Maritime Shorts

Trade relief program 

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds fisherman of the Jan. 15 deadline to apply for the Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP), which provides support for fishermen impacted by retaliatory tariffs from foreign governments. For information on the program, including guidance on how to apply, visit or call 877-508-8364 to speak with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. 

Eligible species include: 

Flounder (15 cents/lb.) 

Goosefish (10 cents/lb.) 

Herring (4 cents/lb.) 

Lobster (50 cents/lb.) 

Pollock (1 cent/lb.) 

Sole (15 cents/lb.) 

Squid (20 cents/lb.) 

Tuna (13 cents/lb.) 

Salmon (aquaculture) (16 cents/lb.) 

FSA has so far paid more than $188 million on more than 7,600 applications through the STRP. USDA is continuing to work with Sea Grant Extension Agents and other partners to promote the program and help fishermen apply as they come off the water. 


Dredging in Blue Hill 

BLUE HILL – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and the town of Blue Hill have submitted a Navigation Improvement Project for the creation of a federal navigation channel and a Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) cell in Blue Hill Harbor. 

The ACOE proposes the construction of an 80-foot-wide channel from deep water to the town landing including a half-acre turning basin. The proposed project would dredge a 2,500 foot long Federal Channel and a 38,000 square foot turning basin near the town landing. Both the turning basin and the new channel would be dredged to depth of -6 feet at MLLW. The dredging of the channel will excavate approximately 71,500 cubic yards of sediment. Most of this material, 61,000 cubic yards, will be disposed offshore at the Eastern Passage Disposal Site (EPDS), 14 miles from the harbor. Approximately 10,500 cubic yards of the dredged material is unsuitable for open water disposal and will be placed in a newly constructed CAD cell in the harbor immediately adjacent and north of the channel. The CAD cell construction will excavate approximately 15,500 cubic yards of sediment which will also be disposed of at the EPDS. All dredging will be by mechanical dredge and scow. Construction will occur between Nov. 1 and April 1 and is expected to take three to four months to complete. The total dredge estimate is 87,000 cubic yards from approximately 31 acres of dredge area. 

DMR will accept written comments about the potential impacts of the proposed dredging operation on fishing in the area and impacts to the fishing industry of the proposed route to EPDS and CAD cell sites. The deadline for comments is Jan. 25. 

Comments may be sent to Amanda Ellis at [email protected] 

For information, contact Denis-Marc Nault at [email protected] or (207) 592-0512. 


Downeast Trout Unlimited meets Jan. 20 

ELLSWORTH  Downeast Trout Unlimited will have its January meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20, starting at 5:30 p.m.  

Dylan Whitaker, a fisheries research technician for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW), will present The Lake Whitefish Project. Whitaker is a Maine native who has worked on salmonid fisheries management across the country. He returned to Maine in 2018 to lead the research.   

Lake whitefish, a popular sport fish native to Maine, are designated as a special concern species by IFW.  

Shri Verrill will also be at the meeting to present Magic on the River. Verrill is the habitat restoration manager for the Midcoast Conservancy and will describe watershed restoration work on the Sheepscot River followed by a 10minute video.  

Meetings are free and open to the public, but registration is required at 

For more information contact chapter secretary Tammy Packie at (207288-5442 or [email protected]. 


Antarctic experiences 

ROCKLAND – Learn about scientific expeditions in Antarctica with Joee Patterson, who has been a marine technician on nine expeditions. The Zoom talk will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m.  

Patterson will share stories of life on an icebreaker, the scientific expeditions that she has facilitated and close encounters with the wildlife. This lecture will give a brief overview of marine operations for the U.S. Antarctic Program and a discussion of the science conducted on these missions (from the perspective of a layperson) combined with personal stories and observations. 

Register at The program also will be streamed on the Friends of Maine Coastal Islands NWR Facebook page. For information, email [email protected] or call 594-0600 x5.    

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