From the Wheelhouse
Connecting the people who live, work, and recreate on the coast of Maine is what we do at Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. Since the cold, dark nights of winter, we’ve been listening to community members. From meetups at the Harbor Café in Stonington — where I’ve probably consumed too many burgers and not enough salads — to conversations at fisherman Dwight Carver’s kitchen table in Beals, I’ve been meeting new people and learning a lot.
Connecting people to share perspectives and ideas is a great way to approach the challenges our fisheries face; to see problems through someone else’s eyes and share solutions. We recently hosted Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher, who visited with a group of fishermen to talk about zone lines offshore, the right whale issue, and the state halibut fishery. The visit was inspired by a conversation I had with Sherm Hutchins at the Harbor Café on one of those cold January nights.
As we emerge from the winter, there is a lot to look forward to. On May 24, the students of the Eastern Maine Skippers Program will present their research of, and solutions to, today’s fisheries issues. We’re gearing up for another season of studying groundfish in the Gulf of Maine. And soon, alewives will be running and we’ll be tracking their return to the Bagaduce Estuary. You should go see these fish as they fight their way into Maine’s ponds. Or, better yet, volunteer to help our monitoring efforts! It’s a truly amazing sight to see.
Catch us this spring in Stonington, or your coastal community. As always, thank you for supporting Maine’s fisheries. Stay in touch.
Join us for a new series
Starting this summer: Lunch & Learns
An expert-led discussion on a current issue facing Maine’s fisheries. Bring your lunch and an eagerness to learn! Save the dates:
Friday, May 25
Friday, June 29
Friday, July 27
Friday, Aug. 31
Friday, Sept. 28
Friday, Oct. 26
Talks start at 12:30 p.m. at 13 Atlantic Avenue in Stonington.
Summer is Coming
Warmer weather will soon prevail and new initiatives are underway.
- We are launching a “Lunch & Learn” summer talk series, held in our office the last Friday of the month. Join experts for discussions on overseas lobster markets, the rise of aquaculture in Maine, plastic waste in our oceans, and more. Look for more information, coming soon.
- Discovery Wharf will open its doors Memorial Day weekend with a new virtual reality exhibit. In partnership with the Island Institute, we invite you to explore life in coastal Maine. Take a virtual step aboard a working lobster boat, or climb inside a trap on the ocean floor.
- Our staff will be at the Friday Farmer’s Market in Stonington to talk fisheries. Stop by our booth.
Stay up to date with our summer events online or on social media.
Eastern Maine Skippers Prepare for Final Presentations
Have you seen the Eastern Maine Skippers on the local news, or in state-wide publications like Fishermen’s Voice? The support our 100+ high school students have received this year is a testament to their hard work and the teachers and partners that make it possible.
The skippers remain active, interviewing subject-matter experts, testing hypotheses, and preparing findings. We invite you to the final presentation of their projects on Thursday, May 24 at The Grand in Ellsworth. Hear firsthand how students are tackling important fisheries issues in their communities. Presentations begin at 5:00 p.m. and are free to the public.
We’re Hooked on Groundfish
Before the current lobster boom, groundfish reigned supreme in many of Maine’s harbors. These bottom-dwelling fish, most famously cod, have been absent from Eastern Maine’s fisheries in recent decades. However, we’re working behind the scenes to restore this source of diversity to our fisheries and economy. Interest in and support for this idea is continuing to grow. Last year, after several non-fishing years, we welcomed our first active fisherman to the Northeast Coastal Communities Sector. This year we are signing on six!
We’ve also added a new fisherman to the Sentinel Survey, our annual survey of Eastern Maine groundfish populations. Bobby Jones of Stonington, who fished groundfish in the 1980s and early ‘90s, will gear up in support of research and assessment. This time with hooks instead of gillnets. Bobby and his brother Billy will be splitting research stations with veteran Sentinel Survey fisherman Mattie Thompson of Monhegan.
Welcome aboard to our new fishermen.
- Fisheries Education Specialist
- Director of Development
For more information, visit www.coastalfisheries.org/join/careers/