Vol. 11, No. 2 – February 2006    News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine          SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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Council Boosts Herring Busts Groundfish
by Mike Crowe

Efforts to reduce midwater trawler effort on herring paid off February 2, at the New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, Maine.

Proponents of the changes made were pleased to finally get some action on the issue. The 13-2 vote makes it an overwhelming victory after a hard fought battle. Rich Ruais said “It has taken a long time, but we got what we asked for and it’s a victory for the fishermen.”

The ban on midwater trawlers in Area 1A, from June 1 to September 30, effectively establishes a midwater trawl gear restricted area inshore in the Gulf of Maine. The council agreed this could produce indirect benefits to the herring resource and the Gulf of Maine ecosystem in general. This means “lobster traps won’t be towed up, there will be lobster bait and forage for ground fish,” said Ruais.

Limiting the number of vessels eligible to fish for herring in all management areas is a proactive approach by the council, in a fishery in which harvest and fleet capacity have grown significantly in the last six years. Adopting specified criteria for participating in the fishery the council will establish a fleet of about 39 vessels that qualify for the directed herring fishery. In addition, 61 vessels that qualify for the incidental catch fishery. An open access permit category was approved, that will allow other vessels to keep up to 3 metric tons of herring on each trip. A total allowable catch limit will continue to cap the overall herring catch.

Bathymetric map of Monhegan area. A 35' lobster boat with multi-beam sonar equipment on board captured detailed imagery of the Monhegan conservation zone’s approximately 30 square mile bottom. The map shows a mosaic of water depths and bottom types. Red is a depth of 6' and blue is about 450’. It will be used as a base line for future research. Photo: DMR

Bill Crowe: Gone Fishing
by Laurie Schreiber

GOULDSBORO — Bill Crowe — the consummate schmoozer, the most gregarious guy in the room, the man whose fierce passion for life drove a newspaper on the slimmest of shoestrings, the opinionated editor, the loyal friend always ready to help someone in need, the go-getter whose quirky lifestyle over the years has inspired countless anecdotes from amused and bemused friends, the charmer whose ever-ready “darlin’” and “love you” enchanted his many female friends, the fighter who worked tirelessly to provide a megaphonic voice for fishermen — passed away Jan. 28 at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer.

The founder, publisher, managing editor, advertising manager, and distributor of Fishermen’s Voice, Bill was working on the February 2006 issue of the paper right up to the last week of his life, when he took a sudden but not unexpected turn for the worse.

Despite bouts of tremendous pain over the last two years, Bill’s first concern was always for the newspaper. In the last six months, he was helped enormously by his brother, Mike Crowe, the paper’s historical features writer, who frequently stayed with Bill to help him manage the demanding editorial, advertising and production tasks which inevitably amassed once a month as the print date loomed.

Bill’s passion for the newspaper was balanced by his love for his friends, who were legion.


Bill, left, and Mike Crowe, 2004. The Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland. Good for news, good for schmooze, and atypical work days that end at 5 p.m.


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