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In the News- June 2023

P.E.I. North Shore Lobster Fishery Closed for Right Whales

Lobstermen along Prince Edward Island’s northern shore had to remove gear from the water just three weeks into a two-month season due to a right whale sighting. The dynamic closure is limited to waters deeper than 10 fathoms and must remain free of lobster gear for 15 days. Government officials will conduct aerial surveys of the area between days nine and 15 of the closure. If a right whale is sighted during that time, the area will remain closed until November 15. The area will reopen if there are no right whales are sighted.

New Fishermen Advocacy Group Formed

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative photo.

A new advocacy group for New England fishermen seeks to “fight against needless regulation and offshore wind development threatening the viability of the American fishing fleet,” organizers say. The New England Fisherman Stewardship Association (NEFSA) was founded by Jerry Leeman, a longtime New Bedford trawler captain and a resident of Orr’s Island, Maine. Leeman, now the group’s first executive director, introduced the enterprise on May 2 with an op-ed column in the Portland Press Herald. Dustin Delano, former vice president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, serves as the chief operations officer.

Energy Developers Eye Gulf of Maine for Future International Grid

A coalition of seven developers of offshore wind, green hydrogen, and transmission solutions has formed to explore the benefits of a US-Canadian transmission corridor. To this end, the New England – Maritimes Offshore Energy Corridor (NEMOEC) coalition, in partnership with Power Advisory LLC and DNV, has released a white paper titled A New England – Maritimes Offshore Energy Corridor Builds Regional Resilience for a Clean Energy Future. The paper discusses the potential benefits of a 2,000 MW shared transmission link between Nova Scotia and New England, connecting offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine and in Nova Scotia with load centers in the two regions via a new HVDC transmission intertie.

Monkfish Stew Wins National Award

MCFA photo

The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association’s (MCFA) Monkfish Stew was recognized with a 2023 Good Food Award in April. The national award comes from the Good Food Foundation, which aims to celebrate, connect and empower makers of authentic food. The products also meet environmental and social responsibility standards. MCFA, based in Brunswick, works to identify and foster ways to rebuild the fisheries of the Gulf of Maine and sustain Maine’s fishing communities. MCFA worked with Hurricane’s Premium Soups and Chowders of Greene to create Maine Coast Monkfish Stew as a way to introduce consumers to monkfish and to create revenue for its Fishermen Feeding Mainers (FFM) fish donation program.

Massachusetts Pursues More Offshore Wind Energy

In early May, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey’s administration and the state Department of Energy Resources released a draft proposal asking offshore wind developers for their plans to produce another 3,600 megawatts of offshore wind power. If approved, it would be the biggest-ever solicitation of wind energy in New England history. The wind power would supply 25% of the state’s electricity demand. If approved by the Department of Public Utilities, the project would be the largest in New England. Healey’s administration hopes to open bidding on the new procurement by this June, with a January 31, 2024 due date for submissions. “This draft RFP is a signal to the rest of the world that Massachusetts is all-in on offshore wind and ready to be the industry’s hub,” Governor Healey said in a statement.

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