Vol. 11, No. 7 – July 2006    News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine          SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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Political Disasters
by Niaz Dorry

It’s all over the news: rebuilding after hurricanes Katrina and Rita has become a political disaster.

Fishing communities trying to rebuild their livelihoods feel they are caught in the eye of yet more storms, playing out in the halls of Congress and policy think tank offices.

Congress Misses The Boat On Aiding Fishermen
According to the U.S. House of Representative Committee on Resources, last year’s hurricanes damaged 15 major fishing ports, 177 seafood processing facilities, 1,816 federally permitted fishing vessels and more than 13,000 state-permitted boats in the Gulf of Mexico.

With nearly $2 billion worth of reported damage to Louisiana’s fishing industry alone, fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico were banking on a much publicized relief package within the recently passed supplemental spending bill. The bill initially promised nearly $1.14 billion to be spent for rebuilding destroyed waterfront structures such as marinas, docks and piers for the commercial and recreational fishermen ($300 million); replacing ice houses, processing facilities and fishing equipment ($300 million); clean up and repair of damaged facilities ($100 million); and revitalization of shrimping grounds and oyster beds ($100 million).

In the final analysis, the dollar amount was slashed to $118 million—$100 million is earmarked for oyster bed restorations and cleaning up debris on shrimping grounds.

In response, the Heritage Foundation, a DC-based conservative think tank, said, “The $118 million in the conference report is still more than necessary, but it is a substantial improvement over the original $1.14 billion.”

But Gulf fishermen disagree.

The scale of the disaster was beyond the capacity of the government to manage. Ownership of the reconstruction may belong to the funded. Whether the government has the will, the money and ability to make redevelopment equitable remains to be seen. Photo: Courtesy of United Houma Nation

Resurrection At Jonesport
by Brenda Tredwell

Willis Beal’s boat shop is the first thing you see after crossing the bridge that spans Moosabec Reach. Directly to the right of that sits the Silver Dollar perched vigilantly on the rise of ledge where she wintered, overlooking the original site of Riley Beal’s shop.

The last boat built by Riley Beal, who was 83 at the time, was the Lorna R. Dick Alley worked on the boat, alongside his grandfather Riley, and they launched her in June of 1973.

According to Dick’s son Rocky, his dad loved to race. When Rocky was 15 he would sometimes go along. During the course of the last year, Rocky’s brother Galen tracked down the Lorna R. which had been fished and raced by their father Dick before being sold in 1986 to a Vinalhaven lobsterman. After a 20-year absence, the Lorna R. is back in home waters with BEALS, ME painted once again on her stern.

After a recent restoration effort in which the fiberglass over the wood was stripped off, she was re-launched on May 23rd.

The Lorna R. and her crew experienced a set back when, according to engine wizard Richard Weaver, “Gavin was running her at half throttle, and BAM! A couple of boards blew out of the bottom and the boat went under.”

Marc Pelletier was on board with his 13-year-old son, Harley. Harley was at the stern when the boards burst up and threw him into the water. Marc dove in to get his son.


Galen Alley taking the Lorna R through her second round of sea trials in three weeks. The 33 year old family boat sank with its new engine during the first trial. The town of Jonesport and engine builder Richard Weaver rallied to rebuild the boat and engine in time for the Boothbay races on June 17. Photo: Nancy Beal


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