Apr 8, 2009

Penobscot Bay scallopers defiant toward DMR's proposed closure rule

The title pretty well sums up what I saw at the April 6th meeting at the Roundtop Center in Damariscotta. When not a single hand went up among the fishermen when polled by the SeaGrant guy as to support for following DMR's command to map out chunks of their grounds for proposed closure, you knew this wasn't going to go easy for the DMR commissioner and his scallop staffer Togue Brawn. Take a listen.

Very much anger and frustration about the state's almost complete hands-off approach to dealing with pollution and habitat loss issues that can ruin everything from feed for scallop larvae to whatever organ breakdown is causing the grey meats. As if there's a magic kitchen in the bay, and as long as they control the fishermen's harvests the right way, things'll be fine.

DMR keeps this attitude even with Penobcot Bay's discolored scallops, with few or NO scallops, with crashes of all sorts of bay species, and never has a defense better than empty pockets. No money in the budget for ecology. Tough times, you know. Sorry.

But meanwhile the DMR, Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension crews burn endless amounts of cash hosting talking head conferences on meaningless planning initiatives, with catered meals and hotel quarters as needed for the lucky hired "experts" to come bloviate on the taxpayers' nickel..

The scallopers of Penobscot Bay, Muscongus Bay and points nearby raised the "no compromise" flag last night in Damariscotta, rejecting DMR's decision to leap before it looks. DMR has threatened "no quarter" if the fishermen don't bend.

Who's going to blink?

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