Maritime Shorts

DMR surveys shellfish safety  

MOUNT DESERT — Over the next seven months, Maine Department of Marine Resources staff will be “walking the [town’s] shoreline and making observations about potential pollution sources to coastal waters and shellfish areas,” a DMR official said in a letter to Town Clerk Claire Woolfolk.  

“The survey is intended to assist towns in remediation efforts in order to either open or keep open local shellfish harvest areas.”  


Cruise ship survey sent  

BAR HARBOR — A cruise ship community survey is making its way to Bar Harbor residents’ mailboxes. Its purpose is to help town officials create a management for the cruise line industry that had been expanding over the years. 

For months now, the Town Council has been wrestling with how to manage the cruise ship industry, which was growing in Bar Harbor until it was halted by COVID-19.   

The 24-question survey will be arriving in a plain white envelope with the green town seal. It’s aimed to gauge the opinions, preferences and experiences around cruiseship and landbased tourism and is exclusively for residents, taxpayers and non-resident business owners, according to the town.   

“The Town Council would very much appreciate your completing this short survey and returning it in the enclosed postagepaid envelope to our market researching contractor, Pan Atlantic Research, a Maine-based market research and consulting firm, by Monday, April 26,” the town wrote.   

All responses will be confidential and the data will be reported in aggregate form only. The survey can also be taken online; the link is on the town’s website.   

Survey takers will be asked to rate the town’s overall quality of life and as a place to raise children, the impact of the cruise ship industries and land-based tourism on Bar Harbor and how important some of the financial impacts are to the community. They will also be asked their opinion on the principal challenges facing the town regarding cruise ship management, what the town should consider and what Bar Harbor experienced last summer when cruises were halted because of COVID-19.   


Sea urchin season down  

AUGUSTA — The state’s sea urchin harvest was down almost half a million pounds compared to last year, a 31 percent decrease, state Department of Marine Resource officials said on April 8. 

“I think the takeaway I get from this past season is that there were fewer urchins caught, the price was down a bit, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” said Maggie Hunter, a biologist at the DMR, during a sea urchin zone council meeting. “I was really worried about the market, whether we’d have any market before the season started.”  

Statewide there were 1,030,987 pounds of urchins landed in the September-to-March season and the price was at $3.01 a pound. The season before that, there were 1,487,178 pounds of urchins caught and the price per pound was at $3.55, which was near record highs.  

The dip amounted to a $2.18 million decrease in value – about 41 percent lower than the 2019-2020 season.   

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