National Fisherman


Two events this month show the tensions facing Portland's working waterfront.
 
The first was good news: the announcement that Shucks Maine Lobster was leasing 19,000 square feet of space at the Maine State Pier for lobster processing. The expanding business is expected to invest more than $1 million on renovations and equipment and bring nine full-time jobs and 60 part-time ones to the waterfront. Along with Ready Seafood, a lobster shipping company, which will also lease space on the pier, Portland will build on its role as a hub for the lobster fishery.
 
The second development was not so good. The owners of the old Cumberland Cold Storage building on Commercial Street, now the headquarters of the Pierce Atwood law firm, announced that they have not been able to find marine tenants to lease space that is reserved for them by zoning. The building's owners got permission from the Planning Board to rent the space to other kinds of businesses.
 
Coming so closely together, the two developments illustrate the tough choices the city will have to make if Portland is going to preserve its working waterfront. There is still demand for space near the water for seafood processing, as the Shucks deal shows. But there may not be enough to justify the zoning restrictions last revised in 2010. As this conversation moves forward, the city should not forget its commitment to a robust working waterfront. This is a vital part of Portland's heritage, and the jobs these businesses provide won't come back if they are forced out. Preservation may involve public investment that promotes infrastructure upgrades that rents alone can't support.
 
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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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.

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