OnDeck: Fall Newsletter 2017

From the Wheelhouse: Welcome Paul Anderson

We welcomed Incoming Executive Director Paul Anderson to the team in September. Paul will work alongside Robin Alden until her retirement at the end of 2017.

Two of us are speaking from the wheelhouse this fall, as Incoming Executive Director, Paul Anderson has joined us. Our careers have intertwined for over 20 years, and now we are working together for four months as Paul picks up the leadership role, an opportunity I can only describe as a luxury. It has already been creative and generative, and it fills me with optimism for the vision of fishing, forever.

Building this organization to serve Maine’s fishing communities and its future has been a work of the heart. My thanks to so, so many of you who have worked alongside me.

With gratitude,
Robin Alden

Join Paul for an Open House at MCCF’s office
Wednesday, October 4 from 4-6 pm

Click here for more information

I first met Robin Alden in 1995. I had been at the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) for five years and was running the water quality lab. On any given day I was either a clammer’s best friend (opening flats) or their worst enemy (closing flats). Robin was the new Commissioner of DMR, and she had to rely on me, a young microbiologist. Together we celebrated successes, learned from one another, and developed the thick skin needed to regulate and promote the commercial fishing industry.

It’s funny how our careers have crossed over the years. In 1975, Robin helped create the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, which I have served on the board of for the past 18 years. Robin also served in an advisory capacity to the National Sea Grant Program and the Maine Sea Grant Program, where I was Director for 16 years. And now, we are working together at the helm of Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. I find myself following her path yet again as I prepare to take the lead at the end of 2017.  Lots more to come.

Paul Anderson

December 8th @ The Samoset Resort

Join us in celebration of 45 years of Maine fishing as we honor Robin Alden’s retirement – more info coming soon. 

Eastern Maine Skippers kicks off fifth year

EMSP teachers learned how to make clam hoes at this year’s
Summer Institute.

The fifth year of the Eastern Maine Skippers Program(EMSP) is underway – with over 100 students signed up to participate, across eight Maine high schools. The program provides students with the core knowledge and skills needed to engage in co-managed fisheries. Each school year, we present students with a new research question to investigate. This class of skippers will seek to answer:

“How can individuals and communities manage and restore local fisheries?”

In August, we hosted our Summer Institute, a professional development workshop that brings together EMSP teachers in anticipation of the upcoming school year. Through collaborative work, we equip teachers with the knowledge, skills, and support needed to empower tomorrow’s fishermen — both inside and outside of the classroom.  This year, teachers got the chance to get their hands dirty on the clam flats while learning about the community, management, and enforcement factors that impact that fishery.

Discovery Wharf attracts thousands of visitors

Danica holds sea urchins found in the touch tank at Discovery Wharf.



We’ve had over 5,000 visitors — from 18 different countries — visit our touch tank this summer!






Reports from the salt water

The Sentinel Survey, which collects data on groundfish in Eastern Maine, is wrapping up its eighth year of sampling. We want to extend a special thank you to the fishermen who made this year’s survey possible: Steve Brown of Cherryfield and Mattie Thomson of Monhegan. Steve and Mattie captained visits to over 80 survey stations, along with MCCF staff member Mattie Rodrigue. After four years, we say goodbye to Mattie who is graduating from the University of Maine with dual master’s degrees in marine biology and policy. Rodrigue delivered positive reports from the water this season, with accounts of spawning, excess feed, and increased predation – all promising signs for groundfish populations. A summary of this year’s findings will be available this winter.

Reports from the fresh water

A great deal of focus has been placed on alewives, a small anadromous fish that spawns in fresh water ponds, migrates to the ocean to prosper and contribute to the food chain, then returns to ponds – and so on. For years, alewives have needed assistance from dedicated community members to reach Wight and Pierce Pond. We are happy to report that partner organizations have been busy removing dams at those ponds. Restoring fish passage in the Bagaduce is essential to our vision, and it’s all hands on deck to make it happen! Our role counting and sampling alewives will resume next spring. In 2017, we counted over 170,000 alewives! We can’t wait to see the impact on next year’s counts as a result of these new, crucial fishways.

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