Seminar Descriptions 2020

Seminar Descriptions (PDF)


8:30 AM Camden Room
Shellfish Focus Day

8:30     Welcome and introduction (Lewis Pinkham & Kohl Kanwit)

Block 1: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Shellfish Conservation and Improving Water Quality
(Moderators: Bridie McGreavy & Gabby Hillyer)

8:40     Maine Shellfish Learning Network, Dr. Bridie McGreavy, Gabby Hillyer (University of Maine, Orono)

  • DNA testing to find and fix water pollution in the St. Georges River David Taylor and Ed Courtney
  • Diversifying Georgetown’s shellfish resources, Marissa McMahan
  • Utilizing clam tents to improve recruitment in Addison, Judy Rolf
  • Microbial source tracking to find and fix pollution in Deer Isle-Stonington, Abby Barrows and George Powell
  • Shoreline surveys in Yarmouth to identify pollution sources, Judy Colby-George

9:30     Panel discussion

9:55     Break

Block 2: Applied Shellfish Science (Moderator: Marissa McMahan)

10:15   Quahog clam and American oyster polyculture, Jordan Kramer (Winnegance Oyster Farm)

  • Does brushing work? Dr. Brian Beal (Downeast Institute, DEI)
  • Community clam culture, Kyle Pepperman (DEI)

11:15     Panel discussion

11:45     Lunch

Block 3: Emerging Environmental Risks (Moderator: Kohl Kanwit)

12:45   Harmful Algal Blooms, Carol White and Julia Maine (C.A. White & Associates, LLC)

  • Shellfish disease, Cem Giray (Kennebec River Biosciences)
  • Public health risks related to animal sources, Kohl Kanwit (Maine DMR)

1:15     Panel discussion with presenters and panelists: Nate Perry (Pine Point Oyster Company), Marcy Nelson (Maine DMR), Terry Watson (shellfish harvester, oyster grower, Clam Hunter Seafood), Vincent Clough (Bayley’s Lobster Pound), and Christopher Schillaci (NOAA Fisheries)

Block 4: Community Outreach and Education to Support Shellfish Management
              (Moderator: Chris Peterson)

1:45     Building capacity within and across communities to help manage the soft-shell clam fishery in a changing environment, Mike Thalhauser (Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, MCCF) – Bill Zoellick and Sarah Hooper (Schoodic Institute); Mike Pinkham (Gouldsboro Shellfish Warden)

2:15     Update on the Shellfish Advisory Council, Lewis Pinkham, Chair, ShAC

2:30     Panel discussion

Social Networking Hour

3:00     Posters, videos and gear will be displayed throughout the room

Refreshments will be available

4:00     Adjourn

Host:  Meredith Mendelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

Moderator:  Lewis Pinkham, Chair of ShAC

Bridie McGreavy, University of Maine
Gabby Hillyer, University of Maine
David Taylor, Georges River Shellfish Program
Ed Courtney, Georges River Shellfish Program
Marissa McMahan, Manomet
Judy Rolf, Town of Addison
Abby Barrows, Ocean Analytics
George Powell, Town of Deer Isle/Stonington
Judy Colby-George, Spatial Alternatives
Jordan Kramer, Winnegance Oyster Farm
Brian Beal, Downeast Institute
Kyle Pepperman, Downeast Institute
Carol White, C. A. White & Associates
Deb Bouchard, University of Maine
Chris Peterson, College of the Atlantic
Kohl Kanwit, Maine Department of Marine Resources
Mike Thalhauser, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries
Bill Zoellick, Schoodic Institute
Sarah Hooper, Schoodic Institute
Mike Pinkham, Town of Gouldsboro
Cem Giray, Kennebec River Bioscience
Nate Perry, Pine Point Oyster Company
Marcy Nelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Terry Watson, Clam Hunter Seafood
Vincent Clough, Bayley’s Lobster Pound
Christopher Schillaci, NOAA Fisheries

9:30 am Rockland & Rockport Rooms

Wind Energy Development in the Gulf of Maine 

9:30 am – 9:45 am —Introduction and agenda

9:45 am – 11:15 am: Fisheries and Offshore Wind in the Gulf of Maine

  • Renewable energy goals:
    • What are our overall regional energy needs?
    • Maine’s (and New England’s) renewable energy goals.
    • Gulf of Maine wind resource, vs. land-based wind or other renewables.
    • Overview of current development status (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management task force, Maine Offshore Wind Initiative).
  • Fisheries and wind co-existence:
    • Overview of fishery issues
    • New England Fishery Management Council’s role, perspective, and participation
  • Floating technologies :
    • Siting—installation, space occupied, mooring systems, fixed vs. floating turbines.
    • Cabling—likely points of landfall, dredging/routing issues, potential “backbones.”
  • 15-minute Q&A

 11:15 am – 11:30 am —Break

 11:30 am – 1:00 pm: What is coming and where can the fishing industry engage?

  • What’s happening in Maine related to offshore wind?
    • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Task Force:
      • Identifying the best ocean sites for wind energy platforms.
      • Coordination among states.
    • Maine’s Aqua Ventus project: status update, future plans.
  • Permitting for Offshore Wind – State and federal:
    • Federal BOEM process:
      • How NMFS is engaged in consultation.
    • State Process:
      • State vs. federal waters:
        • Aqua Ventus/Maine process, and how it differs from federal process.
        • Cable routes from sea to shore – into Maine, or not into Maine.
      • Progression of wind energy development in southern New England and the mid-Atlantic:
        • What is the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance?
        • What is happening in offshore wind to the south.
        • Impacts and concerns of fishermen in those regions.
      • Role of Fisheries Liaisons.
      • 15-minute Q&A

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: What can we learn from experiences in other areas? 

  • Several panelists will speak of their experience with wind energy projects and firms. They’ll relate the most important lessons, from a fisheries perspective, in how to engage in the development process.
  • The last hour of this session will be a moderated Q&A for the audience to ask questions of any of the entire day’s panelists.

Hank Soule, Sustainable Harvest Sector
Gayle Zydlewski, Maine Sea Grant

Gayle Zydlewski, Maine Sea Grant
Meredith Mendelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Steve Train, F/V Hattie Rose
Gerry Cushman, F/V Bug Catcha
Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation
John Williamson, F/V Sea Keeper

Dick Akers, Maine Marine Composites
Katie Almeida, Town Dock, Inc.
Michelle Bachman, NEFMC
Dan Burgess, State of Maine Governor’s Office
Beth Casoni, EnBW North America / MA Lobstermen’s Assn.
Jarrett Drake, Drake Lobster
Jon Hare, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Annie Hawkins, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance
Brian Hooker, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Peter Hughes, Atlantic Capes Fisheries
Nick Livesay, State of Maine, Dept. of Environmental Protection
Fred Mattera, Commercial Fishermen’s Research Foundation
Jake Ward, Maine Aqua Ventus
Colin Warwick, UK Fishing Liaison Offshore Wind and Wet Renewables

 1:00 pm Fitness Center

Coast Guard Approved ASHI CPR / First Aid Training

Preregistration is required for this American Health and Safety Institute (ASHI) certified training course. The course will run from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Training Provided by:  Bill Weir, Bar Harbor Savings and Loan
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan is sponsoring the training, donating all materials (books, First aid kits, cards, etc.,) and is also paying the ASHI fee for each student.


8:00 am Samoset Pool

Water Survival Training: Water Safety and Emergency Egress Training

The Coast Guard’s Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program will once again provide water safety training at this year’s Fishermen’s Forum. In addition to life raft and immersion suit training we will also provide free inspections of you immersion suits. Bring your suit or try one of ours in the heated pool Friday and Saturday morning.

Host: Brian Smith, USCG SNNE

Panel: Paul Bassick, Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety

9:00 am Rockland Room

Groundfish Monitoring (Amendment 23) UPDATE

Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, which aims to improve the reliability and accountability of catch reporting in the commercial groundfish fishery and to ensure there is precise and accurate representation of catch estimates (landings and discards), will likely bring substantial changes to current commercial groundfish monitoring requirements. New England Fishery Management Council (Council) staff will present a description of the Amendment 23 alternatives that have been developed as well as the economic impacts of those alternatives.

Note: If the comment period for Amendment 23 begins by the start of the Maine Forum, the Council may hold this as a public hearing. At present that seems unlikely and this will be an information session that will help fishermen prepare for the public hearings.

For more information on Amendment 23 visit:

Host:  Maggie Raymond, Associated Fisheries of Maine

Moderator:  Terry Stockwell, Chair, NEFMC Groundfish Committee

Robin Frede, NEFMC Groundfish Fishery Analyst
Terry Alexander, NEFMC Groundfish Committee
Melissa Errend, NEFMC Economist 

9:00 am Rockport Room

Maine Lobstermen’s Association 66th Annual Meeting

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) announces its 66th Annual Meeting. The agenda will kick off with a safety update from the US Coast Guard. Have you had your USCG vessel safety inspection? Find out what the Coast Guard is looking for during inspection and how best to prepare so your vessel will earn the safety decal the first time through.

Then we will take a brief look back at 2019, a year which none of us will soon forget. MLA’s President, Kristan Porter, will offer his reflections on how the MLA continues to lead Maine’s lobster industry during challenging times, and how the MLA plans to face the many challenges we will face in 2020 and beyond.

MLA will also set the record straight on what is and is not happening with whale rules, and MLA’s legal counsel will brief the membership on our role in the ongoing court case on right whales. There will be plenty of time for Q&A from our members.

As always, the MLA membership will conduct its annual election, present awards and there will be door prizes for MLA members in attendance.

MLA members, family and the public are encouraged to attend to and share their questions and ideas. See you there!

Host:  Craig Stewart, Maine Lobstermen’s Assn.

Moderator:  Patrice McCarron, Maine Lobstermen’s Assn.

Kristan Porter, Maine Lobstermen’s Assn.
Mary Anne Mason, Crowell and Moring

10:30 am Rockland Room

Overview of Changes in the Federal Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan

Seminar will provide information on upcoming changes in the Federal Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. Staff from NOAA Fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council will present a summary of the various actions that are expected to be effective in 2020 as well as other actions the Council plans to work on in 2020 and 2021. Presentation will be followed by a question/answer session.

  1. Amendment 8 – Likely effective in early 2020
  • Establishes a new herring acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule for the herring fishery intended to ensure sustainable harvest of the herring resource and better account for herring’s role as forage in the ecosystem.
  • Prohibits the use of midwater trawl gear inshore of the 12-nautical mile territorial sea boundary from Canada to Connecticut and inshore of 20 nautical miles off the east coast of Cape Cod.
  1. Framework Adjustment 6 – Likely effective in early 2020
  • Council recommended herring specifications and river herring/shad catch caps for 2019-2021, updating the overfished and overfishing definitions, and suspending the carryover of unharvested catch for 2020-2021.
  • Council recommended reducing catch limits consistent with the new ABC control rule in Amendment 8. ABC would be reduced from 21,266 mt in 2019 to 16,131 mt in 2020 and 2021.
  1. New England Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment – Likely effective in April 2020
  • Establishes a 50-percent industry-funded monitoring coverage target in the herring fishery to better assess catch and reduce uncertainty around catch estimates.
  • Requires at-sea monitoring coverage on vessels issued Category A or B herring permits.
  • Exempted fishing permit allows vessels to use electronic monitoring and portside sampling instead of at-sea monitoring to satisfy industry-funded monitoring coverage requirements.
  • Allows herring midwater trawl vessels to purchase coverage to access Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas.
  1. Georges Bank Spawning Protections – Development in 2020 with possible implementation in 2021
  • Council will consider measures to protect offshore spawning herring.
  1. Updated Stock Assessment – Assessment scheduled for June 2020
  • Assessment will use updated data (2018 and 2019) to estimate herring biomass and recruitment.
  1. 2021-2023 Herring Specifications – Council may initiate a new specifications action following the 2020 stock assessment
  • Council would consider whether to develop new specifications for 2021-2023 based on the results of the 2020 stock assessment.

Host:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation

Moderator:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation

Carrie Nordeen, NOAA Fisheries
Deirdre Boelke, NEFMC

10:30 am Rockport Room

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative’s Annual Report

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative is excited to have the opportunity to share the results of the 2019 marketing program and the plans for 2020. We will outline how we’re reaching our goal of making sure that everyone knows that Maine Lobster is the best tasting, highest quality, most sustainably harvested lobster in the world. Learn how MLMC will work to promote and protect the Maine Lobster brand through a variety of tactics including advertising, social media, partnerships and more. We will also review the results from 2019, when we shifted our focus to include a wider audience base and added new measurement tools to better define success.

Host:  Steve Train, F/V Hattie Rose

Moderator:  Marianne LaCroix, Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative

Frank Gotwals, Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative
Allyson Hoar, Weber Shandwick
Sara Brody, Weber Shandwick
Justin Graeber, Weber Shandwick

12:00 pm Fitness Center

Atlantic Herring PTNS Demonstration and IFM outreach session

In order to better assess catch and reduce uncertainty around catch estimates, the New England Fishery Management Council is pursuing increased monitoring in certain fishery management plans. As a result, NEFSC and GARFO staff are working to implement the Council’s Industry-Funded Monitoring (IFM) Omnibus Amendment. The IFM Amendment standardizes the development and administration of future IFM programs and increases monitoring in the herring fishery.

The IFM Amendment establishes a 50-percent IFM coverage target for vessels with Category A or B herring permits. The 50-percent coverage target is achieved by combining Standard Bycatch Reporting Methodology and IFM coverage. Lastly, the amendment maintains the 100-percent observer coverage requirement for midwater trawl vessels fishing in Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas, but allows vessels to purchase observer coverage to access those closed areas. The New England Council approved combined electronic monitoring (EM) and portside sampling as an IFM monitoring option for midwater trawl vessels participating in the Atlantic herring fishery. EM is used to confirm catch retention and verify compliance with discard restrictions. Portside sampling is used to collect species composition and age/length data. A notification system has been developed for Atlantic herring vessels, and a demonstration of that system will be provided during this session. Further outreach will also be provided by the GARFO and the NEFSC Observer Program.

Host:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation

Moderator:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation

Panel:  Sara Weeks, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Glenn Chamberlain, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Nichole Rossi, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Carrie Nordeen, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office
Michael Palmer, Northeast Fisheries Science Center

1:00 pm Fitness Center

Environmental Monitors on Lobster Traps and Large Trawlers (eMOLT):

A Gathering of Participants to Update Them on Protocol and Results

The eMOLT program ( has been collecting hourly bottom temperature at dozens of sites off the coast of New England for nearly two decades and has documented variations over multiple time scales including the long-term rise. In the past few years, with dozens of vessels fitted with micro-computers and satellite transmitters, nearly ten thousand hauls have automatically reported real-time bottom temperatures as soon as the gear arrives on deck with results displayed in the wheelhouse and compared to both climatology and model simulations. Daily updates are posted on public websites.  In the first 30 minutes, the seminar will first describe the project and its results to the general audience and then provide more in-depth training on the new technology for participants, dockside technicians, and any others who may be interested. We will also discuss ways of access real-time ocean information and forecasts through NERACOOS and plans for future information products.

Host:  Gayle Zydlewski, Maine Sea Grant

Moderator:  Jim Manning, NOAA

Erin Pelletier, Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation
Cassie Stymiest, Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation

1:00 pm Rockland Room

Update on Federal Scallop Fishery in the GOM: 2020 Outlook & Potential Management Changes

The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) has worked to address the management of the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) federal scallop fishery in several recent actions. The Council recently recommended catch limits for FY 2020 and FY 2021, and is currently in the process of developing new approaches for managing the NGOM through Amendment 21 to the Scallop FMP. Council staff will present information on the status of Amendment 21, and outlook for the 2020 NGOM fishery.

The Council formally began work on Amendment 21 in January of 2019, conducted ten scoping meetings between February and April 2019 to solicit input from the public on what type of measures should be considered in the action, and is currently in the process of developing measures to support a growing directed scallop fishery in federal waters in the NGOM. Amendment 21 is considering measures that would prevent unrestrained removals from the NGOM management area, and allow for orderly access to the scallop resource in this area by the LAGC and LA components. The Amendment may establish mechanisms to set allowable catches and accurately monitor catch and bycatch. In March of 2020, the Scallop Committee will be working to finalize the range of alternatives that the Council will consider as part of Amendment 21. Council staff will provide seminar attendees with an update on the range of alternatives included in the Amendment and brief the group on expected progress heading into the April Council meeting. Staff will also explain ways that stakeholders can be involved in the development of A21 and share details about the expected timeline for developing this action.

For more information on Amendment 21 visit:

Host:  Maggie Raymond, Associated Fisheries of Maine

Moderator:  Vincent Balzano, NEFMC Chair Scallop Committee

Jonathon Peros, NEFMC Scallop Plan Coordinator
Travis Ford, GARFO Scallop Analyst

1:00 pm Rockport Room

Eastern Maine Skippers Program Explores the Marine Industry

Students from our nine high schools will present their scientific posters asking the public for feedback on their project ideas. It is an open forum with posters set up around the room where people can walk around and talk to the students directly.

Host:  Jenni Steele, Island Fishermen’s Wives Assn.

Moderator:  Tom Duym, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries

Christina Fifield, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries
75 Students from 9 Different High Schools

2:45 pm Golf Club

Maine Fishermen: Collecting Fisheries Data since 1607

Collaborative research takes many forms on a continuum where one end represents projects that involve fishermen’s input in every step of the scientific process and the other end where fishermen are only marginally involved. In this seminar, we will hear from three fishermen who participate in collaborative research projects across a variety of fisheries along this continuum.  In each case, their perspectives have had an impact on the design, the work, and the end product. Is there a sweet spot on the continuum? Are there different challenges as you  move along it? Does the information collected ever make it into the management process?  Audience members will have an opportunity to explore with the panel ways to improve collaborative research and find the sweet spot.

Host:  Jenni Steele, Island Fishermen’s Wives Assn.

Moderator:  Steve Train, F/V Hattie Rose

Patrick Shepard, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries
Matt Trundy, Fisherman
Bailey Bowden, Fisherman
Curt Brown, Fisherman
Anna Mercer, NOAA

2:45 pm Rockport Room

But I Need Money Now – Funding Sources to Help Your Business

This panel discussion will focus on the resources available to anyone interested in branching out into a supplemental business. Maybe it’s some form of aquaculture, maybe it’s a business complimentary to your fishing business, or maybe it’s a hobby you want to take to the next level during the off season! Learn about the small business counseling services available to you, how you might finance your new line of business without adding unnecessary risk to your existing business, and things to think about as you start this new adventure. This discussion will include members of the Small Business Development Center, Small Business Administration, and both traditional and non-traditional lenders.

We’ll talk about not only how to obtain financing, but what FREE technical assistance is available to you.

This will be a panel discussion with plenty of time available to ask questions specific to your situation. Because financing and technical assistance questions can be personal in nature, all presenters will be available to stay after the presentation to speak with individuals in a one-on-one setting and questions can be submitted in advance to Diane Sturgeon to be read aloud without identifying the asker during the question and answer period.

To submit a question in advance simply email with the subject line FISHERMAN FORUM Q & A.

Host:  Hugh Cowperthwaite, Coastal Enterprises Inc.

Moderator:  Diane Sturgeon, Small Business Assn

Shannon Webber, Farm Credit East
Nick Branchina, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
Steve Gurin, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Roxanne Broughton, FAME
Susan Desgrosseilliers, SBDC

2:45 pm Rockland Room

Open Forum with NOAA Fisheries Leadership

Please join us for an open dialogue with NOAA Fisheries Leadership

Host:  Maggie Raymond, Associated Fisheries of Maine

Moderator:  Maggie Raymond, Associated Fisheries of Maine

Chris Oliver, NOAA Fisheries
Michael Pentony, Greater Atlantic Regional Office, NMFS
Cisco Werner, NOAA Fisheries
Dr. Jon Hare, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Dr. John Quinn, New England Fishery Management Council


8:00 am Samoset Pool

Water Survival Training: Water Safety and Emergency Egress Training

The Coast Guard’s Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Program will once again provide water safety training at this year’s Fishermen’s Forum. In addition to life raft and immersion suit training we will also provide free inspections of you immersion suits. Bring your suit or try one of ours in the heated pool Friday and Saturday morning.

Host:  Brian Smith, USCG SNNE

Panel:  Paul Bassick, Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety

9:00 am Golf Club

Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association (MLBRA) 2020 Pre-Season Meeting

The Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association (MLBRA) will hold its annual meeting at the Forum with MLBRA president Jon Johansen leading the discussion. No rule changes have been proposed for 2020 with 11 stops planned on the summer race circuit. The regular meeting will be followed by a Powerpoint presentation of photographs from the Penobscot Marine Museum.

All are invited to this meeting; non-MLBRA members are encouraged to join.

Host:  Brian Robbins, Commercial Fisheries News

Moderator:  Jon Johansen, MLBRA President

9:00 am Fitness Center

Voices from the Maine Fishermen’s Forum: Stories and Exhibit

After two years of interviewing Forum attendees, Voices of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum is back for a third time to share audio stories and photographs that, together, build a multifaceted picture of what it means to be part of Maine’s fishing industry and fishing communities. Please join us to celebrate and listen to stories from 2018 and 2019 Forum attendees, and from community members in Lubec, Jonesport, Beals, Deer Isle, Stonington, and Bar Harbor. Following a brief presentation by Voices of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum partners, we invite everyone to explore audio stories, full interviews, and interactive storymaps at our listening stations, or wander through the exhibit of photographs from The First Coast project. Voices from the Maine Fishermen’s Forum is a project of Maine Sea Grant, The First Coast, College of the Atlantic and the Island Institute. In our third year of the project, we want Forum attendees to have a chance to listen back to their stories and learn about those of others. Sharing the voices of those involved in the fishing industry has always been central to Voices of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum; with over 70 interviews collected in two years at the Forum and visits to coastal communities, we are excited to give back to those that offered their time and stories to make this happen.

Host:  Jenni Steele, Island Fishermen’s Wives Assn.

Moderator:  Galen Koch, First Coast

Guilia Cardoso, College of the Atlantic
Natalie Springuel, College of the Atlantic
Nick Battista, Island Institute

9:00 am Rockland Room

Stayin’ Alive: Lifejackets for Lobstermen, What Works, What Doesn’t

The Lifejackets for Lobstermen Vans visited 53 ports along the coast of Maine and Massachusetts throughout the spring, summer and early fall of 2019. 1077 lifejackets distributed! Come join our panel discussion about what we have learned about good working lifejackets for commercial lobstermen/fishermen.

The discussion will include:

  • Fishermen sharing their thoughts on lifejackets, what works for them
  • Demonstration of 11 lifejacket models chosen by fishermen: what are the most popular and why
  • Overview of the project and next steps, what do fishermen want to see happen?
  • Attendees entered into a drawing to win a free LIfeSling3 USCG Type V Overboard Rescue System (value: $400).

Deaths of Lobstermen accounted for the highest number of occupational fatalities in East Coast fisheries from 2010-2014, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Most of these deaths were related to falls overboard (50%) or vessel disasters (30%) and based on fatality report narratives, none of the recovered victims was wearing a lifejacket.

Researchers at the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (NEC) have been working with lobstermen in Maine and Massachusetts over the past three years to understand and assist with lifejacket use. Feedback from the community has pointed to a number of barriers to lifejacket use that the NEC and their partners (Fishing Partnership Support Services, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, McMillan Offshore Survival Training and the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association) hoped to address with a “Lifejackets for Lobstermen” project. In response to fishermen requests for more comfortable and workable devices, Lifejackets for Lobstermen Vans were launched, bringing 11 different lifejacket designs to the docks for fishermen to try on, compare, and buy at a one-time 50% discount. After distributing over 900 lifejackets to fishermen, the lifejacket team can share reflections from the project and ways to increase chances of survival and recovery in the event of a fall overboard.

As Captain Mark Ring, in Gloucester MA said, “They are bringing safety to the fleet, one boat at a time.” Due to the popularity of the lifejacket vans, NEC researchers are working with local partners, community members, retailers, and fishing groups to develop a transition plan that will ensure the sustainability of the program through local ownership. Most importantly, they hope to improve fishermen’s chances of survival and markedly reduce fatalities in the lobster fishing industry in the coming years.

The NEC is funded through the Centers for Disease Control to address prominent occupational safety and health hazards in agricultural, forestry and fishing communities throughout the Northeast. In addition to conducting research and developing safety programs, the Center offers safety training, health screening and counseling services to agricultural, forestry and fisheries workers.

To find out more about the Lifejackets for Lobstermen campaign, individuals can visit the project Facebook page for updates or contact project staff via email at

Host:  Steve Train, F/V Hattie Rose

Rebecca Weil, Bassett Healthcare Network
Patrice McCarron, Maine Lobstermen’s Assn.
Beth Casoni, MA Lobstermen’s Assn.
Nick Martin, Fisherman
Stephanie Alley, Fisherman
Jessica Echard, Bassett Healthcare Network
John McMillan, McMillan Offshore
Ed Dennehy, Massachusetts Fishing Partnership
Luis Catala, Massachusetts Fishing Partnership
Amanda Roome, Bassett Healthcare Network
Beba (Yvonne) Rosen, Maine Fisherman
Michael Keating, Maine Fisherman
Bobby Ingalls, Maine Fisherman
Anthony Beal, Maine Fisherman

9:00 am Rockport Room

Utilizing Electronic Reporting Programs to Fulfill Reporting Obligations

This will be a very informal seminar providing an overview of the electronic reporting options available to harvesters to fulfill their mandatory reporting requirements. There will be a quick overview of the reporting options available and then time for one on one reporting questions and potential set ups with interested harvesters. Representatives from Bluefin Data (developer of the new reporting application) along with NMFS representatives will be available to answer questions and accept industry feedback.

Host:  Meredith Mendelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

Moderator:  Robert Watts, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

Andrew Petersen, Bluefin Data LLC
Barry Clifford, NMFS and GARFO
Jerome Hermsen, NMFS and GARFO
Marissa DeCosta, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

9:00 am Camden Room

Reconsideration of Atlantic Cod Stock Structure in US Waters

A working group (WG) was formed in 2018 to inventory and summarize all relevant information about stock structure of Atlantic cod in US waters, and the interactions of US stocks with adjacent Canadian Stocks. The WG followed an interdisciplinary approach, forming topical subgroups on fishery management, early life history, genetic markers, life history, natural markers, applied markers and fishermen’s ecological knowledge. Since 1972, cod have been managed in US waters as two units: the Gulf of Maine and the Georges Bank management units. In their synthesis, the WG identifies a number of mismatches between the current management units and biological stock structure, such as: 1) numerous instances of both phenotypic and genetic variability indicating that cod are not well mixed within each management unit, 2) adult cod in some areas exhibiting extensive movements, including exchange between current US-US and US-Canada management units, and 3) dispersal of cod larvae around Cape Cod from the western part of the Gulf of Maine Management Unit to the western part of the Georges Bank Management Unit. Finally, interdisciplinary evidence suggests that the fishery harvests a mixture of two sympatric, genetically differentiated stocks (winter- and spring-spawning cod) in the southwestern Gulf of Maine. The WG proposes five biological stocks in US waters. This includes both an inshore-offshore separation, as well as multiple inshore stocks, including a mixed-stock composition of spring and winter spawners in multiple statistical areas.

Host:  Maggie Raymond, Associated Fisheries of Maine

Moderator:  Richard McBride, Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Greg DeCelles, Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries
Steve Cadrin, U of MA Dartmouth School for Marine Science
Ted Ames, Bowdoin College and MCCF Founding Board
Lisa Kerr, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Tom Nies, New England Fishery Management Council
Dr. Russel Brown, Chief, Northeast Fisheries Science Center

10:30 am Golf Club

Alewife Harvesters of Maine Annual Meeting

The Alewife Harvesters of Maine (AHOM) is a group of harvesters, citizen-scientists, non-governmental organizations, professional educators, and municipal leaders with a common goal of preserving and restoring Maine’s historic alewife fisheries.

10:30 am  Business Meeting: Treasurer’s Report and Board Member Introductions

10:40 am  The Road to 50 Million Alewives!

Three organizations will present on some of the progress made to restore river herring to Maine’s coast in 2019:

  • The Nature Conservancy (Molly Payne-Wynne)
  • Downeast Salmon Federation (Brett Ciccotelli)
  • Maine Dept. of Marine Resources on behalf of the Alewife Interaction Committee

11:25 am  Department of Marine Resources Update

Updates on any Federal or State rule changes, restoration projects from 2019 and Department priorities looking forward in 2020.
Maine Department of Marine Resources (Michael Brown)

Host:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation

Moderator:  Jeffrey Pierce, Alewife Harvesters of Maine

Theo Willis, Alewife Harvesters of Maine
Sarah Madronal, Downeast Salmon Federation

10:30 am Rockland Room

“We Strive for Five (Ingredients)”

Thought you didn’t have time to cook a good, nutritious meal because you don’t have time or the ‘right ingredients?’ Think again. With just five ingredients, and a few staples from your pantry that you likely already have, you can create a meal that will WOW your family and get you out of the kitchen quicker. Come see Chef Jim and Mike Young ‘do their thing’ once again. Come to “The Food Guys” session to be entertained, educated and generally have a few laughs and try some interesting new dishes that are all created with just FIVE ingredients.  

Host:  Board of Directors, Maine Fishermen’s Forum

Jim LeVerso, Chef and Teacher
Mike Young, Assistant Chef and Entertainer
Dee LeVerso, Administrative Support

10:30 am Rockport Room

Maine DMR Lobster Science and Collaborations

Maine DMR research staff collects data on the lobster population at different life stages through multiple monitoring programs including the commercial sea sampling program, ventless trap survey, inshore trawl survey, and settlement survey. In 2019, additional projects continued for maturity determination, larval lobster survey, and a lobster tagging collaboration with the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association. The Lobster License Plate Fund (Research, Education, and Development Fund) supported Maine Lobster Research Collaborative and the National Sea Grant Lobster Research Program were also initiated within the last year and add greater research capacity to supplement Maine DMR’s efforts. The results of these monitoring projects programs and new research projects will be presented.

Moderator:  Meredith Mendelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

Host:  Meredith Mendelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

Kathleen Reardon, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Jes Waller, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Rebecca Peters, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Robert Russell, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Beth Bisson, Maine Sea Grant
Richard Wahle, University of Maine, DMC

10:30 am Camden Room

An Introduction to Management Strategy Evaluation: A Bridge, Not A Trap

Are you tired of being asked for “input” after it seems the decisions have been made and the analysis is done? Do you want to get your knowledge and experience used to design management strategies from the beginning? Then come to this seminar and learn about Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE). Fisheries management can often seem overly complex and not focused on issues that are important to the fishing industry. Requesting input from fishermen through “public comment periods” does not allow for exchange of ideas or open discussion about compromises. MSE is a process that includes fishermen, scientists, managers and other stakeholders working collaboratively to design a method for evaluating management questions, such as harvest control rules or spatial management. MSE could be useful for a broad range of issues relevant to Maine fishermen as it provides an opportunity to understand the trade-offs of management actions in meeting a range of objectives. Through the process, fishermen are key partners in designing analyses, identifying uncertainties, defining what “success” looks like, and identifying management measures most likely to create success. The ideal MSE involves stakeholder workshops to define objectives and performance metrics. For example, an objective may be to have stability in catch levels over time, and the performance metric would be that catch should not vary more than 10% annually. These objectives and metrics can then be used to evaluate management actions. Subsequent workshops are used to provide insight into the tradeoffs, costs and benefits of a range of management actions. This seminar will consist of three components: 1) a brief presentation that will introduce MSE; 2) a discussion between the audience and panelists about MSE applications; and 3) a mock stakeholder workshop with the panelists playing the roles of facilitators soliciting objectives and performance metrics from the audience. The mock workshop will demystify aspects of MSE and put the fishermen of Maine on more comfortable footing as they participate in the growing number of MSEs being conducted in the New England region.

Host:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation.

Moderator:  Jonathan J. DeRoba, NOAA Fisheries

Sara Gaichas, NOAA Fisheries
Lisa Kerr, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Steve Cadrin, UMass Dartmouth
Cate O’Keefe, Mass Dept. of Marine Fisheries

1:00 pm Rockland Room

Practical Equipment and Methods for Scallop Farming

This session will be a hands-on description and display of common scallop farming equipment, longline setup and operation and the husbandry methods involved. We will use a display of a typical longline, so that producers can present the details of how it is set up and deployed, maintained, and repaired. We will also review the practices and methods of growing scallops: collection with spat bags, nursery and growout in lantern nets, and ear-hanging.

The session will be less about presentations from the front of the room and more about using the display to hear from producers and investigators about what they have learned in recent years. The session will also be a chance to hear the latest updates in ear-hanging equipment and trials, biotoxin testing and results, and markets.

Host:  Hugh Cowperthwaite, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Moderator:  Dana Morse, Maine Sea Grant Darling Marine Center

Marsden Brewer, F/V Lindsay Marie
Bob Brewer, F/V Lindsay Marie
Nate Perry, Pine Point Oyster Company
Caitlin Cleaver, Bates College
Struan Coleman, Darling Marine Center

1:00 pm Rockport Room

Understanding the New Lobster Gear Marking Requirements

Maine DMR announced new gear marking requirements for Maine lobstermen in November 2019. As with anything new, there have been lots of questions from lobstermen about why we need to change our gear marks from red to purple, why exempt waters lobstermen are now required to mark gear, and why are we adding a 36″ mark at the top? Lobstermen are also asking very specific questions about various gear marking techniques and placement of gear marks along the vertical line.

This session is being offered so you can get answers to your gear marking questions. Major Rob Beal of Maine’s Marine Patrol will review the new gear marking requirements including the Maine-only gear mark color, purple, as well as the placement of marks throughout the line for fishermen fishing inside and outside the exemption line. He will review exactly what is required for gear marking lobster vertical lines in Maine’s exempt and non-exempt waters.

For lobstermen who have specific questions about how to mark your gear based on the unique way that your gear is rigged — we’ve got your covered! After Major Beal walks us through the overview of the new gear marking requirements, lobstermen are invited to break out into smaller groups to meet with local Marine Patrol officers to get answers to their specific gear marking questions. Feel free to bring a sample of what you want to rig, or bring a sketch of your surface and buoy system to be sure that Marine Patrol is able to answer your questions.

All gear must comply with these new gear marking requirements by September 2020 so don’t miss this opportunity to get your questions answered.

Host:  Meredith Mendelson, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources

Moderator:  Patrice McCarron, Maine Lobstermen’s Assn.

Panel:  Major Rob Beal, Maine DMR Marine Patrol

1:00 pm Camden Room

Fisheries Mapping & Data Portals Including Industry & User Driven Updates to the NE Data Portal

Fishing activity data have been made available to the public, including other offshore industries, via data portals. These portals can be used to inform decisions yet may not adequately show where individual fisheries occur from a fisherman’s perspective. This seminar will cover two separate efforts to develop and improve existing data portals and learn from fishermen on how to improve these efforts.

Over the past several years, fisheries managers and researchers in Maine have developed spatial fisheries and marine habitat data into robust analyses to inform future management and have created online mapping platforms to share spatial fisheries information in a more publicly accessible way. For example, recent work in the Gulf of Maine has collected high-resolution bathymetry and marine habitat information to model seafloor habitat. The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has also recently expanded its efforts to share publicly available Department survey data as well as fisheries data through online mapping portals. With the development of these new online mapping platforms, people can more easily obtain data for certain fisheries without having to make direct requests to DMR. The first part of this seminar will present recent fisheries research that utilizes spatial mapping as well as demonstrate recently developed DMR online mapping portals including the lobster landings viewer, trawl survey data portal (in development), and bathymetric and marine habitat viewer (in development).

The Northeast Ocean Data Portal ( is a centralized source of data and interactive maps that is hosted by NROC and is used extensively in planning for multiple offshore activities. Fishermen have expressed strong concern in ensuring that the fishing-related information on the Portal adequately represents their operations and experiences. In response to this interest, NROC and RODA are partnering to develop updated map and data products for the Portal that show the use of ocean space by the industry.

The goals of this project include ensuring the fishing industry has a direct voice in the development of map products that represent their knowledge, to improve fishing industry trust in regional data products and the data that are being used to inform decisions, and to develop mechanisms to ensure collaboration with industry on future data updates. RODA and NROC seek to gain input from participants in various fisheries to determine the need and potential uses for fisheries data products, to design and review draft products, and to develop documentation and communications about the appropriate application and use of final data products that are available on the Portal. The second part of this seminar will include short presentations to set the content for discussions, including presentations about the data, functionality and uses of the Portal and about the status of the current project to update its fisheries data. The majority of the seminar will be reserved for an interactive discussion with attendees about potential improvements to this widely used tool.

Host:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation

Moderator:  Mary Beth Tooley, O’Hara Corporation

Claire Enterline, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
William DeVoe, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Rebecca Peters, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources
Fiona Hogan, RODA Fisheries
Nick Napoli, Northeast Regional Ocean Council
Doug Christel, NOAA Fisheries GARFO
Ben Martens, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Assn.

2:45 pm Rockland Room

Aquaculture Training Opportunities for Fishermen and Marine Tradespeople

The aquaculture industry is projected to grow 11.4 percent nationwide by 2030 and a Maine study projects the addition of 5,800 – 17,400 traded and indirect aquaculture jobs by 2025. Many of the skills gained through work in fishing and other marine trades are readily transferable to this emerging industry. Aquaculture presents a unique opportunity for fishermen to diversify their income streams in the offseason or in the event of changes in catch availability due to environmental or regulatory changes. Several organizations around Maine offer low-cost opportunities for training in seaweed, bivalve and fish husbandry and other aquaculture jobs. This session will present examples of these programs, from short courses to certificates and internship programs, offered by federal and state non-profits and university systems.

The audiences for these programs range from high school students to adults. The session will also engage the audience through a facilitated discussion on skills/training that fishermen hoping to transition to aquaculture may need to be successful. This information will help shape some of the programming being developed across the state.

Host:  Sebastian Belle, Maine Aquaculture Assn.

Moderator:  Meggan Dwyer, Aquaculture Research Institute

Chris Vonderweidt, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Scarlett Tudor, Aquaculture Research Institute
Nick Branchina, Coastal Enterprises Inc.
Phoebe Jekeliek, Hurricane Island Center for Science & Leadership
Peter Piconi, Island Institute

2:45 pm Rockport Room

Less Shrink Means More Profits: Avoiding Stress Points in the Lobster Supply Chain

The Lobster Institute, together with the Maine Lobster Dealers Association, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and faculty from the University of Maine have begun a project to promote better business practices to reduce the mortality or “shrink” of lobsters throughout the supply chain.. in order to increase market demand for a higher quality product with an increased profit margin for all sectors.

Host:  Togue Brawn, Downeast Dayboat

Moderator:  Dr. Rick Wahle, UM Darling Marine Center

Annie Tselikis, Maine Lobster Dealers Assn
Curt Brown, Ready Seafood
Dr. Damian Brady, UM Darling Marine Center
Ben McKinney, Luke’s Lobster
Andrew Goode, Darling Marine Center
Cassandra Leeman, Darling Marine Center

2:45 pm Camden Room

Working Waterfronts and the Commercial Fishing Community

This presentation is specifically about the importance of the working waterfront to commercial fishermen, their businesses, and their communities. The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association received funding from Maine Community Foundation to better understand the state of the working waterfront in Maine’s coastal fishing communities. This presentation will share stories and insight from that work and include videos from fishermen and others highlighting specific topics to the working waterfront like financing, culture, and the next generation. Audience members, specifically fishermen, will also be given the opportunity to weigh-in on aspects of each topic via voting buttons that will show immediate results that will be used to steer the conversation.

Host:  Sebastian Belle, Maine Aquaculture Assn.

Moderator:  Sebastian Belle, Maine Aquaculture Assn.

Panel:  Monique Coombs, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Assn.