Vol. 9, No. 6  June 2004    News & Comment for and by the Fishermen of Maine          SUBSCRIBE NOW!!
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Groundfishermen Scramble
by Laurie Schreiber

   Groundfishermen who have made it this far through the regulatory process are now trying to figure out what to do with the few days they’re left with.
   Early in May, Governor John Baldacci directed Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Commissioner George Lapointe to declare an emergency and seek economic relief for the groundfish industry.
   “Amendment 13 will have tremendous negative impacts and challenges for Maine’s fishing industry,” Baldacci said. “Although currently active Maine fishermen have been able to adapt to restrictions through creative and innovative methods, new limits on days-at-sea will make it increasingly difficult for active Maine permit holders to earn enough to pay the fixed costs of their vessels, and will drive some out of the industry.”
   Lapointe said he is seeking $5 million in federal funds to help the industry.
“We want to highlight that this is not just another fish story,” he said.


The working waterfront at the Portland Fish Exchange has been an active, integral and successful part of the fishing infrastructure for decades in Maine. Repercussions from Amendment 13 may change all that.


Bruce A. Farrin & Sons
by Mike Crowe

   South Bristol has deep boatbuilding roots. Like its namesake, Bristol, England, the town has seen a lot of great boats, large and small, slip down the ways. Quite a few of those boats have been built by Bruce Farrin and his two sons, Bruce, Jr. and Brian. In May, one of the three nearly completed boats in their shop was a 42' sport fisherman — it’s number 180 for the Farrins. Bruce recently estimated his production at about half commercial and half pleasure boats.
   Over the years, he’s done both one-offs and serious production. At one time he was doing seven boats a year, but he found it was too much of a grind. He said he has comfortably settled into doing a more manageable volume and a variety of projects, which his crew also likes. It allows them to go at a pace where they can do quality work. Farrin refers to his approach to finishing pleasure boats as building “common sense” yachts. There is enough varnished wood, for example, to make them look good and be comfortable, but without huge refinishing and maintenance demands. “The amount of refinishing in them is something a couple could handle,” he said.


Bruce Farrin (left) and Eddie Simms fastening planks
to the 36' lobster boat Shearwater at his shop across
from Gamage’s. This was his third boat. He has gone on
to build 179 more. The nearly finished #180 is currently

in the shop.


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