National Fisherman


The promotion of Maine lobster got a $2 million-a-year boost from a law establishing a new marketing effort for the fishery.

Gov. Paul LePage has signed off on L.D. 486, a long-debated legislative proposal creating the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative to replace the Lobster Promotion Council.

Earlier this spring, the legislation had generated sometimes bitter debate across the industry, from lobstermen to dealers and processors, because those groups will be footing the bill for the planned global marketing campaign.

Just how to divvy up the $2 million annual budget proved to be more complicated than many in state government expected.

Through surcharges that vary depending on the type of license a lobster harvester, dealer or processor holds, the marketing collaborative will fund promotional efforts to brand Maine lobster and demonstrate its culinary versatility, particularly in areas of the world that might increase consumption.

The law increases the council's budget from $350,000 to $2 million, but even the higher figure represents a mere 1 percent of the industry's yearly sales, said Emily Lane, chairwoman of the Lobster Promotion Council, the precursor to the collaborative.

Read the full story at the Kennebec Journal>>

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.

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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.

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