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In the News: November 2012

Promoting Maine seafood focus of two-year study Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI) of Wiscasset announced in October that it is beginning a two-year feasibility study to identify the best ways to make Maine seafood more widely available to consumers. The study will be done with Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit dedicated to linking local food producers to under-served communities. CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program has been working with Wholesome Wave for the past year on a $3 million project from the U.S. Treasury’s Healthy Food Finance Initiative to promote local “food hubs.” By examining the existing patterns of seafood production, destination and use, CEI hopes to propose alternative distribution plans in collaboration with agricultural products. Getting Maine seafood into New England food hubs could generate economic development for businesses throughout the region. “There is huge potential in creating efficiencies, stabilizing markets and developing new job opportunities within the entire distribution system,” Hugh Cowperthwaite, director of CEI’s Fisheries Project team, said.

Live Lobster properties find eager buyers David Garbo, the owner of Garbo Lobster of Connecticut, purchased the Live Lobster facility in Gouldsboro at auction in September for $900,000. The purchase included 91 acres of land, a large pier, trucks and other related equipment. The property once housed Stinson Sardine cannery, which closed in 2010. Garbo Lobster will co-own the plant with East Coast Seafood, a lobster distributor which operates a processing facility on Deer Isle, New Brunswick and in Nova Scotia. The two companies plan to continue lobster processing at the facility. A second property owned by Live Lobster in Stonington was sold to Tony Ramos, owner of Granites of America in Smithfield, Rhode Island, for $1.6 million bid. A resident of Phippsburg, whose name was not available, bought Live Lobster’s lease on a pier in that town at auction for $215,000.

Marianne LaCroix Named as MLPC Acting Executive Director After serving as Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council for five years, Dane Somers resigned in October. Marianne LaCroix has been appointed as Acting Executive Director by the Council’s Board of Directors. Marianne will serve in that capacity in the interim period until the Maine Legislature weighs a proposal that would create a new lobster marketing entity later this winter. Marianne has served as Director of Marketing for the Council for the past six years. “We appreciate the work Dane Somers has done for the Maine lobster industry and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Emily Lane, Council Chair. “The lobster industry in Maine is facing many challenges. The Maine Lobster Promotion Council is prepared to face these challenges and move forward with new leadership and positive energy.”

Former DMR Commissioner wins award The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission presented George Lapointe, long-time ASMFC Commissioner an former Maine Commissioner of Marine Resources, the Captain David H. Hart Award, its highest annual award, at the Commission’s 71st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “George Lapointe is without a doubt a true embodiment of Captain Dave. For more than 30 years he has provided consistent fisheries management leadership at the state, interstate, and federal levels; all the while passionately supporting the Commission and its vision of stock rebuilding and sustainable resource management,” stated Jack Travelstead, Chair of ASMFC’s Award Committee. “He possesses the unique ability to temper the most heated debate with humor and a common sense approach transforming conflict into workable solutions.” Lapointe was appointed as the Commissioner of Maine Department of Marine Resources in 1998. He served as Commissioner for 12 years, directing a critical marine resource agency at one of its most difficult times with a conscience for all those involved. He was so well respected for his understanding of fisheries management and his commitment to his state’s fishing industries, he served at the pleasure of two Governors and was supported by a very active and challenging constituency. Lapointe was elected Commission Vice-Chair in 2004 and Chair in 2006, serving three years as Chair. Under his guidance, the Commission embarked on an extensive strategic planning effort, culminating in the development of the 2009-2013 Strategic Plan. The Commission instituted the Award in 1991 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding efforts to improve Atlantic coast marine fisheries. The award is named for one of the Commission’s longest serving members, who dedicated himself to the advancement and protection of marine fishery resources.

Derelict Gear Recovery takes aim at trap tangles

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