AUGUSTA, Maine — Despite highly visible defeats for Maine groundfishermen who have tried to overturn a state law that prohibits them from possessing lobsters, there may be hope yet for easing the restriction.
For the third time in six years — and the second time in the past two months — a bill that would legalize the practice is being considered in the Legislature.
Two earlier legislative proposals that would have allowed Maine groundfish boats to keep their incidental lobster bycatch and to land it in Maine have died in committee. In March 2007 and again this past April, the Legislature's Marine Resources Committee voted unanimously that each proposal ought not to pass.
Members of Maine's lobster trap fishery strongly opposed both prior proposals, which contributed each bill's defeat. Each time, lobstermen argued that allowing groundfishermen to keep the lobsters they drag up would place undue pressure on the resource and have an adverse effect on the lobster industry's bottom line.
This time around, however, the idea has received partial support in the legislative committee and the Maine Lobstermen's Association — the largest commercial fishing advocacy organization in Maine — has decided to remain silent.
Read the full story at Bangor Daily News>>
National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.