MCCF Monthly
March 2020
Spring or "mud season" has made its way to Maine. The scallop season
is coming to an end, lobstermen are slowly hauling in traps from offshore,
and with that it is time to look ahead to longer days and warmer weather.

Just like winter, the Maine Fishermen's Forum has come and gone, and
we share with you some highlights from this year's event. This month's
edition also includes a first look at our 2019 Annual Report, and how
Eastern Maine Skippers Program staff and teachers are
collaborating to map out next year's project theme.

You can read about this and much more below!
Recap: Maine Fishermen's Forum
MCCF was fully engaged in the Maine Fisherman’s Forum, which took place earlier this month. The annual event held at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, celebrated its 45th year. MCCF founder Robin Alden co-founded the event, which attracts nearly 1,000 people every year for three days of seminars, workshops, a trade show, health screenings, and children activities. This year, MCCF staff had lead roles in three sessions.

The Forum’s annual Shellfish Day was held on Thursday and Mike Thalhauser, Collaborative Management Specialist, was part of the organizing committee. An entire day was dedicated to collaborative learning about topics including applied science, environmental risks, and community engagement. A poster session featuring a dozen posters from collaborating organizations followed. Well over 100 people attended sharing viewpoints and ideas for sustaining Maine’s shellfish industry.

Collaborative Research is one of the core themes for MCCF and Pat Shepard, Collaborative Research Specialist, organized a session “ Maine Fishermen: Collecting Fisheries Data since 1607” that featured a panel of fishermen describing their experiences participating in scientific research. Bailey Bowden (Penobscot) talked about his work on clams and alewives in the Bagaduce River system. Matt Trundy ( F/V Savannah Says, Stonington) shared his experiences working on the Sentinel Survey with the University of Maine and MCCF staff. Fisherman and marine biologist for Ready Seafood Co., Curt Brown ( F/V Lil’ More Tail, Cape Elizabeth) told stories about his work with scientists on a wide range of projects involving lobster settlement, lobster health, and handling. Dr. Anna Mercer (NOAA/NEFSC), who is now the coordinator for the Collaborative Research Program in the northeast region, provided an update on outreach and engagement they are doing from Maine to Cape Hatteras to stimulate and support targeted collaborative research projects.

The Eastern Maine Skippers Program (EMSP), led by Tom Duym, Fisheries Education Specialist and Christina Fifield, EMSP Program Coordinator, hosted a session on Friday featuring students from each of the nine schools that are part of the program. Students stood by their posters and engaged the attendees, describing the status of their projects and collecting information and ideas in order to complete the projects by the end of the school year. This year there are 18 projects in progress ranging from electric boat design, to the effects of micro-plastics on marine life, and alternative bait options. 
2019 Annual Report Available
MCCF's 2019 Annual Report is available on our website. This year's report features supporter stories, never before seen photos, and how your support has made an impact on the work we are doing together to keep fishing forever in Maine's coastal communities.

"This report to our supporters and our partners provides a snapshot of the work we’ve been doing and a look ahead to what we hope to achieve. The style of fisheries research we conduct, the approach to shared responsibility in natural resource management, and the way we engage citizens of all ages is done collaboratively."
- Paul Anderson, Executive Director
EMSP Staff and Teachers Map Out Project Theme for Upcoming School Year
Last month the Eastern Maine Skippers Program staff and participating teachers met to discuss the 2020-2021 student project theme. Whereas the general approach has been to have broad topics in recent years, the consensus was to bring the project into tighter focus and to include components designed specifically around our core content areas. The group settled on a theme of " Design your Future Fisheries". The basic premise is that the students will select a species from a short list of underutilized and/or unavailable marine species. Students will work in all aspects of understanding the life cycle and ecology of the organism, the harvest method, care and handling, and marketing of the species, and last, but not least, develop a presentation that will result in legislation drafted, a rule change, and/or an experimental license to do further research. This presentation will be given to both the Commissioner of Marine Resources and the Marine Resources Committee of the legislature.  

This endeavor may become multi-year in implementation. Our overall objective is to demonstrate to the next generation that with proper preparation, they can have a direct impact on their individual and fishing community’s future toward sustainable marine ecosystems and economies.
Be inspired. Fish forever .
Every day, Maine fishermen are working in unpredictable elements to bring fresh seafood to the tables of many. Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries continues efforts to secure a sustainable future for fisheries and fishing communities in Eastern Maine and beyond. We are taking collective actions that include the knowledge of fishermen, the findings of scientists and partnerships with regulatory authorities, at all levels, to make sure we can keep fishing alive for today and for tomorrow’s fishery stewards. Make a difference by giving a tax-deductible donation. Together we can fish forever .