June 18, 2014
It's a simple matter of communication.
Local lobstermen say it's been lacking on the part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose research vessel, the Ferdinand R. Hassler, has been scouring local waters as it re-maps the ocean bottom.
While the vessel's mission may be a productive one — updating nautical charts that in some cases haven't been touched in decades — it's creating unintended consequences for local fishermen. They say the Hassler's equipment has cut their fishing lines and traps, resulting in more than $25,000 in lost gear.
Mike Sinclair, president of the York Lobstermen's Association, said that while NOAA reimburses lobstermen $80 per trap, it doesn't reimburse them for the tags lost along with the trap, or the lost income that results.