National Fisherman

ROCKLAND — The cold winter is still being felt in the waters off Maine, where the nation’s largest lobster fishery is off to a slow start.
 
The season typically picks up after the bulk of the lobster population sheds its shells and reaches legal harvesting size. That occurred in late June last year and mid-June in 2012, but state officials and lobstermen say it hasn’t happened yet this year, leading to small catches.
 
State lobster biologist Carl Wilson said the cold winter and spring may have held back molting. Some lobstermen and buyers are reporting catches half the size they saw at this time last year.
 
Prices of lobster are up slightly from last year amid the decline in catch, the Maine Import Export Lobster Dealers’ Association’s President Tim Harkins said. The value of last year’s lobster fishery was $2.89 per pound, the second lowest figure in the past 18 years.
 
Molting could start happening “any day now,” Wilson said, adding that this year’s molt appears similar to what the state typically experienced 10 years ago. The last two years – which brought record catches of more than 125 million pounds of lobster each – were seasons that featured an early molt, he said.
 
Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

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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.
 
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