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In The News: September 2013

DMR scientist recognized Department of Marine Resources scientist Margaret Hunter received the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Annual Award of Excellence in July. Hunter, who has worked for DMR for more than 30 years, was commended for her scientific, technical and advisory contributions to the Commission. Hunter has served on the Commission’s Northern Shrimp Technical Committee for more than a decade. At DMR she has conducted research on northern shrimp, Atlantic herring, sea urchins, groundfish and other species. Since 2000, she has been responsible for the monitoring and assessment of Maine’s sea urchin and northern shrimp fisheries.

Private dredging project raises local ire Southport residents and conservationists lambasted seasonal resident Paul Coulombe’s plans to blast a ledge and dredge a nearby cove to allow his 29-foot yacht access to his private dock at all tides. Coulombe wants to create a 25-foot wide channel which would require underwater ledge to be blasted. A seven-foot-deep hole would be dredged in the cove for the boat. To ensure that the channel and hole does not fill in over time, an underwater steel wall 12 feet wide and 75 feet long would be embedded in the bedrock along the edge of the channel. Among the objectors to the project was Diane Cowan of The Lobster Conservancy. Cowan pointed out that the cove is home to one of the most significant juvenile lobster nurseries on the northern East Coast. Cowan and volunteers have sampled the area for juvenile lobsters for nearly two decades. The application for the project went to DMR in August.

Fisheries Management Councils agree to protect deep-water corals The Chairmen of the South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, and New England Fishery Management Councils signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in August to coordinate protection of deep sea corals off the east coast of the United States, from Maine to eastern Florida. Over the past three decades, marine researchers have discovered highly diverse deep sea coral communities on the continental shelf and slope off much of the east coast. Most deep sea corals are slow-growing and fragile, making them particularly vulnerable to damage from bottom trawls.

Portland harbor dredging begins this fall Dredging of Portland Harbor from Veteran’s Bridge to Bug Light will begin on or about November 1, 2013 and must be conclude no later April 1, 2014. The Portland Harbor Commission is seeking lobstermen to assist with the lobster relocation project during that time period. For more information please contact the Portland Harbormaster Jeff Liick – 772-8121. phm@maine.rr.com

Hamilton Marine Expands Hamilton Marine of Searsport has opened a new warehouse/store to service commercial fishermen and boatbuilders who often purchase bulk items in large quantities. The 16,000-square-foot facility is stocked with buoys, rope, netting, trap supplies, totes and structural composites used by fishermen and builders. “It’s set up as a warehouse with pallet racks full of product from floor to ceiling, but it’s also a Home-Depot style commercial store where customers can grab a flat-bed cart and have at it. We’re very pleased with the great response we’ve seen so far,” said owner Wayne Hamilton, The new building is located on a lower level just behind the Searsport store. It has its own parking lot and an overhead door where customers can have their purchases loaded in to their truck. The warehouse side of the operation has six truck bays to facilitate supplying Hamilton’s other four stores and the company’s extensive distribution business. When asked if he had reservations about expanding in a down economy, Hamilton said, “Of course, but it’s not the first risk we’ve taken in 37 years of business. I started with fishermen and got into supplies for all sorts of boats, pleasure and commercial. Now we have even more of the supplies Maine fishermen require in order to fish and to keep their boats fit and safe. You might say we’re a one stop ship shop.”

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