$300,00 per boat seems pretty high to me. A new engine is about $20000 +/- and most guys would install the engine themselves with a little help from their freinds. I would like to know where all the money is going.
Lobstermen have bigger things to worry about than how "green" their engine is.
The dealer we sell to has already run out of herring once this year. Bait is expensive, we are currently paying $115 for a barrel of herring and pogies if we want redfish it will cost us $160 per barrel. We use a barrel a day, plus fuel and the pay for a sternman if you use them. Had a fellow lobsterman tell us that after he paid for bait, fuel and sternman he took home $35.00, our catch in this area has dropped off and since the price is low ($2.60/lb) there is not a lot of excitement to go, but that is why they call it lobster wishing instead of catching .
From Eagle's link above:
Lobstermen may be forced to find new bait source
By Bill Trotter
The availability of herring along the coast of Maine, where much of the catch is used as bait for the state’s $250 million lobster industry, is a little bit better this fall than it was last year.
Next year, however, could be a different story.
Islander wrote: $300,00 per boat seems pretty high to me. A new engine is about $20000 +/- and most guys would install the engine themselves with a little help from their freinds. I would like to know where all the money is going.
Good point, Islander. However, since it's "free" grant money coming to the state - three guesses. First, they'll want to implement several expensive "studies" on how best to get the job done. Then, they'll likely mandate engine purchase and installation at one or two specific dealers (think someone's brother in law), and of course, there will be the hefty fees to "dispose" of the old engines in a green manner.
Then, we have to consider all those additional administrative costs from the grant money and the new program, including the staffers to open the envelopes, peruse the bills, and mail the checks. It wouldn't surprise me one bit to hear that some of the money is either being siphoned off to increase staff, or to fund other associated areas of the DMR budgets.
Everybody wants their piece of the gubmint money pie.
It would be very interesting to follow the money trail on this one.
Fisherman denied return to Matinicus
Judge OKs supervised visits to retrieve gear
By Abigail Curtis
ROCKLAND, Maine — .... Justice Jeffrey Hjelm refused Wednesday morning to lift the ban that is keeping (Bunker) from returning to his home...
... the justice did modify one of his bail conditions during Bunker’s arraignment hearing... for elevated aggravated assault.
“The defendant will be allowed back on Matinicus ... for the purpose of retrieving lobster gear in the presence of the Marine Patrol,” Hjelm said. “Mr. Bunker’s access to the island should be limited.”
According to the article, the misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass against Chris Young did stem from his alleged refusal to leave Bunker's lobster boat on the day of the shooting.
2 Maine fishermen still missing
Urchin dragger sinks off Lubec; searchers recover one body
By Sharon Kiley Mack
LUBEC, Maine — The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday afternoon recovered the body of one of three fishermen who were lost at sea when their boat Bottom Basher, a 34-foot commercial sea urchin dragger, broke apart and sank in the Johnson Bay section of Cobscook Bay.
On the boat when it sank was owner Joseph Jones, 27, of Trescott, Darryl Cline of Machiasport and Norman Johnson of Cutler.
Very sad news. According to the article, this makes six fishermen who have been lost off Lubec in the last 11 months.
A sea change for rockweed harvest?
Enforcement dispute still focused on protected areas Down East
By Sharon Kiley Mack
MACHIAS, Maine — Complaints about rockweed harvesters in Cobscook Bay are nothing like they were last year before the state Department of Marine Resources instituted new regulations, but the tensions between the harvesters and those opposing the harvest still are running high.
Rockweed is used as a supplement in animal food and as fertilizer, but opponents of the harvest operations maintain the cutting changes the sea environment...
Dragging for urchins and scallops in Cobscook and Passamaquoddy bays is a dangerous business made even more dangerous by the extreme tidal range. There is a range of 28 ft plus at Wilsons's Beach on Campobello compared to maybe 11 ft around Penobscot Bay.
All this water flowing in and out twice a day makes a vicious current. Trying to drag the bottom for anything in hard current is extremely dangerous because if your drag gets caught on bottom you have the engine of the boat still running and the tidal flow pushing on the boat and a 40 ft boat can be upside down in seconds. I used to drag for scallops in Blue Hill bay where the tide is nowhere near as harsh and nearly lost my 32 ft boat one day just that way. One has to be real quick with throttle and winch or the kind of price that was paid yesterday can happen real quick.
It it tragic that 6 men from that area have died this year but in fishing communities it seems to work that way. My folks always had a saying that these things happen in threes. Three seperate events in Lubec this year. In 1962 3 seperate drownings took place in the Deer Isle-Stonington area. My mother's brother was the third one and I remember it well.
My mother was terrified all the years I fished after what had happened to her brother. The fact that I fished the same waters made it worse probably. I can't blame her. Anyone who doesn't think commercial fishing is a hard life on families just hasn't been through things like this.
Amen, WC. My sympathies to the families of those who are most recently gone... what a horrendous finality they must now endure, and live with.
I wondered about the nets getting caught on the bottom when I first read about this story.
Fishing looks at new rules to save the industry, but some fight back
On May 1, a catch shares system will take effect, but critics say it will help big businesses and hurt small owners.
By JOHN RICHARDSON, Staff Writer October 26, 2009
New England's...fishing industry is about to plunge into a new world of rules intended to give fishermen a sense of ownership and responsibility.
But not without a fight.
As regulators work out the details for the May 1 launch of a new catch shares system, many in the industry are pushing back. Dividing the catch among fishing boats, the critics say, will speed the decline of the fleet and replace fishing families with corporate investors.
Why does this remind me a restaurant that makes waitrons pool tips? I always hated that system. I think it's a bad idea... the lazy ones profit from the industrious. Talk about socialism!
Maine man gets 2 years for drunken lobster boating
October 27, 2009 8:42 AM
MACHIAS, Maine (AP) — A 20-year-old Beals Island man is going to prison for two years after being convicted of stealing a lobster boat while drunk and then abandoning the vessel in a harbor where it damaged four other boats.
Kenneth Chandler was also ordered to pay almost $68,000 in restitution for the damage to the fishing vessels.
.... Chandler's attorney told the court his client drove an ATV to the Beals Island harbor and stole the lobster boat in May 2008.
Oct 27, 4:28 PM EDT
Lobsterman says traps were cut, shotgun pulled
ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) -- Investigators are looking into a complaint that two Maine lobstermen cut the lines to another lobsterman's traps and then threatened him with a shotgun.
In a temporary protection from harassment order filed in Rockland District Court, Ty Babb of Tenants Harbor wrote that Craig Hupper and his son, Josh Hupper, cut the lines to some of his traps last week. The Bangor Daily News says Babb wrote that Josh Hupper also threatened him with a shotgun.
I will say that it is getting bad in some areas. The wardens are having a busy year, lots of cutting is not being reported and is being dealt with as some see fit., we are lucky to stay out of the fray. The catch has picked up with some large catches for some fishing in federal waters. Price is up for the boats too which is good when it is cold and breezy like the last two days! But we love doing it and even on the bad days they are still good days (my son just hasn't quite figured it out yet)!
Chilblains have a way of doing that to a person.
Glad to hear that things have been relatively peaceful and productive for you, and yours.
BTW, In order to make the boat pay for itself year round we are going to try our hand at raising oysters on a small scale we have our spot ready, but a gill net to catch some of our bait basically do what it takes.
Thanks editor, that sums it up pretty well.
Feuding lobstermen compromise
Judge tells men to work out details of a protection from harassment order that prohibits abuse, contact for one year
By Abigail Curtis
ROCKLAND, Maine — Feuding Tenants Harbor lobstermen were told... to stay away from each other for a year.
Ty Babb, 36, and Craig C. Hupper, 58, and his son Joshua B. Hupper, 27, agreed to a mutual order for protection ... after Judge...Westcott... had them work the details out ... themselves.
“The court can’t be very innovative, but the parties can,” Westcott said.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Herring vote worries lobster industry
Submitted by John Richardson
Fishery managers from around New England will gather...Tuesday to vote on a new herring catch limit that some fear will lead to a bait shortage for Maine lobstermen.
.... Scientists are calling for a 53 percent reduction in the 2010 herring catch... because of uncertainty about the health of the population.
...includes a 26,000-ton limit for the inshore Gulf of Maine, which supplies most of the state’s lobster bait. The limit...has been declining since 2006, when it was 60,000 metric tons.
Worry is not the word, bait is the only thing that has not gone down in price this year. We are going to buy our own net to catch bait, at least that was the plan as of this morning. My father always said bait will be the determining factor in the end, he may be right.
Herring catch limit slashed
The 45 percent reduction starting in 2010 will take a toll on the fishing fleet and lobstermen finances.
By JOHN RICHARDSON, Staff Writer November 18, 2009
New England fishery managers voted Tuesday in favor of deep cuts in the amount of herring that can be caught next year, as a precaution to protect the small but important fish.
The 45 percent reduction from the 2009 catch limit is sure to take a toll on the herring fleet and on the lobster industry, which relies on an abundant supply of the silvery fish to bait millions of traps.
Richardson doesn't do his homework very well.
Although the Total Allowable Catch is significantly lower than in years past, it's significantly higher than what was originally proposed. Furthermore, it's higher than the combined herring gear types have brought in for the past few years anyway. The impact isn't likely to be as bad as it might have been.
Nov 26, 2009 3:19 pm US/Eastern
'Ghost' Traps, Long Lost, Keep Catching Lobsters
CLARKE CANFIELD, Associated Press Writer
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) ― Beneath the... water off the coast of Maine...lie... perhaps millions, of old wire lobster "ghost traps."... many... continue catching lobsters.
Marine biologists say lost... lobster, crab and other fish traps plague coastal waters around the globe, putting pressure on a number of already-stressed fish populations....snip
Lobstermen this winter will grapple up gear from selected spots in the first large-scale study of ghost traps along the Maine coast. Nationwide, other studies are focusing on lost traps off the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.
Perhaps Islander can shed some light on this issue - are lost traps really the problem that marine biologists have alleged? There's a lot of Federal dollars being expended on studies and the plans to hoist the traps.
Waste of time and money. We have escape vents in all our gear to prevent catching lobsters if the traps are lost. Not sure where they are going to grapple for these traps but good luck. We know where are traps are/were and only occasionally are able to drag them back up, and if they are singles (one trap /one buoy) then you stand a better chance of getting hit by lightning. Most guys fish pairs with a length of float rope between them (oops not anymore in some areas) to increase the chance of getting the gear back. What usually happens is someone will get the buoy in the propeller and drag the trap of its mark and if they are unable to save the trap it is lost to the lobsterman. We have a drag which is about 2ft long with prongs on it, sort of like a heavy metal Christmas tree, it is about 6" in diameter and you are dragging in about 30' to 120' of water. This operation is best described as looking for a needle in a haystack. Now we have had some luck in getting gear back by dragging and also by setting more gear where the gear was lost in hopes that it gets tangled up with the lost gear. Not sure where they are going to look for this lost gear but it will have to be in the more confined areas like Cape Porpoise Hbr, Townsend Gut in Southport, the Gut in Bristol etc. Also the metal traps will breakdown in about a year or so, they rust out once the rubber coating has worn off. Also in order to drag for gear it is best if no other gear is close as you do not want to drag up someone else's traps. If the lobsterman was unable to drag his gear up, and at least he knew hwere it was supposed to be, then I am not sure if the govt will have any luck.
Thank you for the input, Islander. As usual, AMG is the "go to" place for the real scoop, from the real folks doing the work.
To the Feds - can't you just waste the money sending another spaceship to crash on the Moon or something?
If the govt really wanted to stimulate the economy then give us (it is ours anyhow) the money and let us spend it, cut out the bureaucracy. I wonder if they realize that the ocean bottom is not flat and the drags will sometimes get hung down on the bottom which depending on the weather can make things interesting in a hurry.
Scallopers decry cuts amid booming stocks
November 29, 2009
BOSTON—New England scallopers are wondering why new restrictions have been placed on what has for years been the region's healthiest fishery.
Rules passed by the New England Fishery Management Council last week reduced the number of fishing days from 37 this year to 29 in 2010. That's lowered the projected catch by about 11 million pounds, to 41.5 million.
Shortfall in tax receipts result of harm to fishery
December 2, 2009
If our government hadn't allowed the environmentalists to destroy the fishing industry, they would have more funds to use.
I refer to the article, "N.E. herring quota slashed 45 percent" in the same paper, for one example.
It is sad to watch the government destroy its own tax base time and time again and then bemoan the fact it has no money to run its programs.
And it's not only the fishing industry that's under attack.
Kay Havener, Friendship
Ain't That the Bitter Truth.
Decision on Maine offshore turbine site(s) due Tuesday
Fishermen fear loss of prime areas
By Susan Morse
December 13, 2009 2:00 AM
YORK, Maine — On Tuesday, local fishermen will learn whether Boon Island will become a wind turbine demonstration site.
The turbines would take away prime fishing, lobstering and shrimping areas, according to lobsterman Pat White of York, who initiated two recent meetings on the issue at the York Senior Center.