National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

Top 5 Mixed Catch Stories

Maine's lobster industry is finding interesting ways to connect with consumers.

For example, mid-coast Maine lobsterman Ryan Post has a Web site, Maine Buggin http://www.mainebuggin.com/. A fourth generation lobsterman, Post also stars in a new documentary, "Here's the Catch."

The film chronicles a year in the lobstering life of Post and his sternman, Jon Hill, working on Post's boat, the 40-foot Instigator. According to the Web site, the documentary was to premiere in June.

The site also showcases a series of podcasts about lobstering in Maine. Between the Web site, podcasts and documentary, Post is raising the profile of the industry (as well as his own), making lobstering more accessible to the average consumer. And an educated consumer may be more likely to plop down his hard earned cash on a lobster dinner.

The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine is taking the education approach one step further. After a five-year hiatus, it is reviving the Maine Lobster College. Come mid-September, tourists intrigued by the lobstering life can get an education on vacation and learn about bugs, bait, the business of lobstering and more. Tuition is $575 per person, not including lodging at the Kenniston Hill Inn Bed and Breakfast in Boothbay, which serves as the lobster college's "campus."

Moreover, participants will find out firsthand what it's like to haul traps, remove and measure the lobsters and band the bugs. Folks interested in enrolling can learn more at The Lobster Institute Web site http://www.lobsterinstitute.org.

Likewise, brothers John and Brendan Ready generated a buzz late last year with their buy-a-trap program. For $2,995 a year, customers buy the rights to all bugs caught in a designated trap.

"We've created a way to add more value to seafood," John Ready told the Associated Press last year. "This is our way of trying to hit a new market segment."

All of the above enterprises are adding value to the experience of buying seafood. Whether it's Maine lobster, Copper River salmon, or other seafood treats, such programs educate the public about their product, commercial fishing in general, and gain seafood attention that can translate into consumer demand — and additional income for fishermen.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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