ROCKLAND — Nothing is more significant to a fisherman than the license to fish. Licensing affects fishermen’s ability to make a living; and how licensing is done impacts the health of both marine species and fishing communities.
Over the past eight months, Penobscot East Resource Center and Maine Sea Grant have been engaging fishermen, academics and policy makers in discussions to identify and evaluate ways to protect community values, prosperity, and fishery resources in Maine’s commercial fisheries. As part of that effort, a second round of meetings with fishermen on Fisheries Licensing for the Future will start in Rockland at the Rockland Congregational Church on Tuesday, November 13, from 6 to 8 p.m.
At these meetings, organizers will present the results of the first round of eight statewide fishermen’s meetings held last spring, as well as highlights from major workshops that convened fisheries experts from the US and Canada’s east and west coasts that were held in September. The workshops provided valuable perspective on Maine’s fisheries and insights into the advantages and pitfalls of different systems used from New England to Nova Scotia, and from Alaska and British Columbia to California.
The Fisheries Licensing for the Future meetings are an opportunity for fishermen to talk together about visions for a state fisheries licensing system that will protect Maine’s marine resources, coastal tradition, and pride in the commercial fishing profession. The project is considering the licensing approach for all the state’s commercial fisheries at a time when the state is also engaged in a re-examination of entry rules for the state’s lobster fishery.
Those who are currently licensed to fish, or hope to be, should attend a meeting, said Carla Guenther, Penobscot East’s Fisheries Science and Leadership Advisor.
In addition to the Rockland meeting on November 13, three other meetings are planned on November 26 in Portland at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute; December 3 in Ellsworth at the Ellsworth High School; and December 10 in Machias at the Kay Parker Building. All meetings are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m.
For more information, call the Penobscot East Resource Center at 367-2708, email
, or visit www.penobscoteast.org.