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October 2015 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 11. Commercial Fishing News D.E.L.A. Director's Report

From the Director – School has started by now; most of the

tourists have gone home with a few “leaf peepers” still to come. I hope that everyone has had a successful and safe season this year! Our 2015 stock assessment report from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commis- sion shows that Maine has had another suc- cessful year. T e news is not quite as good for the lower Atlantic States, which also explains why our lobster research is so important at this time. D.E.L.A. has been working dili- gently to work with our fellow organizations to maintain our prime fi shing bottom. We have joined with a letter that was composed by Beth Casoni of

the Mas-

sachusetts Lobstermen’s Association in “Opposition to Cashes Ledge and the New England Canyons designation for a National Monument within the region of the Gulf of Maine.” At our D.E.L.A. Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to support and sign this letter along with eight organizations that are also directly involved with this proposal. T e following is an exert of Beth’s letter:

“To unilaterally allow such a designation would usurp the established habitat and fi sh- eries management public process and could be economically catastrophic not only to the commercial and charter fi shermen, but also to hundreds of small coastal communities in New England.” T e following organizations have joined together in signing this letter that has been sent

to President Obama:

Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Assoc., Atlantic Off shore Lobstermen’s Assoc., Maine Lobs- termen’s Assoc., Downeast Lobstermen’s As- soc., Stellwagen Bank Charter Boat Assoc., Rhode Island Lobstermen’s Assoc., Maine Lobstermen’s Union, American Bluefin Tuna Assoc., Gloucester Fisheries Commis- sion.

We will also be forwarding this letter to

our Representatives such as Chellie Pingree to engage them to participate with this letter of petition. Fate has it; while I’m writing this report I just receive a call from the Friends of Penobscot Bay asking what we can bring to

the attention of the law makers! T ank you, FOPB!

On that note, our next matter that we

have worked on since the beginning is the Penobscot Bay Dredge project. I am aware that a lot of press coverage has gone to other organizations, but when we work this hard on an issue, we have been including every- one that has been with this since the ground level. D.E.L.A. received a call in 2013 and was asked by our local lobstermen to get involved. We promptly composed a letter on May 4, 2013 that was sent to Barbara Blumeris of the Army Corps of Engineers, asking for further research involved with this dredge. If you check the date, it was before some were even established…so please, do not always be mis-lead by the media atten- tion. At this point in time, the “Big Dredge” has been “put on hold” and I want to “T ank” each and every one that had a part in this, including Friends of Penobscot Bay and the hard working members that faithfully attended the meetings and hearings such as our local lobstermen, business owners, the MLA and MLU. When we all work together, we are able to get things accomplished. We may all not always agree on everything, but when we do, we make a big diff erence! D.E.L.A. has also been very involved

with the Friends of Penobscot Bay to clean up the contaminated area that has run-off from the GAC Corporation in Searsport and Stockton Springs. T is has all been going on for a long time. I understand that it has been since 1998. With joining forces once again, a lot of meetings; teleconferences and media, they are cleaning up the area! Of course, they did not start the mess. T is was all from years ago, but by working it all out, the work has been started (without blame on their part) and they have been issued a “T ank you.” Let’s keep up the good work! We had a very successful D.E.L.A.

Annual Meeting on T ursday, September 10th

at Jasper’s in Ellsworth. T ank you to

Matt Jacobson, the Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Promotional Collaborative for attending and giving a very informative

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talk about our marketing of the Maine lob- ster. Matt answered a lot of questions about our industry that a lot of did not realize. Our prices were higher this year at the dock, so this is a big plus. We know that it all takes time to see improvement, but we all felt that we are going in a good direction. T e meeting went well with our Annual

Hat Drawing at the end of the evening. We’d like to T ank all that donated prizes to the meeting. T is gives our Associate Business members an opportunity to get their name and product out and about. We can’t do it without the help of our Associate members, businesses and Friends of DELA. We always help to promote one another, which is also part of what we do to help. Please don’t for- get, you can also place an ad in the Maine Coastal News as a DELA member and half the proceeds go to support our association. T is is a big help from Jon Johansen and the Maine Coastal News. Contact us at any time. Friday, September 25th

, Congress desig-

nated as National Lobster Day. T is means that on this day, lobster from the United States is recognized around the world as a priced culinary delicacy. We are encouraged to promote our Maine Lobster on this day, which will be done, with a great deal of American Pride! Work has started on the next Fisher-

men’s Forum and the Lobster Institute’s Town Meeting. We have also had meetings with our R.E.D. Board regularly. T is is the Maine Lobster License Plate Board. We are always working to keep our industry going

in a strong direction. Feel free to call at any time to off er concerns, opinions or if you’d like to have us bring an issue to one of our meetings. T ere is a Commissioner’s meeting this

evening in Ellsworth that we plan to attend. I have a few concerns that members have called in about that I will be bringing to the meeting. Please stay involved…it does make a diff erence. See you around, Sheila



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