National Fisherman

Lobstermen’s efforts to mark egg-bearing female lobsters with a V-notch on their tail have been on the decline since 2008, which could put pressure on the future health of the state’s most lucrative fishery, state officials said.
If a female lobster is caught while carrying eggs, a V-notch tool or knife is used to remove a very small, triangular portion of the tail flipper. That lobster is then returned to the water. V-notching began in Maine in 1917 and has been mandatory since 2002, but the practice is very difficult to enforce, officials said.
By throwing back the V-notched female lobsters, it allows them to grow larger and reproduce in future years. A V-notch lasts for about two molts or roughly two to three years – depending on the size of the cut – and acts as a signal for the next harvester that catches the lobster that it should be returned to the water to keep the reproductive cycle going, according to Kathleen Reardon, lobster scientist for Maine’s Department of Marine Resources.
“It creates a buffer for sustainability for the population,” Reardon said. “Because of V-notching, we’re protecting the reproduction cycle. It’s the only mechanism to return a legal sized lobster back to the water to reproduce.”
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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