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November 2015 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 13. Commercial Fishing News D.E.L.A. Director's Report From the Director –


This is without a doubt, one of the prettiest fall seasons that we have had in a along time! The colors are bright and brilliant with a lot of reds and orange colors in the leaves. I hope that we have all had a chance to stop for a moment and enjoy the beauty around us. The pictures that have been shared on Facebook are the most colorful and beautiful sky pictures that I have ever seen. These were pictures of sunrise and sunset photos that were taken from the boats as they were working. Thank you for sharing these moments with all of us. You may be wondering where I’m going with all of this talk about brilliant colors and the beauty around us…it is a good opportunity to offer refl ection on a season that has gone a little better for the lobster industry this year. The prices held up a little better for the boats, with supply and demand a lot more traditional this year. The only problem that we ran into at the dock was a shortage of bait here and there. This happens every year when the herring fi shery closes down for a spell, but everyone should be up and going again now so we can fi nish the fall run. The only solution that we could suggest was frozen bait, such as porgies, red fi sh, and other hard fi sh variety. Frozen fi sh was better than the alternative, which was bringing up gear due to bait shortage. The Commissioner’s meetings have


fi nished for another round of speaking out with the industry. This is such a good thing for Pat and the D.M.R. to do. The best way to communicate with one another is to listen to each other’s feelings about the situation that they are personally in. Some of the notes that I took while at the meeting goes as follows: Concerning looking at license entry and effort revision: 1) The resource is healthy now; our conservation in Maine has worked very well. 2) Latent effort exists and needs to be


addressed.


3) Concerns that it will result in too many traps; the inshore is too crowded and it could result in more offshore participation. 4) What does the waiting list participants


want? A predictable time frame. They would like to pass along their lobstering tradition to their families, (next generation) and keep our fi shing identity in tact. 5)Transferable trap tags deemed too problematic; change the ratios, opportunities for students, such as expanding the student


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program from 18 to 23 years of age. This takes in college age students. They need to still be in school in order to qualify. 6) Suggested that felons and sex


offenders should be identifiable under qualifi cations.


March 9, 2015 it became effective that you can hog ring trap tags instead of purchasing replacement tags. This will be a one year pilot program. So you can see that by holding meetings, we obviously have good input from our fi shing community. I could sense and see the frustration of what I call “the forgotten generation” which takes in the ages of 30 to 40 years of age. They fi nished their apprenticeship to qualify for their license but because of the surge of all of the people doing this, it fl ooded the waiting list. Adding to this growing list, the zones had changed the “enter and exit ratios” which added to making the waiting period even longer for these people. Those who were able to come up through the student license program upon meeting all qualifi cations were able to receive a license. Some of the people on the waiting list have been on this list longer than these “kids” were even able to get a student license. A student can receive his student license at the age of 8. In 9 or 10 years, they are able to go fi shing full time. There have been many people on the waiting list that long if not longer. This is why they are called the “forgotten generation.” We need to address their situations in the name of fairness to their generation.


Please stay in touch with D.E.L.A. with your concerns and opinions on the subject of licensing. We are here to help and certainly want to continue our traditional fi shery. We are awaiting further notice on the letter that we signed along with eight other fi shing associations on the Cashes Ledge Monument that has been proposed by the Federal government. This letter was composed by Beth Casoni of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association and sent to President Obama. The designated area is Cashes Ledge and the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts which is a chain of undersea formations that are approximately 150 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. Cashes Ledge is located about 80 miles off the coast of Portland, Maine. If this action is approved by the Federal government, it would permanently end all fi shing in this area. So please stay


tuned with the progress that is going on with this unifi ed action that we are all participating in.


Once again, our meetings are starting for the season such as the Lobster Institute who will be planning the next Canadian/ US Town meeting. The Maine Fishermen’s Forum never stopped meeting this year…. we continued working a strategic session even in the summer. We are always trying to make the Forum the best that it can be for everyone that participates and attends. If you have seminar ideas or would like to have a seminar at the Forum, please contact one of the Board members. Each seminar needs to be hosted by a member of the Board of Directors. I am on the Board of Directors if you would like to contact me for the upcoming seminar schedule. D.E.L.A. would also like to offer our deep condolences to the families and crew of the El Faro, the cargo ship that went down off the coast of Florida. The list of mariners from the Maine Maritime Academy goes as follows: Mike Davidson, Class of 1988, Danielle Randolph, Class of 2005, Mike Holland, Class of 2012, Dylan Mekin, Class of 2015 and Mitchel Kufl ik, Class of 2011. As fellow mariners and MMA alumnus, our hearts are with you, never to be forgotten. Our next meeting should be Thursday, November 12th at Jasper’s in Ellsworth. I


will post more information on the meeting on Facebook and the D.E.L.A. website. Please remember that our membership is open to newcomers! We welcome fi shermen, business owners and D.E.L.A. friend supporters. The more we accomplish together, the stronger our voice will be for the future of our lobster industry and fi shery. See you around and have a safe season,


Sheila


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