Tag Archives: Maine lobstermen

Maine lobstermen serve booming world market

From trade deals in Europe and China, to the price per pound customers pay at the dock for their nightly dinner, York is a microcosm for both the uber international and the uber local sides of the lobster industry. And local lobstermen serving both markets are just pleased to see the lobsters here are finally shedding their shells and are getting hungry, filling traps that up until now have been pretty light due to colder than usual ocean temperatures during June and early July.,,, Jeff White, president of the York Lobstermen’s Association, said this season is “more like 20 years ago. You never expected to get anything until the middle of July. Why is it different? I really don’t know. The lobsters know and they’re not telling. click here to read the story 09:10

This year, a welcome switch on bait supply for Maine lobstermen

Bait freezers along the coast are full of herring and pogies, and even alewives, which means that bait is not only available, it is also much less expensive than last year when herring cost as much as 60 cents a pound, said Pat Keliher, commissioner of the state Department of Marine Resources. This year the lobstermen’s go-to bait costs about half as much. That’s still not a great price, Keliher said. Herring fetched about 18 cents a pound at the start of the 2015 lobstering season. “I won’t say we’re in great shape, but we are in a heck of a lot better shape than we were last year,” Keliher said. He attributed the strong start to basic supply-and-demand economics. click here to read the story 08:18

Trapped by heroin: Lobster industry struggles with its deadly secret

Maine lobstermen are plagued by opioid addiction, leading to deaths, ruined lives and even fishing violations to pay for the habit. Some in recovery also recognize the challenge: Getting help to an intensely independent breed that rarely asks for it. Until last year, when he finally kicked a 20-year heroin habit, Tristen Nelson had always been too high to even notice the best things about being a lobsterman in Down East Maine, like the beauty of a Bucks Harbor sunrise or the freedom of fishing two dozen miles offshore. He loves those things about his job now, but for two decades the 35-year-old Machias man only lobstered to make the quick cash he needed to buy heroin. He would spend all his money, up to $60,000 for six months of work, on drugs. And he would end every fishing season broke. continue reading the story here 08:13

Bait crisis is over, but Maine lobstermen are still feeling the pinch

1097790_730802-20160908_zone-c-cl2The lobster bait crisis that plagued New England this summer is finally over, now that fishermen have begun to catch herring off Georges Bank. But the price of lobstermen’s favorite bait fish, which rose dramatically when the offshore fleet wasn’t landing enough herring to refill empty bait freezers, has remained high through the end of peak lobster season, typically August through late October. Although there’s been no appreciable effect on consumer prices, lobstermen agree the shortage hurt their bottom line. “There is always a risk of something like this in a wild-caught fishery,” Patrice McCarron said. “You can’t create supply. Herring just wasn’t available, and no manager can fix that. I think the managers did the best they could to stretch the inshore bait out as long as they did, but there’s no doubt, it cost us more than ever to bait our traps this year.” Read the story here 09:33

Its all about the Quality! Maine lobstermen learn quality improvement

lobsterDM0811_468x521Lobstermen gathered at Kennebunk Elementary School Monday morning for a workshop on improving quality and profitability of the lobsters they harvest. The “Lobster Quality Tour” is a series of workshops put on by the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Lobster health expert Dr. Jean Lavallee spoke on a variety of topics including lobster biology and the stressors that lobsters encounter during the harvest and points thereafter. “We’re just trying to make them more aware from a lobster’s perspective,” said Dr. Lavallee. Dr. Lavallee said a lobster takes a unique recovery from a stressor. Immediately, the lobster enters the alarm phase, then the reaction phase, followed by the resistance phase, then the exhaustion phase, and then death. Video, Read the rest here 11:27

More Maine lobstermen to carry fed observers – mandatory for fishermen as a condition of their federal permit

obs_logo_lgAny Maine lobsterman with a federal lobster permit may now be contacted by federal fishery observers asking to send a representative on his or her boat for a day. That was the message from Maine Department of Marine Resources lobster scientist Kathleen Reardon to fishermen at a Zone B council meeting last week. If asked, hosting the observer is . The Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP) has been in the news this year over disputes about who pays to send observers on commercial fishing boats, but that controversy has been in the groundfish industry. Read the rest here 10:35

Maine Lobstermen divided on license proposals

lobster-license-bill-1067x800The legislature’s Marine Resources Committee heard six hours of testimony Feb. 10 on a bill proposing changes to the commercial lobster licensing system. Those offering testimony were split between support for and opposition to the bill, which will be taken up next in a work session of the committee. The language was drafted by Department of Marine Resources (DMR) staff, but the bill officially was sponsored by Rep. Walter Kumiega (D-Deer Isle). Sen. Brian Langley (R-Hancock County) was one of several cosponsors. Read the rest here 13:26

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

“It’s been an exemplary season,” – Maine fishermen cash in as lobster cracks $4 a pound

Bob Williams has been hauling lobster traps in Penobscot Bay since 1959 and says this year’s season has been among the most profitable ever. “It’s rare for us to have a fairly good catch and high prices,” said Williams, 78, who lives in Stonington. It’s a combination that seems to defy the laws of supply and demand – a large catch tends to lower wholesale prices. But that’s not happening this year even with Maine fishermen on track,,, Read the rest here 11:39

Maine lobstermen get stuck in severe thunderstorm (video and pics)

Two days ago I was talking with Skip and the #toughkid about the time we got stuck in a 70 knot thunderstorm my first summer on the boat. <Video, and photos here> 08:45

Maine lobstermen starring in hilarious “shrinkage” videos

When my boss Skip Werner told me last fall that he had helped make a short film, I figured it was just for some fun project, especially when he told me the video was a joke about “shrinkage”. Want to learn more about the purpose of these films? Keep reading, the P.E.R.C explains: Read more here 09:48

 

Maine lobstermen seemed a likely group to sign up for health care coverage under President Obama’s landmark law.

baby fishermanThey face such job hazards as getting tangled in traps and dragged into the ocean. Ever present is the possibility of injury from the physically demanding labor. And in a field made up of independent contractors, there are no companies providing insurance, so many are uninsured. So over the past several months, advocates set about educating lobstermen and their families about the law, listening to their concerns and signing up hundreds of the 5,000 or so lobstermen,,, Read more here portlandpress  08:03

A Maine lobstermen union?

Maine lobstermen may not initially strike you as the type of workers who would join a union. Yet as of this past fall, approximately 600 lobstermen from up and down the coast had done just that. Why would lobstermen join a union, and what does this say about the state of organized labor in today’s economy? Read more here  blr.com  15:12

Maine lobstermen fall overboard more often than people may think

“It’s a lot more common than people know,” said David Cousens of Spruce Island, president of the 1,200-member Maine Lobstermen’s Association. “I’ve almost gone over twice in 40 years. I had the rope around my feet both times, and luckily had a sternman who acted quickly and got me undone.” Read [email protected]  11:11

Calling all lobstermen who want to star in a reality TV show! – Hoping it’s bettah than that stupid eel show. Yessah!

“We’re seeking tough, active lobstermen: you could be a family who’s been fishing for generations [or] a new, hard-nosed skipper striking out on your own,” an announcement issued this week by the firm stated. Read [email protected]  11:10 Comment @bdn

Maine lobstermen continue to struggle with low prices

YORK, Maine — Local lobstermen are waiting to see if a new global marketing campaign for Maine lobsters will keep prices stable….Yet Sinclair said what’s hurting lobstermen is a changing industry made up of investors who want biggeseacoastonlinelogor profits and who have never stepped foot on a lobster boat. Sinclair brings his catch to a smaller dealer in Kittery who pays fairly, he said. The bigger dealers “are killing the industry,” Sinclair said. “They’re setting the price; it’s price fixing in the worst way.” [email protected]

Maine Lobstermen tell state commissioner about price, processing woes

Low prices, lack of processing facilities, and the risk of losing the family tradition of lobstering were among the topics discussed at length Tuesday afternoon as harvesters met with the state’s marine resources BDNcommissioner. [email protected]

More than 20 Maine lobstermen are expected at the State House today – lobbying against by-catch bill

AP – AUGUSTA – Lobstermen are lobbying against a proposed law that would eliminate potential penalties for Maine-based groundfishing boats that catch lobsters in federally regulated waters.. continued

Maine lobstermen seek to claw into new markets

With last year’s glut of lobsters and plummeting prices still a vivid memory, Maine lobstermen are hatching strategies to cultivate new markets and more customers for the state’s leading fishery. Lobstermen expect another big harvest this year, but it’s unclear whether it will begin early again, said Marianne La-Croix, acting director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council, an industry-funded organization in Portland. Read more

Lobster Landings Set New Record, But Lobstermen Aren’t Cheering

The good news: Maine lobstermen landed more lobsters than ever before — hauling in some 123,305,642 pounds of the state’s signature crustacean. That is about 18 million pounds more than 2011’s previous record-setting catch of about 104.9 million pounds.

The bad news: despite the huge increase in landings (until 1990 or so Maine’s total annual lobster landings averaged about 20 million pounds) the value of the catch was some $331 million. That’s a drop of about $3.7 million (or a little more than 1 percent) compared with 2011.  Read more