Prices and Species Changing
by Laurie Schreiber
The import of non-Maine fish to use as lobster bait could be introducing non-native pathogens that pose a health risk both to Maine’s lobster and native finfish.
That was the concern expressed by members of the Zone B Lobster Council at their most recent meeting, in September.
“By bringing in all these alternative baits, we could be killing our bait supply if we introduce a lot of these to the wild,” said council chairman Jon Carter. “We don’t want to bring something into this industry that will maybe harm our industry or harm other industries.”
The discussion arose in response to a report provided to the Department of Marine Resources’ Lobster Advisory Council (LAC) by Dr. Ian Bricknell, a professor with the University of Maine’s School of Marine Science, and Deborah Bouchard, manager of the university’s Maine Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory.
The report, “Determining the Health Risks of Lobster Bait to Marine Animals,” was viewed by the LAC in 2010 and its subject continues to be a percolating topic for the LAC, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, and now for the local zone council.