Vol. 6, No. 12  December 2001    News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine          SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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by Paul Molyneux

By the time her crew swings the last tray of bloody ice out of the hold of the Irene Alton, on an early November morning, the doors are closing on the truck that will carry her trip of fish from Rockland, Maine, to the Portland Fish Exchange. Ten years ago the fish might have been sold locally, but by the early nineties all the processors in Rockland had shut down. Boat owners who continue to operate out of this and other ports along the coast of Maine truck their fish to the auction.
"I'd say 90 percent of the groundfish landed in Maine come across the floor of this auction," says Norm MacIntyre, general manger of the exchange.
Combined prices for mixed loads of groundfish: cod, haddock, hake, dab, and gray sole, have averaged over a dollar a pound in recent years. In spite of the extra shipping costs, the boats have done well with what fish they catch. But the 9,000 pounds that the Irene Alton's owner, Bernard Raynes, sent to Portland in early November averaged only 84 cents. Other boats have faired even worse. Craig Pendleton, of Saco landed mostly flatfish and got an average price of 60 cents in October. He does not expect the price to go up any time soon.

The Edward L. Moore out of Portland moves on to a new fishing
location because of the rising sea. (Photo by Earl Dotter)

Barbara Stevenson handles Raynes' fish at the auction. "We knew this was coming," she said, attributing the price drop to increased landings, "but after September 11th, the prices have been horrendous. There's too many fish around and not enough processors," she says. MacIntyre offers his view that the amounts of fish handled by the exchange has not varied more than ten percent. He admits

however, that prices have been soft lately.
According to MacIntyre the exchange handled 21 million pounds of fish in 2000, and he notes that average prices this year: $1.69 for market cod in February, $1.27 in August, are close to the average for the last two years. "I don't draw any conclusions," he says. "I leave that to the buyers and sellers."     continue

by Mike Crowe

In the spring of 1939, Lt. Oliver Naquin had come to the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine to take command of a new submarine. Not unlike John Paul Jones, who had come to Kittery 164 years earlier to oversee the construction and outfitting of the Ranger, he was there for the completion and sea trials of the Navy's newest fleet type submarine, the Squalus. Like others in the 59 man crew, Naquin had moved his wife and children to Portsmouth for the new assignment.

The bow of the Squalas rising out of control after being raised
243 feet by lift pontoons 15 miles off Kittery in May of 1939.
A pontoon with air lines can be seen in the background. The
small boat carrying Capt. Momsen is to the left. Seconds later it
went down driving the aft section 20 feet into the muddy bottom
in a tangle of lift cables and gear


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