Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Friday, 13 July 2012
It's summertime in Vacationland, so all should be fine and dandy. In fact, so far, this is one of the most spectacular summers I can remember.
But today is Friday the 13th, and vacationers headed toward the state face a frightening prospect, indeed. Maine lobstermen are threatening to leave their traps in the water, thereby ending the glut of lobster that has reduced its price below the bologna threshold at about $2.50 a pound.
According to NPR, the Maine Department of Marine Resources has fielded calls from lobstermen asking the state to shut down the fishery — an action for which they don't have authority.
But in the end, the market will sort itself out, much to the short-term delight of lobster eaters and the dismay of lobstermen. If it's not worth the dock price of lobster to go fishing, they'll let their traps soak until the glut has eased. I just hope the weather holds so they can at least enjoy the summer weather during their forced, unpaid vacation.
The West Coast also has some auspicious news for a Friday the 13th, regarding the federal budget in 2013, no less.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is scheduled to cut its commercial fishing program — a significant part of the NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office and one that has made a tremendous difference in commercial fishing safety nationwide in recent years — as a result of budget cuts to the overarching Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program.
The same program was threatened in the 2012 budget, but was spared when the public and legislators came to its defense.
It's time to speak for NIOSH and fishing safety again. Call your legislators, and ask them to make sure the $1.5 million allocation is reinstated. It's a small price to save lives.
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