Tag Archives: Maine Lobstermen’s Association

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

Controversial bill allowing secret tracking devices on lobster boats wins Maine Senate approval

A compromise has been reached over a controversial bill that would allow the Department of Marine Resources to secretly place tracking devices on lobster boats. The measure is aimed at cracking down on violators of lobstering laws. The Maine Lobstermen’s Union had been strongly opposed to the bill, saying it gave the commissioner too much authority by allowing him to covertly track boats. But after a discussion with the commissioner this morning the union now backs the bill. “So we have a lot more people fishing offshore, much more difficult to catch violators offshore,” said Patrice McCarron of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. McCarron said if allowing investigators to covertly place tracking devices on boats of suspected cheaters leads to more arrests, the industry will be better off. Video, click here to read the story 11:30

Maine Lobstermen Support GPS Tracking of Lawbreakers Fishing Vessels – Lobstermen from Swans Island are fed up with the bad behavior of fellow fishermen who violate regulations within the states most valuable fishery.  Video, click here to read the story 12:02

Maine Lobstermen Say They Aren’t Harming Threatened Coral Beds

The fragile deep-sea corals that populate the canyon walls and basins in the Gulf of Maine provide habitat for many species of fish as well as baby lobster, crabs and squid. But the New England Fisheries Management Council has concluded that the northeast coral beds are threatened when they are disturbed by commercial fishing operations and is weighing new restrictions that could affect Maine.  The council held a public hearing in Ellsworth Thursday night, where lobstermen spoke in support of a plan that protects coral colonies while still allowing them to haul their traps.  Most of the lobstermen who spoke agree that the coral beds in the Gulf of Maine play an important role in the overall health of the marine ecosystem. And most, such as Cranberry Isles fisherman Jack Merrill, think that Maine lobstermen and the coral beds have been getting along well for decades. Click here to read the story 18:21

Maine lobstermen worry about possible closure to protect coral

Charles Kelley began fishing for lobster on Outer Schoodic Ridge about 20 years ago, preferring the solitude of deep waters to the crowded inshore fishery.,, Kelley is worried that he could lose his winter fishing territory if interstate regulators decide to ban all fishing in a 31-square-mile area at the ridge and an 18-square-mile area southwest of Mount Desert Rock to protect deep-water coral gardens found in those waters.,,, Some environmental groups have banded together to oppose the lobster exemption, among other aspects of the proposal, including the Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana and The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Heavy offshore trap gear … poses a threat to long-lived and vulnerable deep-sea coral communities,” they wrote in an April 11 letter. “Trap fisheries directly damage corals.” Click here to read the story 07:58

Maine lawmakers endorse tougher penalties for lobstermen who cheat

A legislative committee voted unanimously Wednesday to toughen penalties on lobstermen who fish too many traps or use “sunken trawls” as part of an industry-supported effort to crack down on lawbreakers. “I do think this is going to get people’s attention and will hopefully make people realize that it doesn’t pay to cheat,” said Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Lawmakers are considering a suite of requests from the Maine Department of Marine Resources for more enforcement tools and tougher sanctions against violators in an industry worth more than $500 million last year. A bill unanimously endorsed by the Marine Resources Committee, L.D. 575, would allow DMR’s commissioner to order longer license suspensions for lobstermen who violate the laws on the first offense and, in several cases, permanently revoke the licenses of repeat offenders. click here to read the story 19:49

At the Maine Fishermen’s Forum: Lobstermen work with state on new penalties for violations

Enforcement of marine resource laws was the top concern when lobstermen met with state regulators March 3 at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum. Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher and Col. Jon Cornish of the Maine Marine Patrol met with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association in a packed meeting room at the Samoset Resort to talk about the state’s efforts to improve enforcement of marine resource laws. “You guys don’t agree on much,” moderator Patrice McCarron of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association said, earning a laugh from the gathered fishermen. She said the common ground the fishermen had found was their concern about violations. “Lobstermen deserve to work on a level playing field,” she said, but violations make that field unfair, and there was concern the penalties have not been severe enough to deter illegal activity. Work had begun long before the forum with a survey of lobstermen in the association and throughout the fishing industry to see what their top priorities were in terms of enforcement. The results of that survey led to a bill going before the Maine Legislature to improve the state’s lobster laws. continue reading the story here 10:08

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

What’s on a real roll? Demand for the Maine lobster

The demand for lobster is on a roll — often literally. And that is helping to keep the price that Maine lobstermen are getting for their catch near historic highs. The annual per-pound price first rose above $4 in 2004 and stayed there through 2007, then fell sharply during the recession. In 2015, annual price paid to Maine lobstermen reached $4.09 a pound, the first time it had topped the $4 mark since 2007. This year, dockside prices for lobster have been close to or above the $4 level throughout the summer and fall, when most lobster is caught and prices usually dip to reflect the ample supply. Isle au Haut lobsterman Payson Barter said that he has been getting prices this fall that are “about the same” as those in 2015. He sells his catch to Little Bay Lobster in Stonington for $4 to $5 per pound. He said the relatively warm water this fall has helped increase the number of lobsters close to shore but that the crustaceans are now making their seasonal migration farther out to sea. Read the rest here 09:29

Mercury findings prompt state to widen lobster fishing ban in Penobscot River estuary

10-lobsters1Lobstermen never want to see an area closed, but they have supported the Penobscot River ban because they want to protect the long-term reputation of the product, said Patrice McCarron, president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Maine has expanded its ban on lobstering and crabbing in a small section of Penobscot Bay after finding elevated mercury levels in lobsters tested south of the existing no-fishing zone. The Maine Department of Marine Resources had declared seven square miles of the Penobscot River estuary off limits to lobstermen and crabbers in 2014 after a federal court-ordered study detected elevated mercury levels in lobsters found as far south as Fort Point on the west bank and Wilson Point on the east bank. On Tuesday, based on the results of state-funded tests done after the initial closure, the department announced it would add 5.5 square miles to the no-fishing zone, extending it south to Squaw Point on Cape Jellison and Perkins Point in Castine. Read the rest here 09:18

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

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 lobster industry wary as warm waters suggest repeat of disastrous 2012 season

For those in the lobster industry, any sign of a return to the conditions of 2012 is cause for high anxiety. Researchers say the industry needs to be prepared for that possibility because warming trends are laying the groundwork for a potential repeat of the disastrous season of four years ago. “We learned a hard lesson in 2012,” said Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Because of warm waters in the Gulf of Maine, peak harvesting started in May that year, weeks ahead of schedule. The catch jumped more than 20 percent, from 104 million pounds in 2011 to 127 million pounds in 2012. The shedding season,,, Read the article here 10:29

Maine Lobstermen’s Association kicks off new year with focus on lobster marketing

On Jan. 6, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) hosted the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative’s executive director Matt Jacobson at its first monthly board meeting of 2016. The MLA, founded in 1954, is the state’s oldest fishermen’s organization. The MLA was instrumental in establishing the Collaborative in 2013. Lobstermen are reporting an excellent year for both volume of lobster landings and profit for the 2015 fishing season. This is in stark contrast to the steady decreases in profit the industry suffered after the economic crash of 2008,,, Read the article here 20:20

Three Maine Lobsterman Organizations weigh in on Cashes Ledge Monument Proposal

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Downeast Lobstermen’s Association and cashes ledge closed are weighing in, along with groups from other states, on the new National Marine Monument proposed for Cashes Ledge and the New England Canyons in the Gulf of Maine. “To unilaterally allow such a designation would usurp the established habitat and fisheries management public process and could be economically catastrophic not only to the commercial and charter fishermen but also to hundreds of small coastal communities in New England,” Read the rest here 11:18:08

What to do with an icon: Boston PR firm hired to retool branding for Maine lobster

mainebiz“We’ve got a great story to tell,” adds David Cousens, a fisherman and president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. “We’re poor at telling it, but we need to get better at it. We’re independent businessmen, we catch the product, we bring it in fresh. It’s a great, healthy, wild-caught product coming out of pristine water. We need to get that story out there because that story sells.” Read the rest here 20:59

Judge lifts ban on advocacy by Maine Lobstermen’s Association

A federal judge signed an order this week removing a ban that kept the Maine Lobstermen’s Association from discussing management of the lobster fishery. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby signed the order July 21,,, Read more here 06:19

Feds support vacating 1958 judgment against lobstermen’s group

The decree was a result of a lawsuit the Department of Justice brought against the organization in 1957, after federal officials became concerned that members of the group were trying to fix the market by setting a minimum price that lobstermen would be paid for their catch. Read more here 08:53

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association seeks end to federal ban on discussions related to supply

has asked the U.S. Department of Justice for relief from a 56-year-old restriction that limits the trade group’s ability to discuss management of the fishery. Read more here 11:46

Maine Lobstermen’s Association says 54-year-old consent decree doesn’t work anymore – Read more here  14:02

Herring fishermen lose on higher haddock bycatch limit

Herring fishermen are struggling to avoid haddock because the stock on Georges Bank is increasing, said Tooley, who also is a council member but recused herself from Thursday’s vote. At the same time, federal regulators have lowered the cap for haddock bycatch from previous years, she said. “The biomass has gone up and the cap has gone down. That’s the problem,” she said. Read more here 11:12

V-notched lobster decline is a threatening sign in Maine

Lobstermen’s efforts to mark egg-bearing female lobsters with a V-notch on their tail have been on the decline since 2008, which could put pressure on the future health of the state’s most lucrative fishery, state officials said. Read more here  16:04

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

Maine lobstermen seek relief from 1950s federal restriction

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association hopes this will be the year it gets relief from a 56-year-old federal restriction that limits what the trade group can say about the management of the state’s largest commercial fishery. The association hopes the U.S. Department of Justice will lift a consent decree that it imposed in 1958 – the year after the group lost an antitrust lawsuit that alleged it was trying to set prices paid to lobstermen. Read [email protected]  11:02

Seeking stability, some Maine lobstermen join union – The Maine Lobstermen’s Association voices concerns

With  promises to fight bad legislation and negotiate prices for their catch,  the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has  been recruiting fishermen in some of Maine’s most lobster-reliant  communities, including Vinalhaven, Stonington and Jonesport. So far,  more than 250 fishermen have signed up for what will be called the IAM  Maine Lobstering Union. continued

Maine lobster bill a threat to Gloucester

The Maine legislature is considering a bill backed by Gov. Paul LePage that would eliminate the legal bar to allowing lobsters caught by accident in the nets of trawlers to be landed in Portland — a change that could induce the owner of the state’s largest fleet of groundfishing boats to abandon Gloucester’s port for the primary one in his home state. continued

Don’t be lured by false promises from new lobstermen’s union – Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.

Bangor Daily News – The Maine Lobstermen’s Association has been proudly and effectively representing Maine lobstermen for 59 years. The MLA was organized in 1954 by lobstermen who had the foresight to understand that they would be better off working together than on their own. continued

Bill would add $1M to Maine’s lobster marketing efforts – Nelson King of Cutler said, “It amounts to extortion,”

Nelson King of Cutler said he didn’t like the fact that LD 486 would make lobstermen come up with 75 percent of the funds for the marketing program. He accused dealers of conspiring to pay lobstermen low prices and said that it would not be fair to have fishermen support a program that mainly helps dealers, processors and restaurants. Read more