Students in the Eastern Maine Skippers program test a video device equipped with cameras, lights and lasers to measure fish that swim by. The widget is being developed by staff of the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. PHOTO COURTESY OF THALASSA RAASCH/MCF

Skippers program students gather in Northeast Harbor



MOUNT DESERT — The Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor recently hosted 60 Eastern Maine Skippers Program students for their second cohort event of the school year.

Volunteers, industry partners, and Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF) staff led multiple hands-on workshops. The purpose of these cohort days is to support students in thinking about and prototyping projects for the annual project theme.

This years theme asks, “How can technology contribute to a safe, healthy and sustainable fishing industry?”

Robert Kramp of Kramp Electronics discussed the current state of marine electronics. Students learned about GIS mapping with Gordon Longworth from College of the Atlantic and Val Peacock of the Rural Aspirations Project. Staff from MCCF also spoke with students about the use of GoPro cameras on and in the water.

Joe Horn of Maine Outdoor School and a volunteer, Richard Arnold of Lamoine, kicked off the day teaching students about salt water fly tying for mackerel and cod.

Korah Soll, also of the Rural Aspirations Project, talked about seafood prep and seafood marketing. Students then had the opportunity to spend time in the kitchen experimenting with popular lobster dishes and creating their own marketing strategy for their product.

In addition to the various seminars that took place, the students modeled the 50 type II personal floating devices (life jackets) that were recently donated to the Eastern Maine Skippers Program by Franklin Savings Bank for the schools to keep and use on the water.

The program is in its seventh year. More than 100 high school students are participating, representing 52 coastal communities.

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