MCCF Monthly
March 2022
Do you have a question you've always wanted to ask about Maine's commercial fisheries or the coastal communities that depend on them? Ask Leroy! Call 224.58.LEROY (224.585.3769), you’ll hear Leroy’s voice and instructions for how to leave your question on the voicemail, and he'll answer it in an upcoming episode "Ask Leroy!" Previous episodes can be viewed on YouTube.
Developing Indicators of Social Resilience in Maine’s Lobster Fishery
Last month's Lunch and Learn featured the research team that is working on new ways to measure the lobster fishery’s success. With the announcement of Maine lobster’s record breaking value in 2021 -nearly $725 million- one might conclude that all is good and perhaps the fishery and the many Maine coastal communities that depend on it are well-poised to adjust and withstand the regulatory challenges ahead. The new collaboration between Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources is led by Dr. Josh Stoll at the University of Maine digs deeper than the standard pounds of lobster landed and its value- currently the only metrics of the fishery’s economic health. 

Indeed, there is more to it than how many dollars are spent purchasing lobster off the many owner-operated boats peppering Maine’s harbors. The team presented some early findings from fishery interviews conducted in 2021: reliable crew have been difficult to recruit and keep, bait availability and price has posed its challenges, and coastal development pressure is squeezing waterfront access and opportunities to live where one works. Metrics for these phenomena and others were suggested by the fishing industry as important factors toward understanding the resilience of the fishery. The team is now identifying datasets that are already regularly collected to develop several indicators of how the fishery is doing. Theresa Burnham, a post-doctoral researcher on the team, presented real estate data that can be used as an indicator of coastal development pressures on the lobster fishery’s resilience. If you missed the seminar, you can watch it here.
Lobster Landings Break Records
The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) recently reported that 2021 was the most valuable year in the history of Maine's lobster fishery. At $724,949,426, the landed value for the fishery increased by 75 percent over 2020. Total landed weight for 2021 was 108,048,704 lbs., an increase of more than 10 million pounds over 2020, or more than 10 percent. Although this is good news for the fishery, the costs of bait and fuel are also at record highs. Although we do not have figures for Stonington, we were told by DMR that Stonington, once again, is the number one lobster landing port in Maine. Hancock County had the highest landings by county at 32,479,934 lbs. ($221,475,986 value) and Zone C had the second highest landings by zone (22,927,536 lbs. with a value of $155,289,225). Zone A had the highest landings by zone.

"The extraordinary value earned last year by Maine lobster harvesters is a clear reflection of strong consumer confidence in the Maine lobster brand and the products and people it represents," said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.

Commissioner Keliher praised Maine lobstermen, but didn't shy away from the current challenges gripping the industry. He shared, "Last year was one for the books and it should be celebrated. But there are many challenges ahead, and its important that fishermen remain engaged in management discussions that will strive to make this stock resilient for future generations."

Maine's lobster landings and other commercially harvested fisheries can be found on the DMR website.
Offshore Wind Energy
Topic of March Lunch and Learn
You're invited to join us on Friday, March 25 at 12:30pm for the next talk in our online Lunch and Learn Series, "Offshore Wind Energy in the Gulf of Maine: Developing a Roadmap to the Future." MCCF Executive Director, Paul Anderson will moderate a one-hour, panel discussion about the efforts to create a comprehensive roadmap for offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Maine. A panel of experts will present a series of proposed recommendations that have emerged from four subcommittees that have been meeting for several months. Themes will include fishery interactions, environment and wildlife, energy markets, supply chain, ports, and workforce development. Panelists will include: Carl Wilson (Maine DMR), Ethan Tremblay (Governor's Office of Energy) and others. Learn more and register today. Photo: University of Maine rendering
Executive Director Job Announcement
Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF) seeks a dynamic, forward-thinking leader with a passion for Eastern Maine’s rural fishing dependent communities to be its next Executive Director. MCCF’s mission is to ‘fish forever’ and its next Executive Director will bring excellent interpersonal and collaborative leadership skills to develop and implement the programs and policies needed to navigate the complex challenges facing the industry.

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.

Please consider donating today. Together we can fish forever.