Written by Jen Finn
PORTLAND, MAINE — Ocean temperatures have been higher than normal in the Gulf of Maine, creating worries among lobstermen that there could be a repeat of last spring's early harvest that resulted in a market glut, a crash in the prices fishermen get and a blockade of Maine-caught lobsters in Canada.
Temperature readings at selected ocean buoys off the Maine coast have been lower than last winter, but they've still been above normal the past few months. Some fishermen are already finding some soft-shell lobsters in traps, months earlier than usual.
Fishermen don't want to see a recurrence of last year, when the strong early catch caused prices to plummet and tensions to boil over when Canadian lobstermen, angered by the low prices, blocked truckloads of Maine's catch from being delivered to processing plants in Canada.
"I guess we're kind of just holding our breath," said Bruce Fernald, a longtime lobsterman from Cranberry Isles off Mount Desert Island.
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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...