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Steaming Ahead: April 2011 to begin collecting information to help us get a handle on how vulnerable our industry is. The survey asks questions about income and expenses of lobstering businesses, as well as amounts of bait, fuel and gear consumed. While these sorts of questions may seem like a personal invasion to some, or others might think – who cares, this industry is about survival of the fittest and so what if a few of these guys who can’t cut it fall by the wayside. The fact is that if a large portion of our younger lobstermen are at risk, or perhaps our Downeast lobstermen, then our industry is at risk, and the future of our lobster industry and our coastal communities are at risk. So, if you are inclined to go online to complete the survey – please do. Or, if you are called by someone from the survey team, I hope you will participate in this important project. I am not one for doom and gloom, and all in all things are looking very bright for the lobster industry. But we will continue to face new challenges, and we should be prepared to understand what these changes really mean for us. After all, if we can’t make money doing this -- what’s the point? We may be just a small part in this global economy, but we are the lifeline of the Maine coast. As the world becomes more sophisticated, so must we if we are going to be well positioned to fight for a bright future for our industry and our way of life. As always, stay safe on the water.

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