Tag Archives: maine

Maine lobsterman shows off rare bi-colored, hermaphroditic lobster

It’s not uncommon for a lobster fisherman to bring up a lobster with more than one color, but more than one sex – that’s particularly rare. Jacob Knowles, a fifth-generation Maine lobsterman, posted videos to YouTube and Instagram last week showing off just that – a lobster that appears to be half-male, half-female. He said a fellow lobster fisherman caught it and gave it to him. “It’s the coolest lobster I’ve ever seen,” he said. In the videos, Knowles noted fans have nicknamed the lobster “Bowie,” after the late singer/songwriter David Bowie. It’s also half-blue, which itself is a rarity. Turning it over, the genitalia running along the tail are clearly half-male, half-female. more,video, >>click to read<< 06:29

Maine lobstermen signal opposition to participating in ropeless testing program

Maine lobstermen are signaling their hesitation to participate in a multimillion-dollar program the state is launching to test new ropeless technology that the federal government soon may require to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Lobstermen have been largely unhappy with the regulations, fearing that the regulations will destroy the lobstering industry as they know it. Maine’s congressional delegation succeeded in securing legislative approval for a reprieve that stalls the regulations from going into effect until Jan. 1, 2029. Industry groups also have succeeded in taking NOAA to court, where the regulations are still tied up. Even so, the clock is ticking and the Department of Marine Resources wants to be prepared for what it expects is an inevitable regulation. more, >>click to read<< 06:31

Lobsterman Douglas Alan Alexander of Phippsburg, Maine, has passed away

Douglas Alan Alexander, 71 passed peacefully in his Phippsburg home early morning Friday November 24th, 2023.Born on January 11th, 1952 at Bath Memorial Hospital in Bath, Maine. He grew up on the south end of Bath with his mother and brother and attended Morse High school where he graduated in 1970. He began lobstering with his grandfather at 8 years old and continued commercial fishing as his primary occupation until 2020. He fished out of Hunt’s Wharf in Sebasco estates Maine and always regarded the Hunt’s as extended family. In 1987 he married his loving wife, Anita Richardson on April 18th at Corliss Street Baptist Church in Bath, Maine. Doug and Anita shared 36 years of love, friendship and unwavering support for one another. Doug held many positions within the town and Phippsburg most notably as the towns Harbormaster (2002-2022) and Shellfish Warden (2005-2022). more, >>click to read<< 10:32

Fishermen submit hundreds of comments on leasing Gulf of Maine for offshore wind

During the 33-day comment period, BOEM held six online meetings Nov. 1-3 to discuss the draft areas and three proposed secondary areas not included in the draft, and to answer questions and hear feedback from specific stakeholder groups, such as commercial and recreational fishermen, environmental nonprofits and the shipping and transportation sector. So, what did everyone have to say? When it comes to commercial fisheries, gaps in the data that inform where WEAs will least conflict with fishing remain a top concern, as do the cables running the power to shore. Also of concern are certain quadrants included in the draft WEAs, which some at the meetings said are spawning areas for haddock and redfish. more, >>click to read<< 08:27

NFWF grants support Maine lobster industry participation in alternative fishing gear testing

“Alternative gear, also known as “on demand” gear is a long way from being viable for fishermen or for whales,” said DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher.  “It is my goal to make sure we know what gear works, and more importantly what doesn’t work, so when future draft federal regulations come forward, we can draw on the real-world experience of fishermen when determining what the next steps should be.” One award of $1,999,992 will support the evaluation of acoustic geolocation systems that locate gear on the bottom without the benefit of surface buoys which are part of traditional gear configurations.  Regional partners will include the Island Institute, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, the Sunrise County Economic Council, and the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation.  more, >>click to read<< 06:09

Maine lobstermen catch ancient 7-foot anchor while hauling traps

A pair of midcoast lobstermen were almost done hauling traps Tuesday when they pulled some ancient history out of the depths: A large anchor covered in a thick layer of rust and sea coral had snagged on one of their traps. “It was kind of exciting,” recalled Logan Aiken, who serves as sternman on Sweet Victory, the lobster boat owned and captained by his brother Peter. This was not the first time the brothers who fish out of Cushing. had caught an old anchor: They pulled up another one a few years ago, but it fell back into the sea before they could wrangle it in. This time around, they avoided that mistake by quickly slipping a line around the iron beast and yanking it into the boat. >>click to read<< 19:18

MCFA’s Fishermen Feeding Mainers Program has served more than one million meals to families in Maine

In just three years since its inception, Fishermen Feeding Mainers has served more than one million meals to families in communities throughout Maine. The program was launched by the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA), a local nonprofit focused on rebuilding the fisheries of the Gulf of Maine and sustaining Maine’s fishing communities for future generations. Since October 2020, the program has supplied fresh local seafood direct from Maine fishermen to more than 250 food banks and over 30 school districts, providing countless Mainers with a healthy, high-quality and free source of protein. More than $2.2 million has been infused back into the Maine economy through the program to date. The program was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to help sustain fishermen and families in Maine. When the food system and restaurants closed, many of Maine’s fishermen, who had already seen declining value in their fleets, were not able to sell the fish they caught, leaving them unable to support their families.   >>click to read<< 18:24

Search suspended for Maine missing fisherman

The search for a missing fisherman off the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine, has been suspended. The search for Scott Cluff was suspended Friday evening after crews scoured more than 700 square nautical miles. “Suspending a search for a family’s loved one is one of the hardest decisions I must make,” Capt. Amy Florentino said in the press release. “My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends during this difficult time.” Cluff’s overturned 12-foot aluminum skiff was discovered early Friday morning, as well as several other items associated with his boat, including life jackets, a seat and a fish measuring device. >>click to read<< 08:34

Lobsterman Jumps Off Boat to Rescue Driver from Submerged Car

A lobsterman saved a person who was in a sinking vehicle in the ocean off East End beach in Portland, Maine, according to the Portland Police Department. As the orange Ford Mustang, which police said had been reported stolen in South Portland earlier Thursday, began to sink, fire and police department crews approached the car, according to the Portland Police press release. While the crews were able to break into the car while it was underwater, they could not get the 33-year-old out of the vehicle immediately. That’s when the lobsterman, Manny Kourinos, put on his diving gear and jumped into the water to help the vehicle’s occupant. “I went down and grabbed the guy and pulled him through the water,” >>click to read<< 14:37

Dec 15 deadline nears for lobster boat tracking devices in federal waters

Maine lobstermen who fish in federal waters have only a few weeks left until the Dec. 15 deadline to install and activate recently distributed tracking devices on their boats to comply with a regulation of the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The Particle One devices were sent by Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) with an accompanying letter of explanation. As required by the ASMFC regulation approved last year, each minute the boat is moving, the tracker will collect both the time and its position.  The device will also monitor a boat when it is tied up every six hours until it moves again. Local lobstermen are concerned monitoring their locations infringes on their privacy, while ASMFC believes it will be useful information to have. Some lobstermen have returned the trackers to DMR. >>click to read<< 13:02

N.S. lobster facility temporarily halts processing, blames lower catches

The Montreal-based owners of Riverside Lobster International at Meteghan, N.S., say the plant will not process lobster this fall and winter, citing lower catches in Maine and the Maritime provinces. “It’s an unfortunate situation, but right now that’s about all that we know. We’re not running this fall and there’s been no decision yet in terms of what’s going to happen for the spring,” “We’re seeing lower landings and not necessarily just in this area. We’re seeing it from Maine to New Brunswick to Nova Scotia. It’s affecting processing facilities and not just not just Riverside.” >>click to read<< 11:25

Politicians Come Out Against Gulf of Maine Offshore Wind Proposal

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree, and Maine Gov. Janet Mills have sent a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), urging them to completely exclude Lobster Management Area 1 (LMA 1) from the Wind Energy Area (WEA) for potential wind power development in the Gulf of Maine. The lawmakers and governor assert that “clean energy can offer economic and environmental benefits for Maine that must be pursued prudently and responsibly with a commitment to minimizing to the greatest extent possible the impact on fishermen, recreation and other crucial ocean uses that are critical to Maine.” >>click o read<< 07:14

Maine lobsterman catches split lobster that is half-male, half-female

A Maine lobsterman with two million followers on TikTok is likely to get even more views after he posted a video of what he calls the “coolest lobster” he has ever seen Jacob Knowles posted several videos on his TikTok discussing the lobster he found. “Not only is it split 50-50 right down its back, blue and normal, but if you look underneath, it’s actually half male, half female. The blue side is a male and the normal side is a female,” Knowles discussed in his video. >>click to read/watch<< 07:27

Commercial Fisherman William ‘Buzz/Buzzer’ Alexander Ropes III, of Round Pound, has passed away

On the evening of Oct. 26, 2023, Buzz Ropes passed away peacefully. Buzz was born Feb. 27, 1948 in Montclair, N.J., to Bertah Whitney “Bud” and William A. Ropes II “Bill.” Shortly after, Bill introduced his wife and son to his beloved state of Maine, driving from New Jersey in a model T Ford. Buzz spent his childhood in Round Pond with his sisters, Susan and Claudia. After graduating, Buzz spent the majority of his time on the water. His mentor, Cheever Prentice, instilled a passion for fishing and lobstering. He learned much from “Cheevah” while working as his sternman aboard F/V Harmony. It was this experience that shaped his future on the water. Buzz had a very successful career as a commercial fisherman spanning over 37 years and three boats: F/V Karen R., F/V Great Spirit, and F/V Harmony..>>click to read<< 14:34

Lobsterman Ray Merriman Sleeper of South Thomaston, Me., has passed away

Ray Merriman Sleeper, 64, passed away surrounded by his loving family, Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at the Sussman House in Rockport, following a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Ray began his career as a lobsterman on Criehaven with Sonny Davis, and later with Parker Jackson. After Parker retired, Ray bought the boat from him, striking out on his own. Both of his children went out with him on many well-remembered trips. His daughter remembered Ray letting them save the extra things that came up in his traps in a bucket to explore later. When his son, Cyrus, eventually followed in his footsteps, becoming a lobsterman himself, they rigged a few boats together for him. >>click to read<< 13:22

Maine Lobstermen to donate Tuesday haul, restaurants will donate proceeds to Lewiston

As the Lewiston community tries to heal since the mass shootings that took place two weeks ago, some Mainers in Portland are uniting Tuesday to raise money the best way they know how. Luke’s Lobster, J’s Oyster, DiMillo’s, and The Porthole are collaborating with lobstermen and dealers to raise funds for the victims and their families. Lobstermen and dealers will donate lobsters, and each restaurant will serve up its own unique lobster special, donating all proceeds. “If we can just do what we do and the lobster dealers can separate out the product and the restaurants can cook and serve it, then by just doing what we do, we can help Lewiston somehow,” Steve Train, a lobsterman from Long Island, ME, said.  Video, >>click to read<< 07:53

Lobstermen watching closely as federal regulators refine area for potential offshore wind

Lobster fishermen are watching closely as regulators continue to refine an area in the Gulf of Maine that could be used for offshore wind development, and they’re looking for more reassurances that the federal government will avoid popular fishing grounds. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified a 3.5 million acre draft area off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts that could be used for commercial offshore wind development. That proposed area excludes most of Lobster Management Area (LMA) 1, a popular offshore fishing area in Maine. But Zach Jylkka of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said some fishing grounds near or part of LMA 1 are still being studied and may be up for consideration, because they would be less expensive to develop. >>click to read<< 21:50

Fishermen in Maine lobbied to keep wind farms out of crucial fishing grounds. Will it happen in N.S.?

A no-compromise lobbying campaign by Maine lobster harvesters has helped keep wind farms out of a crucial lobster fishing area in the Gulf of Maine. And that has some fishermen in Nova Scotia casting an envious eye south of the border. “I’m pleased to see that happen in Maine. We’d like to see the same sort of diligence taken in Nova Scotia,” said Tommy Amirault, a fisherman from Pubnico and president of the Coldwater Lobster Association. “Maine obviously has concerns. It would be nice to see both provincial and federal governments take our concerns into practice,” Amirault said. “We didn’t mince words that we opposed offshore wind anywhere in the Gulf of Maine. It’s one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. And we really didn’t think that this is the place to solve the renewable energy crisis,” said McCarron. In Nova Scotia, the process has just begun. He said it’s no surprise fishermen have concerns about where it happens. >>click to read<< 06:57

House Republicans rebuff move by Golden to block offshore wind in Gulf of Maine lobster area

Majority Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives rejected an attempt by Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, to use federal spending to block offshore wind development in a lobster fishing area of the Gulf of Maine. Golden, who tried to amend 2024 appropriations legislation for the Department of Interior, said he will try again to bar offshore wind development in what’s known as Lobster Management Area 1. His measure sought to prevent funding to lease, license, permit or provide any authorization to develop offshore wind energy that could jeopardize lobster fishing. “Offshore wind development in the Gulf’s most productive fishing grounds is a threat to Maine fishermen’s way of life,”>>click to read<< 07:28

Maine Lobsterman a Social Media Star

By all appearances, Jacob Knowles lives the life of a typical Maine lobsterman. Knowles, 30, is a fifth generation Maine lobsterman; he’s been going out on lobster boats since he was in elementary school. He’s been working on his own since he graduated from high school. But lately Knowles, who’s married with two young children, has been working in a different universe. He’s been posting video clips while he’s out lobstering, and they’ve gone viral. Knowles is now a social media star, with 3.5 million followers on TikTok and 400,000 on Instagram. As of this week, Knowles has 1.24 million subscribers on You Tube, and a total of 782,273,399 views.  8 minute video, >>click to read<< 11:39

CANCELED: Lobstermen pull together for Travis Mills Foundation

Update: Due to the tragic events of this week in Lewiston, this event has been canceled for this year, according to local team organizer Jennie Mitchell. Original Post: On Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. lobstermen from up and down the coast of Maine will be one of the 45 teams pulling a FedEx 757 airplane down the runway at the Portland Jetport to help raise funds for the Travis Mills Foundation. Team Captain Troy Plummer has gotten fishermen from as far away as Machias, Vinalhaven, Friendship, Rockland and, of course, Boothbay Harbor, to participate in what is being billed as a “Pay it Forward” effort from the lobstermen for all the support they have received in their struggle to save the lobstering industry. >>click to read<< 12:05

Delano: Biden administration won’t leave lobstermen alone

Lawmakers and a federal appeals court last year defeated a federal plan to save endangered whales by eradicating New England’s lobster industry. With those plans undone, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is crafting a workaround scheme to regulate lobstermen out of the fishery. Recent years have been brutal going for lobstermen, such that the survival of our trade is highly uncertain. Lobstermen are at once negotiating higher fuel costs, higher bait costs, higher shipping costs, and an agitation campaign from dark money nonprofits trained on major buyers of Maine lobster products. NOAA’s new regulatory plan is poised to decimate our inventory. >>click to read<< 09:18

BOEM Announces Gulf of Maine Draft Wind Energy Area Meetings for Fishing Community

This notice is being sent as a courtesy to help raise awareness of a comment opportunity and public meetings being held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) regarding a Draft Wind Energy Area (WEA) in the Gulf of Maine. It is critically important that members of the fishing industry comment on this proposal.nDMR also encourages fishing industry members to click on this link to read the statement from Governor Mills and Maine’s Congressional Delegation, expressing opposition to inclusion of draft WEAs in LMA1. On October 19, 2023, BOEM announced a Draft Wind Energy Area (Draft WEA) in the Gulf of Maine and an accompanying 30-day public comment period. The Draft WEA covers around 3.5 million acres offshore Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, ranging from 23-120 miles off the coast.  BOEM invites you to attend virtual public meetings where BOEM will outline the data and the information used to inform the Draft WEA and provide opportunity for feedback from the fishing community and public-at-large. Lots of links and info, >>click te read<< 15:31

Lobster dealers hope for a fall surge

This year, boat prices are high, but the catch is down, dealers say. Supply is meeting demand, but the demand is lower than last year. While at least one local seafood retailer had a great summer, wholesale dealers’ reports are unenthusiastic. Both lobstermen and dealers are keeping fingers crossed for a big fall surge in catch. With the state’s commercial fishery granted a six-year reprieve in December from new federal regulations that many industry voices said would decimate the fishery, the 2023 season has focused on traditional concerns, such as supply, demand, prices and bait. “The price is up but the catch is down, and we’ve had horrible weather,” said Susan Soper, general manager of Winter Harbor Lobster Co-op. “Our retail sales were almost 60 percent down.”>>click to read<< 13:03

Maine Lobstermen Win Giant Carveout From Offshore Wind Development Area

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is rolling out designated offshore wind leasing areas off the lower 48 states at a rapid clip, racing to meet the Biden administration’s target of 30 gigawatts of capacity by 2030. For the latest – a 3.5 million acre parcel in the Gulf of Maine – it has decided to dodge a looming fight with fishing and environmental interests.  The newly-released Draft Wind Energy Area for the Gulf of Maine has enough room for up to 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, with a focus on floating wind installations in deeper water. The size is notable, but the most conspicuous part is the part that was left out: Lobster Management Area 1, a strip along the coast that is essential to the powerful Maine lobster industry. >>click to read<< 09:08

Decline in young lobsters triggers change in legal catch size

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissioner approved in May new management measures when the survey of sublegal lobsters declined by 35 percent. The most recent stock survey shows a 39 percent decline. “The fact that we’ve hit the trigger this soon comes as a significant surprise,” DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher said. “When the Board voted on the Addendum in May, it was anticipated that the trigger would not be hit for a year or two.” Keliher had initially broached to the ASMFC a higher trigger of 38 percent than the 35 percent that passed. But at the latest board meeting, he successfully delayed implementing the first size change from June 1, 2024, as initially set in the Addendum, to Jan. 1, 2025. >>click to read<< 08:08

Sternman Larry S. Cromwell of Westport Island, Me., has passed away

Larry S. Cromwell, 62, of Westport Island, passed away on Oct. 11, 2023, with his family by his side following a long struggle with cancer. He was born on Aug. 13, 1961, a son of Francis and Phoebe (Greenleaf) Cromwell. Larry graduated from Morse High School. He worked with his father in construction before becoming a sternman on his grandfather’s lobster boat, which was by far his favorite job ever. Larry also worked with Asplundh Tree Service, Stinson’s Cannery in Bath, Riley’s Cannery, and the City of Bath Cemeteries and Parks Division. Larry enjoyed playing cards, listening to music, watching TV, animals, and talking about good childhood memories of growing up on Westport Island. >>click to read<< 19:37

Commercial Fisherman Arnold Herbert Benner of Friendship, Maine, has passed away

Arnold Herbert Benner passed away at his home in Friendship on Thursday, October 5, 2023, with his family at his side. Recently celebrating his 80th birthday, he was born in Damariscotta on April 8, the son of Herbert & Anne Benner.  He grew up in Friendship, started lobstering as a teenager and fished for more than 60 years. He won the title of the fastest lobster boat in Friendship three times. He graduated from Waldoboro High School. He bowled at DePatsy’s Lanes in Waldoboro, and with his wife, Alice, and was a member of the Coastal Clippers Square Dancing club. Arnold and Alice traveled around the country with family and took road trips to visit family and friends in Connecticut, Florida, Virginia, and Alabama. Highlights for Arnold included a ride in a race car at Daytona and driving his truck around the Talladega Superspeedway at 92 mph. >>click to read<< 19:54

UMaine researcher who helped reshape marine science in Maine retires

When Bob Steneck came to the University of Maine in 1982, there were few marine ecologists in the state, and none interacted with fishermen. He was among the first in Maine to work with lobstermen on research, traveling with them on their boats, diving to the seafloor to study lobsters and sharing his findings with them. At that time, there was a scientific consensus that the lobster population in the Gulf of Maine was declining. By working with lobstermen and diving down to the depths of the gulf, Steneck showed that the population was actually on the rise. Steneck’s work and that of his students and colleagues helped propel an expansion of and change in how lobster fisheries research is conducted in Maine. Over the preceding decades, Steneck’s students continue collaborating with lobstermen and other fishermen on their studies. >>click to read<< 10:05

A teenager in Boothbay Harbor had a dream. After 27 years, he achieved it.

Nearly three decades ago Jerry Farnham was working as a sternman on his father’s lobster boat in Boothbay Harbor. Eyeing the people on the deck of a gorgeous yacht not far away, he began to wonder: “What if they just want to be like normal people? You know, maybe they want to come and watch lobster boat races. Maybe they want to go lobstering.” The thought stuck with Farnham, who was only 16 years old, and with it came another notion. He wanted to take that idea and turn it into a novel, one set in Boothbay Harbor and filled with characters like the people he’d grown up with. It was easier said than done. One day in June of this year, he sat down at a table in Sherman’s and signed copies of his novel “Red at Night.” Video, >>click to read<< 09:22