Tag Archives: Patrick Keliher

Maine Seeks to Aid Lobstermen as Federal Whale Protections Loom

On Friday, the state’s Department of Marine Resources released a plan it says protects the endangered whales and lobstermen, whom the feds say need to do more to prevent traps and lines from killing the whale. Maine’s suggestions include having lobstermen use ropes with weak points the whales could easily break and calls for a 25% reduction in the amount of vertical trap lines. >click to read< 08:29

Maine Plan Aims To Reduce Lobstering Impact On Right Whales – The Maine Department of Marine Resources tweaked its October proposal to balance the needs of lobstermen while protecting the whales,,, >click to read< 09:32

Lobstermen’s Association rejects DMR whale proposal

Efforts to find consensus over how to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales from entanglement in fishing gear without decimating the Maine lobster industry took a blow last week. The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) announced that it would not support a plan developed by the Department of Marine Resources “because it seeks reductions that exceed the documented risk posed by the Maine lobster fishery” and “creates unresolved safety and operational challenges for some sectors of the lobster industry,”,,, >click to read< 10:43

Lobstermen Question State Whale Plan at Waldoboro Meeting

Lobstermen expressed a mix of frustration and acceptance upon hearing the state’s new plan to protect North American right whales during a meeting in Waldoboro on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher presented the state’s proposed gear rules and fielded questions in the Medomak Middle School gymnasium. Photo’s >click to read< 09:55

Lobster industry split over whale protection plan called Maine’s ‘line in the sand’

Some fishermen at the South Portland meeting cheered the plan. One gave Keliher a standing ovation, saying the new proposal was much better for the lobster fleet than the task force plan rolled out in August that called for 50 percent fewer buoy lines. But fishermen in Ellsworth and Waldoboro, the site of the first two meetings this week, urged Keliher to resist federal pressure to make concessions that would hurt lobster fishermen when they pose no real threat to the whale.,, “Grow a backbone,” one lobstermen told Keliher. “Don’t give them anything now.” >click to read<  07:47

Lobstermen hear proposed measures to mitigate danger to right whales

Patrick Keliher, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, explained the plan the DMR will submit to the federal government, hoping the proposal is strong enough to meet guidelines.,, Correction, George Michael Bernier, who fishes out of Gouldsboro, said the proposed changes — while more palatable than the previous plan — still increase the danger and the cost for fishermen. Bernier said plenty of fishermen have thought of selling out but said they are just in too deep. Many would face bankruptcy if they did so,,, Video, >click to read< 06:20

‘It Sucks … But I’m Going To Try It’ — Officials Present Proposed New Gear Rules To Maine Lobstermen>click to read<

Maine proposes targeted exemptions to help lobster industry weather whale crisis>click to read<

DMR’s answer to whale rules focus offshore

Last week, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher announced that after “rigorous scientific analysis,” the department had come up with a new draft plan to address “both the risk to right whales and concerns of fishermen” that is “in keeping with the real risk the Maine fishery presents.” Last March, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced that the risk of injuries to right whales in the Gulf of Maine had to be reduced by at least 60 percent. Last March, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced that the risk of injuries to right whales in the Gulf of Maine had to be reduced by at least 60 percent.,,, The rule also would extend electronic vessel monitoring now required on boats that hold permits to fish for species other than lobster in federal waters to all federally permitted lobster boats. >click to read< 11:27

Keliher gives fishermen homework on whale rules

“Feel free to yell at me,” Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), told a packed gym at the Trenton Elementary School Tuesday. “But it’s the federal government that’s driving the bus here.” Keliher was in Trenton for the first in a series of meetings with lobstermen up and down the coast to discuss specific ways for the lobster fishery to meet targets established in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (TRT), which works under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. >click to read<11:51

How an invasive species or pig hide could solve Maine’s lobster bait crisis

Gulf of Maine lobstermen are casting around far and wide for new kinds of bait now that federal regulators have cut herring quotas by 70 percent. Possible solutions range from the mass importation of a nuisance fish from the Midwest, to manufactured baits, to pig hides. Fisheries managers estimate a 50-million pound “herring gap” in Maine over the next year. To help close it, they are turning to colleagues in Illinois. >click to read<09:33

From Carp to Pig-Hide: Bait Shortage Means Change for Lobsters’ Diet – (a lot more information in this article) >click to read<

Maine Lobstermen Face 50 percent Trap-Rope Reduction To Protect Right Whales

Representatives from 14 Atlantic coast states participated in the four-day consensus-building project, including fishermen scientists, state regulators and conservation groups. The stakes were highest for Maine’s lobster industry, which landed $484 million worth of the crustaceans last year – the most valuable single-species fishery in the nation. The Cape Cod Times reports that Massachusetts and New Hampshire agreed to a 30% cut in the number of vertical lines, and to use ropes that break at a reduced weight. “The regulations proposed here today are a big ask,” says Patrick Keliher, the commissioner of Maine’s Department of Marine Resources. >click to read<13:06

NOAA – Team Reaches Nearly Unanimous Consensus on Right Whale Survival Measures ->click to read<15:50

UNACCEPTABLE – Strict right whale protection goal raises concerns among lobstermen

Patrick Keliher, head of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, announced the proposed target at a conference of U.S. and Canadian lobstermen in Portland Friday while defending a decision to cancel three meetings with Maine fishermen to talk about looming right whale protections.,,, The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that fishing rope entanglement kills or seriously injures five to nine right whales a year,… A few minutes later, Keliher got an email from the fisheries service that spelled out its risk reduction target. Frustrated, he stood up and delivered apparent bad news – he told an already exasperated audience that the service now wanted a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in the size of the lobster fishery. The room erupted with anger. >click to read<22:49

MDI native to lead Maine Marine Patrol

Lieutenant Jay Carroll of Southwest Harbor, a 23-year veteran of the Maine Marine Patrol, has been promoted to Colonel, chief of the state’s marine law enforcement branch. He will begin work in his new role April 1, replacing Jon Cornish who officially retires April 5 after 34 years of service. “I am honored to take this next step in my career and look forward to working with the talented, hard-working Marine Patrol professionals whose efforts are critical in sustaining our state’s valuable marine resources,” Carroll said in a statement. >click to read<09:51

Despite a banner year, looming bait crisis leaves plenty of Maine lobstermen anxious

Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, is worried about the severity of herring restrictions imposed by the federal government after the species failed to reproduce in sustainable numbers last year. “It’s about as bad as we can imagine, but we don’t yet know what it’s going to translate to for the fishermen,” McCarron said. McCarron said that Maine fishermen face a shortage of some 50 million pounds of bait in the coming season. “We’re seeing an 84 percent reduction in that particular source of bait, so we’ll have less than 5,000 metric tons, which will probably be caught in a week, in one week,” she said.>click to read<12:04

Whales and license laws top lobster industry agenda

The blowy weather that made lobster fishing a hard chance recently might well have been a blessing in disguise. The wind and cold certainly have given shorebound Maine lobstermen a good chance to learn about the tempests engulfing their industry in the Legislature and the world of fisheries regulation. Already beset by limits on how they fish — trap numbers, trawl length, the kind and strength of rope used for groundlines and buoy end lines are all regulated in the name of conservation or protecting endangered northern right whales — lobstermen are waiting to see what new rules regulators may impose on the fishery. >click to read<11:45

Atlantic Lobster Board Moves Toward Reducing Rope In Effort To Save Right Whales

A consortium of Atlantic states fisheries managers is calling for broad changes to the gear lobstermen use, in an effort to reduce risks posed to the endangered North Atlantic right whale and to ward off potential federal action that could be even more challenging for the industry. At a meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council in Virginia, its lobster board voted unanimously to set in motion the process that could lead to major changes in the East Coast’s lobster industry. >click to read<12:43

Marine Resources Committee open for business, sets Keliher confirmation hearing

The Marine Resources Committee has new co-chairs, Sen. Dave Miramant (D-Knox County) and Rep. Joyce McCreight (D-Harpswell), and will hold its first hearings this week. First out of the gate at the Marine Resources Committee is LD 4 — “An Act To Encourage Applied Shellfish Research” — sponsored by Rep. Robert Alley (D-Beals) and scheduled for a hearing at 1 p.m. on Thursday Jan. 24. >click to read<14:46

Fishing industry lobbies for Maine commissioner to retain his post

The leaders of Maine’s fishing industry want Patrick Keliher to stay on as head of the state’s Department of Marine Resources under incoming governor Janet Mills. “Our industries are confronted by major issues on the water, in international waters, and within several regulatory arenas that have major consequences for our ability to do business and remain profitable,” industry leaders wrote in a rare joint letter to Mills. “The future success of Maine’s seafood industry depends on the continued strong leadership, stability, institutional knowledge and political capital that only Commissioner Keliher possesses.” >click to read<10:36

Maine fisheries groups support DMR Commissioner Keliher

In what must be a first in modern history, virtually every commercial fishing organization in Maine joined together to urge Governor-elect Janet Mills to keep Patrick Keliher on the job as commissioner of Marine Resources after she takes office in January. First reported in the Maine Lobstermen’s Association’s Landings, shortly after the election, the MLA, Downeast Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, Maine Aquaculture Association, Alewife Harvesters of Maine, Maine Elver Fishermen Association and the Independent Maine Marine Worm Harvesters Association signed a letter to Mills voicing the organizations’ unanimous support for the current DMR commissioner. >click to read<18:08

ASMFC block Northern shrimp harvesting for 3 more years

Citing continuing concerns that further fishing could drive the species to extinction, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted Friday to cancel not only the 2019 Maine shrimp season, but the 2020 and 2021 seasons as well. Commissioners from New Hampshire and Massachusetts supported the closure, while Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, voted no, according to Tina Berger of the commission. DMR spokesman Jeff Nichols said in an email that Keliher would have supported a one-year moratorium. >click to read<17:59

Whale protection, trawl limits entangle Zone C lobstermen

October is a peak month, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, for feistiness in Maine’s population of hornets and wasps. Lobstermen too, judging by last week’s meeting of the Zone C Lobster Management Council at Deer Isle-Stonington High School.,, While the trawl rule was at the forefront of last week’s debate, lurking just below the surface was a technical memorandum issued late last month by the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center. >click to read<11:49

Elver fishermen push for higher quota, say resource isn’t endangered

Despite the abrupt end to the elver season last month due to poaching, elver fishermen continue to support an increase in Maine’s annual catch limit. The Bangor Daily News reported that more than 60 elver fishermen appeared at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission — the interstate body that oversees the eel and elver fishery, among others — to consider whether to raise the quota from 9,688 pounds to 11,749 pounds. >click to read<13:47

Illegal fishing drives early shutdown of elver fishery

The Department of Marine Resources announced Wednesday afternoon that it will shut down the elver fishery two weeks early “because of illegal sales which jeopardize the department’s ability to manage the fishery.” The department will use its emergency rulemaking authority to close the season. The elver fishing season will close at 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 24. The season was scheduled to end at noon on Thursday, June 7. Under the regulation, licensed harvesters may not fish for or take elvers after 6 a.m. on May 24, but may possess and sell elvers until noon on that day. Licensed dealers may purchase elvers until noon on May 24, and may possess legally purchased elvers until 6 a.m. on May 29. >click to read<08:34

Maine: New halibut rules aim to keep fishery open

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has reminded harvesters with an Atlantic halibut endorsement of new state regulations designed to keep the state compliant with federal rules. The new state rules, enacted in April as emergency regulations and scheduled to become permanent in June, are designed to prevent state licensed harvesters from exceeding the allowable catch limit in state waters and contributing to an overage for the combined state and federal fishery. >click to read<10:26

Maine: Scallop fishermen near end of season

The Maine scallop fishing season opened during the first week of December and now, with two weeks or less remaining, reports on how good a season it has been are decidedly mixed. On the good side of the ledger, there seemed to be plenty of scallops, often in places where none have been seen for years, Melissa Smith, who coordinates scallop management for the Department of Marine Resources, said last week. >click to read<11:16

Maine lobster catch dips to lowest level in 6 years in ’17

The state that dominates the U.S. lobster haul saw the catch fall to its lowest level since 2011 last year, yet the industry is still strong and the crustaceans remain easily available to consumers, regulators said Friday. Maine fishermen caught a little more than 110.8 million pounds (50.3 million kilograms) of lobster last year, following a stretch of five consecutive years in which the state topped 120 million pounds (54 million kilograms) annually, the state Department of Marine Resources announced. Fishermen in Maine, who typically catch about 80 percent of America’s lobster, also made slightly less money. >click to read< 09:57

ASMFC to require Maine to collect catch reports from all lobstermen

An interstate fisheries commission voted Tuesday to require all licensed lobstermen in Maine to start filing catch reports within the next five years. Lobstermen in Maine, where currently only 10 percent of licensed lobstermen are required to file catch reports, overwhelmingly have been opposed to such a requirement. Other states, all of which have lobster fisheries smaller than Maine’s, already require 100 percent of active lobster harvesters to file daily catch summaries. Maine’s Department of Marine Resources also has opposed requiring all lobstermen to file reports. >click to read< 16:08

State disputes study that predicts sharp decline in Gulf of Maine lobster population

The state agency that oversees Maine’s marine fisheries is questioning the reliability of a new study that predicts a sharp decline in Gulf of Maine lobsters over the next 30 years. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the University of Maine and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration built a computer model that predicts the population will fall 40 to 62 percent by 2030. But Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources, won’t be using the model to help him decide how to manage the state’s most valuable fishery,,, >click here to read< 01:06 

Lobstermen speak out against proposal to have Maine’s entire fleet report data

Maine doesn’t require all of its lobstermen to share their fishing data, and they say reporting even 10 percent of the country’s largest lobster fishery is enough to give state and federal regulators statistically valid data. That’s the argument advanced by lobstermen, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and the state Department of Marine Resources against a proposal for 100 percent reporting, at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. >click here to read< 11:09

It’s Maine Shrimp Season, Without the Shrimp

Sitting between Glen Libby’s desk at Port Clyde Fresh Catch and the armchair where his brother’s old dog, Red, likes to nap are two boxes full of “The Original Maine Shrimp Cookbook.” This slim spiral-bound volume includes contributions from various members of the brothers’ immediate family, whose shrimping history dates back nearly four decades in this coastal town about two hours northeast of Portland. Mr. Libby loves the small, delicate Northern shrimp, known fondly here as Maine shrimp, and so do customers at his processing and distribution plant. Photo’s, click here to read the story 22:12

Marine resources commissioner opposes task force to study addiction in fishing industry

The head of the Maine Department of Marine Resources has come out against a proposed bill to study the high rate of addiction in commercial fishing. Patrick Keliher said a task force bill that will be introduced by Rep. Mick Devin, a Newcastle marine biologist who sits on the committee that oversees Keliher’s agency, focuses too narrowly on one industry. Keliher acknowledges the commercial fishing industry has a drug addiction problem, but no more so than any other line of work. Addiction is an issue that transcends the fishing industry, he said. click here to read the story 08:05

Maine objections couldn’t stop shrimp closure

Say this for Maine — both its state fisheries regulators and its shrimpers: They don’t like to lose. Last Wednesday, Maine got outvoted by Massachusetts and New Hampshire on whether interstate fisheries regulators should continue closing the Gulf of Maine to shrimping for the fifth consecutive year. Massachusetts and New Hampshire voted to keep it closed. Maine, hoping to sustain as much of its shrimp fishery’s infrastructure as possible, argued for a modest season despite the continued dire forecasts for the northern shrimp stocks — which, if possible — seem even worse than what NOAA Fisheries says about Gulf of Maine cod. click here to read the story 09:04