Vol. 13, No. 10 - October 2008      News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine      SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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Groundfish Bottoms Out
by Laurie Schreiber

The New England Fishery Management Council has the groundfish industry on life support.

They’re doing their best to get fishermen through the 2009 fishing year and beyond. NEFMC’s recommendations for an interim rule, to cover the period of time from the start of the next fishing year on May 1, 2009 until the implementation of Amendment 16, went to the National Marine Fisheries Service at the end of NEFMC’s special meeting early in September. The meeting was held to review the results of the third Groundfish Assessment Review Meeting, or GARM III, and discuss the impact of those findings on the development of Amendment 16 to the Groundfish Fishery Manage-ment Plan.

But the implementation of A16 will miss the start of the next fishing year, so NEFMC asked NMFS to develop an interim plan. The struggle, as always, was to balance the need to end overfishing with the need to keep fishermen on the water so they could earn a living and make it to the implementation of A16 and its promise of a sector management system.


“We see everything different from what you say you are seeing out there,” said Gloucester ground fisherman Joe Orlando. Orlando told the council that he and other fishermen are seeing more of several species. Regarding the trawl survey and trawling, Orlando said, “We do the same thing you do, so how can it (the results) be so different? Dr.Paul Rago NMFS Woods Hole, responded, “well maybe I’m not a good fisherman.” ©Photo by Sam Murfitt

The Invasion of Belfast
Part I of a Two Part Series
by Tom Seymour

Maine did not escape the turmoil that accompanied the birth of the new nation. From the early wars with the native Americans through the War of 1812, much turmoil and bloodshed occurred on Maine soil. Of particular interest to me is the British invasion and occupation of the Upper Penobscot Bay Region during the latter days of the War of 1812. This segment of our history attracts me partly because it is not well-known. The British invasion is not taught in schools and even most adults are surprised to learn that our part of Maine was once, albeit briefly, under hostile rule. The other reason I find this facet of our history so fascinating is because the locations of the various actions are all around me; I live here. It is possible for me to drive, even walk, given enough time, to the place where an English ship’s longboat came ashore and demanded the surrender of the town of Belfast.


The forgotten war? Pictured here the U.S. Enterprise and the British Boxer fight to the death off Seguin Island. The people of Portland, ME still lay wreaths at the graves on Munjoy Hill, of both captains who died in this naval Battle in the War of 1812. The British also burned Washington, D.C. in this war.