Dec 31, 2004

End of year bay scuttlebutt

* State Legislature: Marine Resources Committee co-chair Sen Dennis Damon also a bigwig in the Taxation Committee, so don't expect him to pay to much attention to the fishies...Historic event: John Eder is the first-ever Green Indy Party state representative on the Marine Resources committee. Maybe a deep ecology point of view can emerge on that committee.

Fisheries: Shrimping is perking along okay, though a lot of guys stayed in haven't gone out yet. The bigger shrimp haven't come inshore yet. Processors will ramp up after the new year (mid-January) Dock price has not been fabulous; from 40 to 80 cents per pound. Last year the stats showed pretty dismal at the Portland fish market, There was a lot of anger at last years fishermen's forum over that year's tiny season, because shrimping is needed to fill in the wintertime gap economically speaking for many a fisherman.

Groundfish inshore is pretty much nothing. Scallops inshore not so hot, on top of small catches, the competition from the Nantucket Shoals fishery completely dominates the market.

Erick Swanson's abrupt switchover from salmon to mostly mussels is a harbinger of things to come. Mussels are the growth sector in aquaculture. Prince Edwards Island mussel aquaculture is maxed out.
Great eastern needs competitors; its getting them in the persons of Swanson and others.
Absentee aquaculture is as bad as absentee forestry. Its best to be local aquaculture. With lobster, Maine zoned it regionally and forbids corporate ownership or license transferability. We should structure the lease process similarly so that aquaculture leases are not transferable.

Bay Management At least one Penobscot Bay area proposal (Bagaduce River) has been sent in for consideration - state has some $$$ various groups are scuffling over.

LNG - No sign of it sneaking into the bay - the energy seems to be in the area of deciding the fate of Sears Island - shall MDOT retain a chunk to keep its future port dreams alive? Or will the local residents in unison with the Penobscot Nation make it a non industrial natural destination site.

More to some...


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