ROCKPORT – The fishing industry isn’t easy to get into and it’s always constantly changing with new regulations and technology. Fishermen are coming together to learn from one another.
It’s not everyday where you can get fishermen from all over the state in the same room. But these ones are taking the day off to attend the 42nd annual Maine Fisherman’s Forum.
Coordinator Chilloa Young said “It’s a natural meeting place for fisherman, scientist and exhibitors.”
For three days fishermen have the opportunity to learn about what’s happening in the industry. Each day provides them with training, workshops and trade shows to adapt to the changes.
There are numerous of organizations reaching out to fisherman in hopes of creating a partnership. Young added “It’s very seldom that fisherman can get an opportunity to be face to face with people are making the regulations, or talking to scientists about new research opportunities. Here, they can do it one to one.”
They also learn about upcoming regulations. Donald Perkins of Gulf of Maine Research Institute stated “Most fisheries are now being regulated in a very restrictive way. We are seeing some good news stories. There have been a lot of sacrifices, there will be challenges because the ocean is warming. Things are changing.”
Travis Ford a Fishery Management Specialist stated “It’s really hard for people to stay within the regulations, if they do not know what they really are.”
There is a lot of good news. The scallop industry is making a comeback, it’s on a rotation to sustain it. The lobster industry hit a record high of over 500 million dollars in landings.
The next challenge is finding ways to market against competing shellfish across the country.
Perkins concluded with “I think it’s really important for people in Maine and New England to really have confidence. The fisheries in New England have gone through a lot of sacrifices. They are being aggressively managed. People ought to support the industry by buying local fish and enjoying them.”