Tag Archives: Maine Lobstering Union

Maine Lobstering Union Pursuing Higher Profits

Maine lobstermen have long been known as a fiercely independent lot. But some are looking to the power of unity, in the form of a statewide, catch-to-table co-op. The goal is to harvest a larger and more predictable share of the profits. It’s 10 a.m. and Rock Alley has already been cruising Washington County’s Sequin’s Passage off Beals Island since a little after daybreak. The 60-year-old Jonesport fishermen tells his two stern men to get ready as he maneuvers his 46-foot, Jarvis Newman lobster boat through some shallow waters to get to his traps.,, Lobsters from the MLU are transported by union truck drivers to the Lamoine holding pound, where union employees sort, crate and eventually load them onto even larger trucks, also driven by union workers. click here to read the story 12:39

Bill to move Monhegan wind power project draws crowd to legislative hearing  

Lawmakers heard passionate, conflicting testimony Tuesday from dozens of people on a bill aimed at moving a nationally significant wind energy test site farther from Monhegan Island. Supporters said views of two massive floating turbines would jeopardize tourism, lobster fishing, migrating birds and the sense of serenity associated with Monhegan’s wild beauty. Some said island residents were being bullied and divided by the University of Maine and the partners of Maine Aqua Ventus, a project that is testing new technology for offshore wind turbines about 3 miles from the island. The project initially promised a small, brief test, but has now expanded it beyond anyone’s expectations. Opponents of the bill, which would move the test site at least 7 miles farther out to sea, said it is unneeded and unwelcome, adding that it would short-circuit the process by which islanders are evaluating the project’s potential benefits. Both sides said much is at stake. But representatives of the Maine Lobstering Union, which represents 500 fishermen, said wind power has no place on the Maine coast. Other lobstermen, though, spoke in favor of the turbines. Mary Weber, whose husband, Matt, fishes around the island, said they didn’t think the turbines would deter tourists, and might even draw a new set of visitors interested in clean energy. click here to read the story 15:30

Maine lobstermen figured out how to make more money off their catches

A lobstermen-only fishing organization has purchased a local lobster wholesale business, extending the reach of its members further down the distribution chain and giving them a greater share of the profit off their catch. The Maine Lobstering Union, formed in 2013 in the wake of a sharp drop in prices paid to lobstermen by dealers, is buying Seal Point Lobster Co., a wholesale lobster distribution firm owned by the Pettegrow family. The Pettegrows also own the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound restaurant, which is not part of the sale.,, “It’s about putting lobstermen in a better position in the value stream on the shore side of the industry that they’ve never had access to,” Pitcher said recently. Read the story here 08:35

Maine lobstermen’s union votes to buy Hancock County lobster business

The Maine Lobstering Union voted Saturday to buy a wholesale lobster business near Mount Desert Island to help its fishermen net a bigger share of the profit in the booming, $1.5 billion-a-year industry. At a closed-door meeting in Rockport, members voted 63-1 to buy the wholesale side of the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, which includes a tank that can hold up to 180,000 pounds of lobster, for $4 million, said Local 207 President Rocky Alley. “We can’t wait to start buying and selling our own lobsters,” Alley said. “Right now, fishermen sell at the dock, and we get what we get, with no control. But there is lots of money made off lobsters after they leave the dock, and some ought to stay with us fishermen.” The vote enables the Maine union to borrow money from a Kansas City bank and to borrow $1.1 million from fellow locals in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as far south as Maryland to purchase the Lamoine-based wholesale business. continue reading the story here 21:36

Maine lobstermen oppose increase in cost of commercial fishing licenses

A proposal to increase the cost of commercial fishing licenses to fund scientific research in a lean budget year is drawing fire from Maine lobstermen. Julie Eaton, a 30-year lobster boat captain from Deer Isle, told a legislative panel at the State House on Friday that a 30 percent increase in lobster license fees would be too much on top of all the other costs of doing business, ranging from $125 to replace lost traps to $185 for monthly oil changes to bait bills that have doubled in the last year alone. The Maine Department of Marine Resources is seeking to increase lobster license fees about 30 percent, which would generate roughly $600,000 in new revenues. That money would be used to expand state lobster research and protect other department units, like the Maine Marine Patrol, despite budget cuts ordered by Gov. Paul LePage to offset the anticipated effect of a new minimum wage law and state school spending initiative. Continue reading the article here 09:24

Whale Protection Rules: Maine Lobstermen Divided Over Whether to Sue – Wait’ll the Cod Protection Rules Kick In!

Maine lobstermen are considering taking the federal government to court over regulations designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. The Maine Lobstering Union has filed a notice of intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service over new and existing rules requiring the modification of lobster gear. Read the rest here 18:58

Maine Voices: Dredging of Searsport Harbor would be economic folly – Rocky Allen, Maine Lobstering Union

Sen. Susan Collins has observed: “In parts of Maine, the environment is our economy.” No place epitomizes that principle more than Penobscot Bay. The members of the Maine Lobstering Union unanimously oppose the Searsport dredging project, as proposed, because it simply makes no economic sense for Maine. Read the rest here 11:53

Dredge opponents fear Penobscot River pollution

For the opponents of the Searsport dredge project, mercury contamination is the big worry. Those concerns deepened in February when the Maine Department of Marine Resources closed seven square miles to lobster and crab fishing after unsafe levels of  Read more here 08:25