Vol. 14, No. 7 - July 2009 News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine      SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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New Ground, Or The Abyss?
Opportunities and Threats In Sector Plan
by Laurie Schreiber

With the New England Fishery Management Council’s decision last week to move forward with sector management, groundfishermen will now have a shot at managing their own fishery.

NEFMC met in Portland to work out what a sector management system will look like, although the consensus was that it would be a work in progress.

Sectors are voluntary and self-selecting. The program gives fishermen a more direct role in making decisions about when, where and how to fish. Each sector will set its own unique set of rules regulating how their members can fish. Each sector will be assigned a percentage of the overall fishery’s total allowable catch. Each sector’s harvest level will be based on the historic levels of catch each member brings to the group. Each sector will determine how to divide the harvest among its members and will be subject to penalty or loss of fishery access if it exceeds its catch limit. The sector’s groundfish allocation will be called an Annual Catch Entitlement, or ACE.


The New England Fisheries Management Council voted in a sector management plan at it's June meeting. While some are looking forward to greater control over their fishing with sectors, others remain in the common pool under the old days at sea regs. All fear consolidation. The ACLs will put a dollar value on permits in the form of catch shares, privatizing the resource and making permits a tradable commodity. ©Photo by Sam Murfitt

Historic Castine
Part 1. Early History
by Tom Seymour

Castine’s venerable history of European settlement challenges that of the earliest North American communities. According to an entry in History of Castine by George A. Wheeler, an account by a journalist named Thevet mentions occupation of or near to present-day Castine by French fishermen or traders prior to 1556.

Whether Thevet’s account is true or not, Wheeler points out that Samuel de Champlain quite likely landed on Castine’s shores around 1604. The following year, James Rosier, an English adventurer, explored the region. So in something like a year’s time, two different European nations left their footprints on the peninsula the French named, Pentageot.

Early Traders
Then, in 1613, as a result of Champlain’s references to the area, France established a trading post. And again, only a year later, English Captain John Smith explored and charted this part of Maine’s coast. Captain Smith’s records make reference to the French traders in evidence at that time.


French fishermen or traders occupied Castine as early as 1556. After explorers Samuel Champlain, John Smith, control of the peninsula Castine is on switched hands 10 times. Photo by Tom Seymour