MCCF Monthly
March 2021
It’s hard to believe that the one-year mark of the pandemic is behind us.
The shutdown affected all of us in so many ways and now we’re looking
ahead to a sense of normalcy. We’re navigating how our summer event schedule will look and continue to make our educational programming available on our website for viewing at any time.

Behind the scenes, we continue to listen to fishermen, scientists, industry partners, and various other stakeholders to view the opportunities in overcoming some of the challenges that lay ahead for Maine’s fishing communities. This month’s newsletter provides an update on the North Atlantic Right Whale updates and what MCCF is up to this spring.
North Atlantic Right Whale Update
In early March the federal government closed the public comment on the proposed regulations for the lobster fishery that are intended to minimize the risk of entanglement of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales. NOAA received more than 170,000 comments from the public. The proposed rules include several components intended to reduce the number of vertical lines that run between the traps on the seafloor and the floating buoy. Fishermen will be required to use longer strings of traps (or trawls) depending on how far out to sea they are fishing. There is also a large seasonal closure proposed offshore from Lobster Zones C and D. Conservation groups that are advocating for these changes on behalf of whale conservation favor the elimination of vertical lines using "rope less" technology. These devices rely on a fisherman being able to send an electronic to the string of buoys triggering the release of an inflatable device that would deliver a haul rope to the surface. This is a new technology that is expensive and unproven and fishermen are skeptical about the feasibility of this actually working in our ocean conditions. The courts have demanded that NOAA provide their final proposed rules by May 31.
MCCF Presents Future of Fisheries
Course at Acadia Senior College
Earlier this month, MCCF kicked-off the first of five classes in a series called “The Future of Fisheries in Eastern Maine” as part of the Acadia Senior College spring 2021 semester. The five-week, online course covers current challenges in Maine's commercial fisheries and the steps various organizations are taking to sustain them. Where appropriate, fishermen and other partners will take part in the presentations and allow course-participants to engage in discussions about the current situation in these fisheries. MCCF’s Executive Director, Paul Anderson will team-teach this series with the organization’s program team members, based on their work in collaborative research, management, and education.

According to its website, Acadia Senior College, located on Mount Desert Island, is an educational organization providing intellectual stimulation, practical knowledge, social interaction, and fun primarily for adults over 50. The college offers an array of talks, informative classes, field trips and retreats. To learn more, visit Acadia Senior College online.
March Online Lunch & Learn
Join us TODAY at 12:30pm for "What Did the Cod Eat for Lunch? Let’s Find out Together," for our next virtual event. What’s inside a fish? How do scientists extract information to learn about populations, diets, and migration behavior? Collaborative research in the fishing industry involves many moving pieces. Successful programs rely on partnerships to make it all happen. In this Lunch & Learn, we will hear about the Sentinel Survey for groundfish in Eastern Maine and the partnerships that drive the learning process. Plus, we’ll dissect an Atlantic cod, live on the webinar and show you how we learn from the different parts we extract. Learn more and register NOW!
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.

We know that these are unprecedented times. If you are able to give,
please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

Together we can fish forever.