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In the News: September 2011

Shrimp hearings scheduled for September Maine and New Hampshire will hold hearings to gather public comment on the Draft Amendment 2 to the ASMFC’s management plan for Northern shrimp. The public hearings will be held on September 13 at 6 p.m. at the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal Conference Room in Portland; on September 14 at 7 p.m. the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; on September 15 at 6 p.m. at Rockland High School; and on September 19 at 6 p.m. Ellsworth City Hall Auditorium. The public comment deadline on Draft Amendment 2 has been extended to 5 p.m. on October 3. The Draft Amendment proposes an array of management options to provide greater flexibility in managing the fishery and maximizing its overall benefits. These include clarification of fishing mortality reference points, timely and comprehensive reporting system, trip limits, trap limits, days out, area management, seasonal quotas, and harvest set asides. Upon completion of Amendment 2, the ASMFC Northern Shrimp Section will begin considering creation of a limited entry program. Based on public comment received this summer on the Northern shrimp Public Information Document and the Section’s concern regarding continuing effort increases in this fishery, the Section established a control date of June 7, 2011. The intention of the control date is to notify potential new entrants to the fishery that there is a strong possibility they will be treated differently from participants in the fishery prior to the control date.

Stinson sardine film underway David Redmon of CarnivalFilms is making a documentary about the closing of the Stinson sardine plant in Gouldsboro and its conversion into a lobster processing facility. Redmon will show his film, called Downeast, as a work-in-process at the Camden International Film Festival in October. “After reading an article in the New York Times about the last sardine cannery in the United States, I felt embarrassed that I didn't know the United States still had a fishing industry connected to factory work,” Redmon said. He visited the plant and decided to make a film focusing on the transformation an old factory into a modern processing facility. Redmon said that he was interested in how deeply entrenched local manufacturing is in Gouldsboro and other small communities across the country and how small economic changes large changes in a nation’s economic structure. “We never thought that a lobster factory in rural Maine would impact and connect to the personal lives of people who are part of the infrastructure of the U.S. economy in such fundamental ways until we made this film,” Redmon explained. The film will be shown at 2 p.m. on October 1 at the Strand Theater in Rockland.

Secretary favors offshore wind permitting Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center in August and pledged to move swiftly to identify offshore energy zones. Salazar had promised in 2010 to expedite the permitting process so that federal leases could be issued in two years rather than seven years or more. He also said that his agency would work to identify promising areas in the Atlantic Ocean for wind power. Salazar toured the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center to learn more about testing, deployment, fabrication and environmental monitoring of off-shore wind turbines under development there. The University of Maine leads the DeepCWind Consortium, which is made up of nonprofits, utilities, businesses involved in offshore and marine design and construction, and firms with expertise in wind project siting. Its goal is to generate 5 gigawatts of power by 2030, employing floating turbines located 20-50 miles offshore. As a first step, a one-third scale turbine is scheduled for deployment next July off Monhegan Island.

DMR Fall 2011 Inshore Trawl Survey The fall groundfish trawl survey conducted by the State of Maine Dept. of  Marine Resources is scheduled to begin October 3rd in New Hampshire working east to Lubec.  The weekly schedule breaks down as: Oct. 3 through 7, we will be working from New Hampshire to Cape Elizabeth; Oct. 10 through 14, we will be working from Portland to Muscongus Bay; Oct. 17 through 21, we will be working in Penobscot Bay area (Port Clyde to Isle au Haut); Oct. 24 through 28, we will be working from Isle au Haut to Schoodic Point (Mt. Desert Is. Area); and Oct. 31 through Nov. 4, we will be working from Schoodic to Lubec (eastern Maine). Schedules are subject to the weather conditions and can change at the last minute. The data collected by the survey is used in the assessment of lobster stocks and many other species of fish and shellfish. The better information we have about ALL our fishery resources, the better we can defend our fisheries and livelihoods.  In order to complete the required minimum number of tows for each of our 20 strata, we are asking for the cooperation of lobstermen in clearing proposed tow areas of gear. We will be mailing proposed daily tow schedules with start and stop coordinates and area overviews to all lobster license holders starting in mid-September.


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