National Fisherman

AUGUSTA — A bill designed to protect Maine’s $340 million lobster industry by banning two pesticides that have been partially blamed for decimating lobster populations in New York and Connecticut is facing a headwind in the Legislature.
 
L.D. 1678 is sponsored by Rep. Walter Kumiega, D-Deer Isle. It would prohibit the use of methoprene and resmethrin, chemicals that were used during a massive mosquito spraying operation in 1999 to combat an outbreak of West Nile in areas along Long Island Sound.
 
Shortly thereafter, a severe die-off of lobsters wiped out the fishery there, although warming ocean temperatures and other factors are also believed to have played a role.
 
Rep. Michael Devin, D-Newcastle, told lawmakers on the Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Committee on Thursday that Maine should join Connecticut and ban the two chemicals, traces of which were found in dead lobsters studied in the sound.
 
“Whatever we apply in the terrestrial environment eventually makes its way to the coast and out to sea,” Devin said.
 
“The cigarette butt you saw this morning on the sidewalk will end up in the Kennebec River and then flow down to the ocean. Insecticides ... all end up in our ocean.”
 
The proposal, however, lacks the support of the LePage administration and the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, a trade group representing the industry. Patrice McCarron, the association’s executive director, told lawmakers Thursday that lobstermen are concerned about pesticides, but worry that banning methoprene and resmethrin could give a “false sense of security” while ignoring other chemicals that could be more harmful to lobsters.
 
Read the full story at the Morning Sentinel>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

Read more...

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