What’s in Store for Maine’s Lobster Fishery?

by Sandra Dinsmore

The Ella Christine, Port Cldye, ME. Built in Surf City, North Carolina in 1975. Port Clyde owner Randy Cushman calls it a work horse which he as ground fished and shrimped on for 17 years. It is cypress below the water line and yellow pine above. The 50' x 17' 6" southeastern U.S. style work boat is a good sea boat said Cushman. He'll be shrimping this season, but drastic cuts to days and shrimp quota have left Cushman unenthusiastic. © Photo by Sam Murfitt

In late November 151 US and Canadian lobster scientists and other industry professionals met in Portland for a two and a half-day symposium to consider and discuss “The American Lobster in a Changing Ecosystem.”

Before the lobster fisheries in Long Island Sound and southern New England collapsed, they had been known for their abundance and health. By analyzing what happened to those lobsters and the waters they lived in, U.S. and Canadian scientists hoped to be able to prevent similar collapse to downeast Maine’s and southwestern Nova Scotia’s similarly almost overabundant lobster fisheries.

The first two mornings particularly respected marine scientists spoke on important topics. Under each of the four main topics, various speakers presented talks on 12 related subjects for a total of 24 fifteen -minute presentations each day. After these each afternoon a moderator held a group discussion. A general roundtable discussion the third morning pulled the threads of the entire symposium together with summaries of the subjects.



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