Talk of the Towns 3/23/13

Producer/Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Joel Mann

Program Topic: Is it time for a closed fishing area in the Northeastern Gulf of Maine?

Key Discussion Points (list at least 3):
a) Thumbnail history of fish and fishing along Maine’s coast and Gulf of Maine
Species, abundance, fishing methods, contribution to local communities and overall economy
b)The notion of fish as a public resource, transition from hunter-gather values when fishing pressure and ecosystem and supply of fish were in balance, to a specialized, highly capitalized and efficient industry which outstripped the ability of fish to “replenish” themselves
c) Meanwhile, back on shore… dams and culverts prevented passage for free-running anadromous fish (alewives and other species) so diminished food sources for cod and other ground fish… but due to changes in policy (clean water act and others) we are removing dams (Kennebec, now Penobscot, maybe St Croix) that may mean more food for groundfish
d)How do we manage fish—transition from huge geographic scale, single-species management to exploration of managing smaller scales, multiples species/ecosystems and recognition of importance of relatively small areas of habitat… transition from managing quantity of fish caught, to managing how fish are caught, when they are caught, where they are caught…
f)Emerging—multiple rationales for New England Fisheries Management to develop a closed area in the Northeastern Gulf of Maine
g) How would a closed area work? What would be restricted, who would be affected, how are fishermen responding to the idea, what criteria would determine optimum location, how long before we could detect results, what is the process for moving the idea forward?
h)How can listeners learn more and get involved?

Guests by name and affiliation:
A) Aaron Dority, Penobscot East Resource Center, Stonington
B) Dennis Damon, Chair and board member, Penobscot East 460 0001
C) Ted Ames, Founding Board member, Penobscot East

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