Talk of the Towns 8/24/12

Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne
Issue: Community concerns and opportunities
Program Topic: Lobster and the Business of Lobstering
Key Discussion Points:
a) What is the “usual” market for lobster in Maine… what paths do Maine-caught lobster follow from the lobster boat to the plate?
b)What is the “usual” season for lobsters… what is the difference between hard-shell and soft-shell or shedders? What happened differently this year, to both the lobsters and to the market
c)A recent interview on Maine Public Broadcasting by Jennifer Mitchell with Patrice MaCarron, of the Maine Lobsterman’s Association, talked about a three-pronged approach to improving the business model for lobsters: developing more processing capacity in Maine, developing new products that consumers respond to, and building overall demand for both fresh and processed lobster through improved marketing.
d)What are your thoughts on this approach? What is missing?
e) Specifically For Walter Kumiega: What are your constituents telling you about their experience this summer? What are the policy implications, and where would you like to see further discussion leading to solutions?
f)What other lessons should we be mindful of from this summer and recent years?
g)What about diversification for individual fishermen… so all their “eggs” aren’t in the lobster basket? Support through TAA for business planning?
h)Your hopes and what you want to work on for the future?

Guests by name and affiliation:
A) Cathy Billings, Lobster Institute, University of Maine
B)Shelia Dasset, Downeast Lobsterman’s Association
C)Rep. Walter Kumiega, Marine Resources Committee

Call In Program: Yes