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In the News: March 2011

Portland company unveils new lobster items Calendar Islands Maine Lobster Company in Portland has teamed up with chefs Jonathan King and Jim Stott, owners of Stonewall Kitchen in York, to expand the market for lobster products. The new collaboration aims to make lobster more than a summertime treat for consumers by coming up with new lobster products suitable for time-challenged consumers. They hope to move lobster into hungry mouths by way gourmet lobster pies, pizzas and bisques. The new company made a decision to not sell live but rather prepared lobster products. The eight gourmet Maine lobster dishes, which were unveiled recently at a seafood show in San Francisco, include lobster bisque, stew, pizza, pot pie, cakes, corn chowder, macaroni and cheese and frozen tails. The suggested retail prices range from $10.95 for 20 ounces of bisque to $19.95 for an 18.5-ounce pizza. These products are also easier to ship than live lobsters to Japan, China and other Asian markets where demand is beginning to rise. The company also has an online store,, to sell their line of lobster products. “We want to put Maine lobster where it isn’t,” said John Jordan of Yarmouth, a lobsterman and president of the company.

Despite disentanglement, young right whale dies The North Atlantic right whale that scientists sedated in January in order to remove rope from the animal died in February of the east coast of Florida. The 30-feet long, two-year-old female was first untangled from 150 feet of fishing line by staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and NOAA just before New Year’s Day. Later in January, NOAA researchers were able to sedate the whale while she was at sea and remove another 50 feet of rope around her mouth and flippers. A necropsy of the whale later showed that it still had rope deeply embedded in its mouth, which probably kept the whale from feeding. Initial observations suggested that sharks then killed the malnourished whale because it was in a weakened state. Scientists successfully sedated the whale in January so boat teams could get close and cut some of the fishing line tangling it. It was the second time the technique was used on a free-swimming whale.

Shrimp season closes with a bang and a snap Regulators voted on February 18 to shut down New England’s shrimp season early for the second consecutive year because fishermen surpassed the total allowable catch target set by biologists. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) decided at an emergency meeting to close the fishery on February 28, approximately six-and-a-half weeks earlier than scheduled. When the Section set the season, it agreed to review the landings in February to determine is an adjustment to the season is warranted. Even with the early closing, the amount of shrimp harvested will exceed the 8.8-million pound limit set by regulators. The ASMFC expressed concern that the large harvest this season could hurt next year’s catch. Regulators expressed concern over the lack of a timely and complete reporting system for northern shrimp and the potential for this year’s overharvest to negatively impact the stock and next year’s fishery. A comprehensive reporting system would provide managers the necessary information to prevent overharvest of the stock ensuring a healthy population of shrimp for future fisheries. This issue will be addressed in a draft management document for Northern Shrimp, scheduled to be released in March for public comment. The season was scheduled to run from December 1 through April 15. Pandalus borealis is a species of shrimp only found in cold northern waters. Its annual migration toward the coast each year provides a winter fishery for hundreds of fishing boats. Boats from Maine typically catch about 90 percent of the annual harvest, with small numbers of boats from New Hampshire and Massachusetts catching the rest.


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