National Fisherman


STOCKTON SPRINGS — Greg Perkins thinks of the thousands of pounds of lobsters and crabs that he’s caught in the Penobscot River over the past 10 years and worries about his family and the consumers he might have unknowingly poisoned with mercury.
 
“My first thought was, ‘Were those lobsters contaminated?’ ” Perkins said Wednesday, a day after the Maine Department of Marine Resources announced that it will close the mouth of the river to lobstering and crabbing because of mercury contamination. “Was I possibly poisoning my family and the public for 10 years? It’s impossible to think about.”
 
Perkins said he knew that environmental groups and the state had been doing studies for years, but he didn’t hear until last month that the tests showed unsafe mercury levels in lobsters and crabs.
 
“It sucks for us, but I don’t want to kill people either,” said Perkins, who fishes the maximum of 800 traps out of Stockton Springs, in the 7-square-mile area that will be closed for at least two years starting Saturday.
 
A total of about 270 licensed commercial and recreational harvesters work in the area and are potentially affected by the closure, according to the Department of Marine Resources.
 
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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