The Maine Lobster Association keeps track of important happenings regarding the lobster industry of Maine and the surrounding areas. The lobster industry is an important industry to Maine and keeping informed will keep that industry strong for generations to come. Please enjoy the MLA’s new letter below.
- The July issue of the MLA newsletter is here…..
- We want to hear from you! Maine Landings, the MLA’s new Web site, seeks your words (and pictures and videos and audio recordings). The interactive site features lobster science, management, history and harbors. To make it truly reflect the diversity of Maine’s lobster industry, however, we need to hear from you. What’s missing?
- The MLA has set up a fund to benefit the children of Dave Mahonen, who was lost at sea in December while fishing. The funds will be donated to a trust to benefit Sumir and Dylen Mahonen. If you would like to donate, make your check payable to:
The MLA Relief Fund (please put ‘David Mahonen relief fund’ in memo line) Mail to: MLA, 21 Western Ave #1, Kennebunk, ME 04043. The donations will be deposited into a special fund set up at TD Bank in Kennebunk.
Live Lobster picking up steam in Gouldsboro
The billboard-sized aluminum fisherman standing outside what was the last full-time sardine cannery in the U.S. no longer holds an oversized tin of Beach Cliff sardines.
The hulking fisherman is now grasping an old-fashioned wooden lobster trap in his arms. The iconic sign, tall as a utility pole, has been repainted as the plant prepares to make the jump from processing sardines to processing lobsters. Nearly 15 months after the sprawling Stinson Seafood factory in the eastern Maine town of Gouldsboro shut its doors, the plant is coming back to life. Read more……
Maine’s legal size conflicts with southern states’
Maine lobster dealers are starting to feel the pinch of new laws in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey that bar the possession of some lobsters that are of legal size in Maine. The new laws say that lobsters’ bodies must be at least 3 3/8 inches long. In Maine, the minimum size for a lobster is 3¼ inches long.
An eighth of an inch may not seem like much, but complying with laws requiring different minimum sizes is causing headaches for Maine dealers, especially when dealing with lobster “chicks,” the smallest ones on the market. Read more….
Lobstermen want state waters exempt from new rules
Federal officials have begun the process, with input from lobstermen, of considering possible restrictions on buoy lines, but some Maine fishermen say there’s another issue that they want to address with regulators.
Several fishermen at a Tuesday meeting about the buoy line issue said they are not happy with the exemption area National Marine Fisheries Service established when floating ground lines were banned in 2009. If federal regulators are going to place limits or requirements on the ropes fishermen use to connect buoys on the surface to traps on the bottom, many fishermen say, then all traps placed in state waters should be exempt from the mandates. “I think that is something the state should immediately try to address,” Deer Isle fisherman Leroy Bridges said at Tuesday’s meeting. Read more….
Deer Isle couple donate land to Lobster Institute
The sale of two pieces of land on an island in Nova Scotia will benefit the University of Maine Lobster Institute. Basil and Harriet Heanssler, owners of Conary Cove Lobster Co. in Deer Isle have donated two parcels of undeveloped land on McNutt’s Island in Nova Scotia, one 91 acres and the other 87 acres.
Proceeds from the sale will aid the lobster institute in its mission to maintain a healthy, sustainable lobster resource and vibrant lobster industry by helping to build its endowment. Read more….
Southern Maine lobstermen wary of rule changes
Chebeague Island lobsterman Alex Todd says he welcomes rules to prevent whales from becoming tangled in his fishing gear. But he is skeptical of what he sees as the usual heavy-handed federal regulatory approach to enacting them. “What they come up with doesn’t apply in certain areas, but they jam it down our throats,” Todd said.
Todd and the rest of the state’s 4,300 active lobster fishermen could be affected by new rules under development that will dictate what kind of ropes they may use while fishing. Read more…
Lobster Advisory Council meeting in July
The next Lobster Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 21, at 3:00 pm at the Natural Resource Services Center, 1st Floor Conference Room, Hallowell.
Researchers discuss right whale behavior in Bay of Fundy
Two researchers from the New England Aquarium in Boston entertained tourists recently at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse as they talked about their study of right whales in the Bay of Fundy.
Kara Mahoney Robinson and Jessica Taylor are researchers and educators at the New England Aquarium, which conducts worldwide studies of right whales. Each August and September, a team of researchers arrives in Lubec to study the whales in the Bay of Fundy. Read more…..
Summer flounder stocks “viable”
Summer flounder are back, a National Marine Fisheries Service report shows, and the recovery is considered a fisheries management success story. The 2011 Stock Status Report released this week declares summer flounder “viable” after, well, floundering since at the early 1990s and being listed as “recovering” since 2009.
The latest assessment shows the summer flounder stock is no longer overfished and that overfishing is not occurring. Southern flounder landings were actually down by 29 percent in 2010, partly because of a 45 percent reduction in gill net flounder landings. New gill net restrictions resulting from a lawsuit over gill net interactions with sea turtles could have contributed to the decline. Read more….
Nova Scotians sue to halt salmon farm
Communities along St. Mary’s Bay off eastern Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Salmon Federation have filed legal action to halt creation of a salmon fish farm operation in the bay. The group is asking the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to prevent establishment of what it claims would be the province’s largest fish farm with an estimated two million fish stock amid lobster rich fishing grounds.
The fish farm would not only threaten the traditional lobster fishery but endangered species such as the North Atlantic right whale, roseate tern, harlequin duck and wild Atlantic salmon as well as harm tourism, said the group made up of Ecojustice representing the St. Mary’s Bay Coastal Alliance and the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the LFA 34 Lobster Fishermen, the Freeport Community Development Association and the Villages of Freeport, Tiverton and Westport. Read more…..
3-D tour of Massachusetts seafloor unveiled
Dave Foster appeared at a glance to be playing a video game as he sported red 3-D glasses and used a hand-held control to navigate the floor of Buzzards Bay. In reality, the U.S. Geological Survey geologist was showing the results of cutting-edge data collection that’s helping scientists diagram the deep.
Using so-called GeoWall projection, researchers Monday morning displayed SONAR-gathered data from 2009-11 on the bathymetry — essentially “submarine topography,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — of Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound in a form that’s not only three-dimensional but interactive. Read more…..
New Brunswick lobstermen report disappointing season
Another season of lobster fishing has come and gone along the northern portions of the Northumberland Strait. On New Brunswick’s longest inshore wharf, lobstermen have been packing up and boats have been pulling out as mackerel, herring, and scallops become the flavour of the season in Licenced Fishing Area 23, since the once lucrative season ended at the end of June.
“It’s been a funny year,” said André Martin, a long-time lobster fisherman out of Escuminac and president of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. “We were down 30 per cent on our catches; I don’t know if it was the big storms or the rough weather we had all spring, but we missed around 13 days that we couldn’t fish, especially in May.” Read more….
Editorial: Charge more for that extra 1/8th inch
New laws in three states that slightly increase the legal size of lobsters there are creating a headache for some Maine dealers, but a little thought might help resolve the problem. New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, apparently as a conservation measure, have recently made it illegal to possess lobsters with a carapace size below 3 3/8 inches.
Since the minimum size for “keeper” lobsters in Maine waters is 3 1/4 inches, that eighth of an inch is a huge difference for dealers shipping to those major urban markets to the south. Read more….
New York City awash in lobster rolls
New York is being invaded! With their claws and tails cunningly camouflaged in split-topped buns, lobsters are everywhere, passing themselves off as street food. Blame overfishing of predatory cod, credit sustainability-minded lobstermen; for lots of reasons, there’s a glut of Maine lobster, and a glut of new lobster rolls in New York. But be careful: abundant doesn’t mean economical. At $8 to $25, better choose wisely. Read more…..