MCCF Monthly
July 2021
Summer is in full swing here at Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries.
Staff are busy working out on the field sampling for alewives and cod,
prepping for the Eastern Maine Skippers Program upcoming school year,
and Discovery Wharf is filling up with bookings for visitors to enjoy our interpretative center. Beyond our work, the MCCF team is also keeping a
close eye on industry-related events including right whale regulations
to be announced, offshore wind energy developments, and warming water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine. We continue to stay connected to fishermen, the science community, and policy makers.
Offshore Wind Energy Developments
There has been a lot of discussion this year about if, how, and when offshore wind energy turbines might be deployed off Maine’s coast. One element being implemented by the Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) is the Offshore Energy Roadmap planning project that was selected for funding by the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) in 2020. According to the GOE, this three-year planning effort is intended to, “identify how Maine might support an offshore wind energy economy in a way that embraces the opportunity, while ensuring the sustainability of our Maine coastal heritage, existing ocean users, and resources.”

The GOE and Maine Department of Marine Resources have begun this Road Map process and one component is to form a Fisheries Working Group. The goals of this working group are to, 1) produce actionable, prioritized strategies to sustain Maine’s heritage fishing industry, minimize potential conflict, enable co-existence with offshore wind development, and inform Maine’s Offshore Wind Roadmap and overall initiative; and, 2) make recommendations on how to implement those strategies, including potential policy changes, research, funding options, and partnerships, in the immediate, near term (through 2025), and longer term (from 2026 – 2040). There is a lot at stake in this discussion. Frankly, the Road Map exercise should have been initiated sooner so that the current plans for a test site off Monhegan Island, and a proposed “research array” off the southern Maine coast could have been informed by the findings of the Road Map process. While there is no doubt that we must transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy options, we ought to fully understand the consequences of any industrialization of our marine ecosystems. A hasty sprint towards ocean-based renewable energy could cause lasting and unforeseen impacts to this precious living resource that our coastal communities depend on so much. MCCF expects to be engaged in this effort to make sure the hard questions and local input is included in the deliberations.
Meet MCCF's Summer Intern
Los Angeles native Will Sturgeon has spent the last month acquainting himself with MCCF’s Sentinel Survey and talking about Maine’s fisheries with guests visiting our Discovery Wharf. Sturgeon is a senior at Kenyon College in Ohio, pursuing a major in Political Science and minoring in Mandarin Chinese (language) with an area concentration in East Asia and the Middle East. He is also part of the school’s baseball team.

Sturgeon is no stranger to Maine, having spent many summers vacationing with family in Harborside. He shows a strong interest in and enthusiasm for learning first-hand about Maine’s fisheries, especially here in Stonington - the country’s top lobster landing port.

Read our blog to learn more about Will!
Fisherman Donates Rare Catch
At just 12 years old, Elli Hamor has done something not many other lobstermen have. Earlier this month, the young fisherman caught a rare, blue and white lobster in her trap while fishing out of Northeast Harbor with her father Ben Hamor.

The lobster, nicknamed “Ghosty,” recently made its way to Stonington after Elli decided to donate her unique catch to an aquarium for others to enjoy. The lobster soon found its new home at MCCF’s Discovery Wharf, where it will be on display before it is released back into the Gulf of Maine waters.

Elli’s mother, Nicole, explained that her father thought it might have been a green crab, but as they got a closer look, they were in for a real surprise. In a recent interview with the Mount Desert Islander, Elli, who is in the midst of her third season fishing with 50 traps, was quoted as “shocked,” when she saw the rare find.

The MCCF team would like to thank Elli for donating her rare catch to our education center and wish her a safe and successful season on the water. Book your visit to Discovery Wharf and meet Ghosty before he is released back into the ocean!
Upcoming Events
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.

If you are able to give, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

Together we can fish forever.