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Maine Fishermen’s Forum Forges Ahead in 2024

By: Maine Fishermen's Forum Staff

The 49th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum returns February 29 – March 2 with a new executive director, Kathleen Gilbert, at the helm. Gilbert’s professional event organizing experience has helped the Forum’s board of directors reconsider some aspects of the event in order to provide more benefits for fishermen.

Kathleen Gilbert is the new Maine Fishermen's Forum coordinator. MFF photo.

“While a few new processes will be noticeable to attendees this year, everyone will find the old and cherished programming going strong,” Gilbert said. “In coming years, the improvements to processes we are introducing this year will support expanded offerings to meet the growing needs of Maine’s fishing industry into the future.”

One notable improvement for Forum attendees is the process for making room reservations at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. For 2024, the Forum has reserved all Samoset rooms to pass along savings over market rates to those staying at the resort. It highly encourages fishing families to take advantage of organized children’s programs and all the resort has to offer. As always, there is a two-night requirement for all Friday and Saturday reservations.

For the 2024 Forum all the rooms will be priced according to their accommodation size and amenities, allowing guests to self-select a room type when booking. Attendees need to be aware that the Samoset sells out within two to three weeks, so anyone looking to stay in a family suite must book early! Reservations open on the Forum’s website on January 2.

Another change for 2024 is the opportunity to sign up to attend the Forum, which remains free to all, in advance. Attendees are encouraged to register on the website and will find their name badge ready to print instantly upon arrival. There’s also the option of registering upon arrival in the Samoset lobby at new name badge stations.

In just a few months, New England fishermen and families will gather again for the

Maine Fishermen's Forum. MFF photo.

By gathering basic information, the Forum seeks to better meet the needs of the community and provide options for fishermen to communicate with other attendees, if they choose. For example, there is a growing interest to offer additional health-related services to fishermen at the Forum. Some health-related exhibitors want to hear from attendees beforehand so that they can tailor their health offerings to meet the real needs of fishermen.

All the reasons everyone loves the Maine Fishermen’s Forum will remain in full swing in 2024. The Trade Show will have over 130 exhibitors. There will be three days of seminar presentations providing a constructive space for fishermen to engage with scientists and regulators. There are evening events all three nights including the silent auction on Thursday and live auction on Friday to provide scholarships for students of fishing families. There’s a health clinic, water safety training, a first aid and CPR course, and children’s programming.

As in years past, the New England fishing community comes together at the 49th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum.


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