The 49th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum (MFF) begins Feb. 29 to bring together all kinds of fishing industry members- from fishermen to aquaculturists, scientists, regulators, and educators. MFF incorporates educational seminars regarding the top interests of those who fish New England waters.

For 49 years, the MFF has created a comfortable and collaborative environment for all attendees. A significant change to this year’s Forum is that everyone must register. As always, the event is free, and a badge station will be at the entrance, so grabbing yours will be quick and easy. 

This family-friendly event offers a tradeshow of some of the best Northeast exhibitors in commercial fishing and evening events to raise money for scholarships to secondary schools for Maine fishing families. The Maine business community has come in full force, and sponsorship and financial support for the Forum has exceeded all past years.

MaineHealth and other health providers along the coast have amped up their offerings this year. Maine Health Access Foundation provided a meeting grant that will be applied to expand health offerings.

MFF also has a new executive director this year, Kathleen Gilbert, who has worked tirelessly to bring together old traditions of the Forum and further promote this annual event with the board. 

"It's been a true joy to work with the Forum board, the business community, and the seminar presenters on this gem of an event for the past year. Now I'm looking forward to the most satisfying moments of all, welcoming the fishermen and everyone who supports the industry through the Samoset doors to enjoy it all." Gilbert tells NF.

The state’s community truly supports the fishermen who make up the industry, and there’s no better weekend to come together, learn, and collaborate to strengthen the commercial fishing industry. Last year, I shared my perspective on attending this event since I was a young kid. No matter the circumstances of the year’s catch, the community continues to make the legendary seafood reception and college scholarships possible. The generosity and family that make this community what it is are second to none.

Many uncertainties lay on the horizon for New England’s coastal communities, and the seminars you can attend at the MFF involve many aspects that impact the marine industry. Check out the complete list of workshops here.

National Fisherman looks forward to connecting with the community through evening events and throughout the three days of the MFF.

See you next week!

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Carli is a Content Specialist for National Fisherman. She comes from a fourth-generation fishing family off the coast of Maine. Her background consists of growing her own business within the marine community. She resides on one of the islands off the coast of Maine while also supporting the lobster community she grew up in.

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