From the Wheelhouse
2017 was a year of change. While the world keeps changing around us, our organization changed its name to Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Robin Alden retired, and I accepted the role of Executive Director. As we begin to tackle the challenges of the new year, I am struck by the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead when we work together. Rebuilding and maintaining Eastern Maine’s fisheries requires all hands on deck. Co-management of the marine and river ecosystem must be shared by fishermen, community groups, scientists, and fisheries managers. The result will be an industry that can adapt and persevere, even as climate and oceans change.
We are eager to strengthen partnerships and programs, to support our mission of sustaining fishing, forever. We’ve recently launched a collaborative project to pilot ecosystem-based fisheries management in Eastern Maine, but we will need your help to advance the innovative, bottom-up approach we’ve long advocated for Maine’s fisheries.
In 2018, I intend to speak with community members across the state. We will host local meetups, hear from fishermen about issues on and off the water, and visit the many harbors along our coast. I hope friends, old and new, will join us at the Fishermen’s Forum, March 1-3 in Rockport, ME. I welcome you to stop by our booth and talk about the fisheries issues that you face, and how our organization can be part of the solution.
While I am eager to hit the ground running, the new year also brings a time of reflection. Please join us in celebrating highlights from our programs. As I take the helm, I am inspired by the future.
Well wishes for the New Year,
Maine Fishermen’s Forum
March 1-3, 2018
Join members of Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries staff at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum. Stop by our booth or attend a session. Visit our website for a complete list of events: https://coastalfisheries.org/events/
Highlights from 2017
- Volunteers counted over 177,000 alewives in the Bagaduce, including for the first time, at Walker Pond, which is 6x the size of other ponds we’ve researched in the region
- Years of work paid off as the scallop fishery became owner-operator, a crucial law for the protection of small-scale fishermen
- Over 100 students enrolled in the 2017-18 Eastern Maine Skippers Program, a milestone compared to the 40 participants in our inaugural year
- Researchers caught the largest recorded halibut during a sampling trip for the Sentinel Survey, our annual study on groundfish, which just wrapped up its eighth season
- The Northeast Coastal Communities Sector sent its first full-time, active groundfish fisherman, Tim Rider, to sea — you may recognize him from National Fisherman or Food & Wine
- Discovery Wharf attracted a record-breaking 7,000 visitors over the summer, representing 45 states and 22 countries
Thank you for your support! We look forward to working together in 2018 to achieve further program highlights and launch new initiatives in support of Maine’s fisheries.
Sector hosts community seafood dinners
Dinners are underway across New England to support the Northeast Coastal Communities Sector. The sector, governed by Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, is an organization of 33 fishermen who hold groundfish permits. To raise money and awareness for locally sourced seafood, we teamed up with Tim Rider, an active sector fisherman. Rider, co-founder of the New England Fishmongers, provided sustainably caught and handled seafood for the multi-course dinners — which raised almost $7,000 toward alleviating the rising costs fishermen face. We’ve also donated an equal value to local food banks. That’s $7,000 of donated seafood, a dollar for dollar match! For future community dinners, visit: www.coastalfisheries.org/events
Robin Alden retires
Guests filled the Samoset Resort to honor our co-founder, Robin Alden, on her retirement. Thank you to the hundreds of community members who joined us and made donations to support her legacy. Robin retired on December 31, 2017. We thank her for her vision and service. In Robin’s honor, donations can be made online, at: www.coastalfisheries.org/fishforever
All new and increased donations will be matched, dollar for dollar!