National Fisherman

HARPSWELL, Maine — When Port Clyde fisherman Gary Libby started fishing in 1978, a good day at sea meant heading home with 6,000 pounds of fish on board. Today, a 21-hour trip nets anywhere from 1,000 pounds to 1,500 pounds — and he’s fishing far, far fewer days each year.
 
Randy Cushman, also of Port Clyde, remembers his biggest trip ever, when he hauled in 11,000 pounds of codfish, back when Cushman was young and Port Clyde “was hoppin’.”
 
“We had the big fishing that you hear about,” Cushman said. “Real big. Too much. We stayed up for 48 hours straight. We only had 3 hot dogs to eat … that takes its toll on you, with two guys. You’re working. You’re busting your hump.”
 
Port Clyde, like other fishing towns up and down the Maine coast, has changed in the past few decades. Most significantly, with federal regulations and a depleted fishery, Maine’s groundfishing fleet has shrunk from 300 boats in the early 1990s to about 50 in 2013, according to Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, a fishermen-led nonprofit that works to restore the fisheries and sustain Maine’s fishing communities.
 
But as valuable as the industry itself are stories such as Libby’s and Cushman’s. The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association has preserved some of those fish tales through its Oral History Initiative, a multimedia presentation opening Wednesday at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
 
Read the full story at Bangor Daily News>>

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

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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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.
 
Read more...
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