act – Negotiations with NOAA on our CARES Act spend plan have finally been completed.,,  Soon, we will be reaching out to you by mail and email with information on the application process. USDA Trade Relief, Federal Whale Rules, Aquaculture, Marine Patrol, and more.  Like I said, it’s been a busy summer. But, despite the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 we have established remote operations and the work continues. We will keep sending these updates until we can gather in-person. Until then, stay safe. Pat. >click to read< 12:21

An Update from Commissioner Keliher Regarding CARES Act Funds

Over the past few days I have received several calls from harvesters and the press asking about the CARES Act relief money.  It seems that some are putting it out on social media that “The State is keeping the money” or “It’s only going to support aquaculture.”  One individual asked me, “How are we supposed to know what is happening when no one tells us anything?” That statement shows me that the webinars and conference calls we’ve had to rely on can’t replace in-person communications. Regarding the CARES Act money,,, >click to read< 12:46

Stephen C. Dexter – Being a self employed fisherman was the finest kind to him.

We sadly lost a valuable member of the community on the evening of August 24, 2020 when Stephen C. Dexter, 70, favorably known as “Critter”, passed away after a courageous four-year battle with cancer. Critter grew up in North Yarmouth, graduating from Greely High School in 1968. He was an easy-going and caring soul. His even-keeled nature had a way of drawing people to him. He was thought of as a beloved friend and father to many. Being a self-employed fisherman was the finest kind to him. Always up well before the sun, hard work was a part of his daily life. He started lobstering in the 1970s out of the Stripper 1. From there he went tuna fishing, dragging for scallops and shrimp, and then spent the majority of his fishing career lobstering off of Sequin Island out of the Kristin Leigh. >click to read< 09:19

Getting a jump start on a lobstering career with the Maine student apprenticeship program, getting started as young as 8!

Zac has always been attracted to the open water and salty air and last year he started apprenticing under commercial lobsterman Eddie Foye, who is a distant cousin Zac had never met. Eddie has been lobstering for three decades at the Isle of Shoals and has mentored his three children including his 17-year-old daughter Raegan Foye. This past summer Zac completed the 1,000 hours of lobstering with a mentor, a requirement under the student apprenticeship program in the state of Maine that guarantees kids can get a commercial lobster license when they turn 18 if all the requirements are met. >video, click to read< 21:06

Maine: Lobster boat sinks after hitting a ledge in Naskeag Harbor, Captain taken to hospital

A 36-foot lobster boat, Turn the Page, sank off Naskeag Point on the sunny, breezy afternoon of August 26, according to a Department of Marine Resources statement. The vessel, captained by 45-year-old Carl Gray of Sedgwick, hit a ledge in Naskeag Harbor, according to the statement. The boat continued on until it eventually ran aground near the boat launch around 1:30 p.m., DMR said. That was two hours after low tide,,, One fisherman took Gray to the hospital, while other fishermen managed to tie the Turn the Page to the public pier at Naskeag Point. >photo gallery, click to read< 12:42

USDA trade aid for lobster industry using coronavirus coffers

The Trump administration is committed to starting an aid program to help the struggling lobster industry, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Wednesday, but the funds to do so will come from the coronavirus stimulus package, not the aid used to bail out farmers after President Trump’s trade war with China. The lobster industry, like many others during the coronavirus outbreak, has seen losses as markets on cruise ships and restaurants evaporate.,, Trump has began paying considerable attention to Maine’s lobster industry starting this summer, traveling to Bangor in June to announce he would reverse protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. >click to read< 18:07

As the press ignores the real issues, Lobster fisher’s pro-Trump speech sets off political spat

A Maine lobster fisher spoke in favor of President Donald Trump’s trade policies during the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, earning a rebuke from the state’s Democratic party,,, Swan Island lobster harvester Jason Joyce said he was skeptical of Trump in 2016 and didn’t support him then, but has since come around because of the president’s trade deals.,, Trumps trade hostilities with China have taken a valuable market away from the U.S. lobster industry, Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra said. But the industry faces numerous challenges, including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the seafood business, the trade fight with China, a stubborn bait shortage and new protections designed to reduce risk to endangered whales. >click to read< 05:16

Jason Joyce Full speech RNC Day 2, Republican National Convention – an excellent testimonial, Jason. Thank you for being a truth teller. >Click to watch<

Falmouth beach closes after lobster boat spills diesel fuel

The northern beach at the Falmouth town landing is closed after a lobster boat spilled diesel fuel into the water Monday morning. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, a local lobsterman had beached the boat on purpose to do maintenance. When the tide came up, the boat didn’t. When the tide went back down, the boat tipped over and spilled the fuel. photo’s, >click to read< 15:08

What a life Stevie Robbins had

Inside an old trap shop on West Main Street down by the harbor, Stevie Robbins for many years played his guitar and sang on Sunday mornings, starting at 7 a.m. Anyone who wanted to could join him, and many did. ,, He was a highline fishermen, one of the first to fish off the Georges Banks. A master boat handler and lobster catcher, he was tough and strong and determined, said Brian in a phone interview. “He could walk across your living  room floor and there’d be a lobster hanging off his pant-leg by the time he got to the other end,” he said. At first he fished inshore with Brian. Then the stories about the offshore fishermen, Bob Brown and Benny Beal, started to trickle down to the Robbins boys. In 1977, they set out for the offshore grounds in the 44’ Shirley and Freeman, named for his mother and grandfather. At first, they had little luck. What they did catch they sold to Clyde Conary. “We didn’t make Clyde any money,” said Brian. “He’d have a cigarette, and say, ‘I got faith in you boys.’” photo’s,  >click to read< 08:25

Who’s Buying Lobster?!! Maine Lobster Industry Pivots Focus

The Maine lobster industry has shifted it focus from foodservice to retail as restaurant demand has fallen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While 70 percent of Maine lobsters are usually sold through foodservice channels, this year that figure is expected to be under pressure amid widespread restaurant closures and restrictions on dining out. “Typically we spend a lot of our marketing resources educating chefs about Maine lobster,” said Marianne LaCroix, executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative which represents Maine lobster harvesters, dealers, and processors. “We looked at what was available to us, and saw it was going to have to be about consumers eating lobster at home this year.” >click to read< 12:13

There is Nothing Like a Lobsterboat Race

As a sports reporter, I’ve covered just about every big championship the sports world has to offer. But none come close to being as hardcore as the annual lobsterboat races in Jonesport. One weekend a year, fishermen and women, who usually use their boats to haul lobster traps, empty out their cabins, trick out their engines, and see how fast those babies can go. The reckless beauty of fishing vessels charging through the Atlantic takes your breath away. It quickens your pulse. How, you think, are these clunky boats going so insanely fast? By Charlotte Wilder >video, click to read< 09:36

Iconic sardine carrier Pauline to be restored for group’s educational mission

Built in Thomaston in 1948, the “pretty Pauline” was the queen of the fleet, carrying sardines from the coves of Vinalhaven and the waters around remote offshore islands at the mouth of Penobscot Bay such as Wooden Ball and Seal to the North Lubec Canning Co.’s plant in Rockland. For the past decade or so, the boat has sat unused alongside the breakwater at the Billings Diesel & Marine shipyard in Stonington. Harlan Billings, late owner of the shipyard, kept Pauline afloat and the yard did some work on the boat’s hull to keep it tight. A few years ago, he donated the boat to OceansWide Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Newcastle that, among other educational projects, has organized the Traps to Treasure program in Gouldsboro. >click to read< 15:23

Rep. Genevieve McDonald wins primary for House seat representing islands

Rep. Genevieve McDonald is all but assured a second term in the Maine House. The Stonington Democrat won Tuesday, July 14, the Democratic primary for Maine House District 134 that represents Vinalhaven, North Haven, Isle-au-Haut, Deer Isle, Stonington, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Swan’s Island, Frenchboro, The Cranberry Isles and Marshall Island Township. The winner of the primary is likely to be the winner in November. She defeated primary challenger Julie Eaton of Deer Isle. >click to read< 11:15

Prime Lobster Season Is Here, but Mike Dawson Isn’t Celebrating.

Mike Dawson (self-employed) Location: New Harbor, Maine Employees: 1, Status: Open, essential industry. The lobsters have just started to “come on” for the 2020 season, which in the lexicon of a Maine lobsterman means the annual lobster migration and catch has begun for the summer. Normally,  that would signal a time for the state’s 5,000 lobster harvesters to spend all their time setting and hauling traps. Not this year. This season is marked by weak demand from restaurants across the country and seafood processors that are taking less meat during the coronavirus pandemic. International markets have slammed shut. As a result, lobster prices are weak.Some lobstermen are still sitting on the sidelines, collecting unemployment. Others, like Mike Dawson, who fishes off New Harbor, Maine, have diversified by catching pogeys, or bait fish, in addition to catching lobster. 16 photo’s, >click to read< 16:05

In Lobster Town U.S.A., When the industry suffers, the pain ripples.

Blaine Olsen, a lifelong lobsterman, was navigating his 30-foot boat off the coast of Stonington, Maine, when his sternman, who’s also his wife, yelled above the diesel engine’s din about the pittance the local cooperative was paying harvesters. He shot Ginny a doleful stare for a good five seconds. “Holy sh-t, man,” he said. “It costs us $600 a day to go out.” The dock price, $2.25 a pound for soft-shell lobsters, was half what it was a year ago, making it virtually impossible to earn a profit. The novel coronavirus has barely touched the public health of this corner of rural down east Maine, with Hancock County reporting just 16 cases and one death as of June 30. Its economic health is another matter,,, >click to read< 10:50

Maine: Not about to be trapped, captains push vessels to limit for bragging rights, top prizes

Hauling: Lobster boats make waves in watery race party – On Saturday, June 27 in Rockland Harbor just inside the breakwater, there was no time for these usual working vessels to stop and pick up a pot because the race finish was in sight and there were bragging rights on the line. In this case, the lobsters had to wait. In beautiful, early-summer weather, in front of hundreds of spectators on the breakwater and dozens of moored boats that had traveled far and wide from Maine’s watery nooks and crannies, and, on this day, combined to create a small floating city in the harbor, the annual Rockland Lobster Boat Races turned out to be a roaring, with emphasis on roaring success. >click to watch video, see more than 120 photos<13:31

Island Democrats to help pick House nominee – Both women are lobster boat captains

There are few contested primaries on the ballot this year but one is the Democratic nomination to represent the House district that includes Vinalhaven and North Haven. Incumbent State Rep. Genevieve McDonald of Stonington is being challenged in the July 14 primary election by Julie Eaton of Deer Isle. Both women are lobster boat captains. McDonald is serving her first two-year term in the House, being elected in 2018.,, Eaton was born in Ellsworth, grew up in Surry, is a lobster boat captain starting her 35th season working on the water. >click to read< 08:20

It’s time to open the economy back up! Maine Lobstermen Seek Ways To Prevent Financial Crash

Anti-glut tactics might include limiting days at sea, narrowing size limits or barring the catch of single-clawed lobsters to reduce the overall haul. In an online meeting Monday, Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher told Downeast lobstermen that he’s found no consensus on the best course of action. Lobsterman Jim Hanscom, of Bar Harbor, says he is wary of intervention by Gov. Janet Mills. “This governor scares me on a lot of levels, and the idea of her having the ability on shutting this fishery down or stopping dealers from buying, I think it’s just dangerous.” Keliher is scheduled to brief Mills on the issue Tuesday,,, >click to read< 10:40

This is very cool! Happy Birthday! Celebrate the Lobster Lady’s 100th birthday on TV

The Rockland Historical Society will bring its June program to everyone at home this year. The program will be a documentary film, “The Lobster Lady,” based on the lifelong career of Virginia Oliver who started lobstering with her older brother when she was eight years old. Oliver will turn 100 June 6. She is, no doubt, the oldest licensed lobster fishing person in Maine and probably the World. With 92 years of experience, Oliver is looking forward to starting a new season. She lobsters with her son, 77-year-old Max Oliver. Weather permitting, they go out three times a week. Both have their own traps. Oliver has 200 traps of her own. >click to read<>click to watch the film< 12:05

Activist Seeks Preliminary Injunction To Halt Lobster Fishing In Maine

There are new developments Friday in the legal battle over whether rope used by Maine lobstermen poses a deadly threat of entanglement to endangered North Atlantic right whales. Richard Strahan’s case is similar to one he brought in Massachusetts, where a federal judge ruled recently that the lobster fishery there violates the Endangered Species Act. Strahan says state governments and NOAA have deliberately ignored the law. In another case, a coalition of conservation groups late Friday filed their proposals for protecting the right whales. That’s after a judge’s finding that the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to stall the whales’ slide toward extinction. The Conservation Law Foundation and others say the judge should immediately bar use of vertical rope,,, >click to read< 11:42

Massachusetts Lobstermen push against whale rules – Aug 22, 2019 >click to read<

North Atlantic Right Whale: State must secure incidental take permit within 90 days to to avoid fishery closures

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani said that Massachusetts has done the most of any state in the country to keep endangered North Atlantic right whales from becoming entangled in lobster pot and gillnet lines.,, In her April 30 decision, Talwani postponed ruling on closing fisheries, but gave the state just 90 days to obtain an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On Monday, a federal judge in Maine ruled that a similar suit could proceed, denying NOAA’s motion to dismiss. Both injunctions were brought forward by Richard “Max” Strahan, a longtime and controversial right whale activist with several prominent cases over the past two decades who sued under the Endangered Species Act. >click to read< 11:35

Maine farmers, fishermen find new ways to keep selling products safely

As businesses struggle to stay afloat and keep serving customers, farmers and fishermen are finding ways to keep up selling their products safely. A farmer launched an online initiative and now there is one site with more than 300 farmers, fishermen and other producers all on one interactive map. Click on any of the icons for each business to get details on how to buy products and how to get it. >click to read and use the interactive map for names and locations.<  It should continue expanding beyond the region! 15:05