AUGUSTA—The Department of Marine Resources spring inshore trawl survey is scheduled to begin in New Hampshire waters on May 3 and then make its way up the coast, ending in Cutler/Lubec in early June.
“The survey is designed to provide information that has not been available to NOAA Fisheries Service for stock assessments,” the DMR wrote in a statement. “Obtaining this information is critical to making rational management decisions. The better information we have about all our fisheries resources, the better we can ensure a future for both fishermen and the resource.”
On scheduled tow days, the DMR is asking that an area one-eighth of a mile on either side of the tow line be clear of fixed gear.
The survey is expected to get to the Penobscot Bay area between May 17-21, then move to Isle au Haut and Frenchman Bay around May 24–28 and then the Schoodic area to Grand Manan Channel from May 31 to June 4.
ELLSWORTH—The price for elvers has rebounded after it was down to about half of its peak before the pandemic.
The price per pound for Maine’s small eels has gone up to $1,740 a pound from about $1,000 at the start of the season earlier this spring.
Locally, the season got off to a slow start with cold and fast waters providing less–than–ideal conditions for the elvers.
As of April 29, 4,960 pounds of the state’s 7,566–pound quota had been caught. Combined with the catch from local tribes, dealers reported buying a total of 6,852 pounds of elvers for a total value of just shy of $12 million.
The season started on March 22 and runs through June 1, unless the quota is hit earlier. Most of the eels will be destined for Asia.
ARLINGTON, VA—The Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Herring Management Board members from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts set the effort control measures for this summer in the inshore Gulf of Maine.
The area’s quota for June 1 to Sept. 30 is 1,058 metric tons and accounts for about 73 percent of the total annual quota.
The fishery won’t open until June 13, and vessels may land herring five consecutive days a week, with one landing per 24 hours. They can catch up to 240,000 pounds a week, per vessel.
DEER ISLE—The public comment period on a proposed shellfish site in Pickering Cove will run through the end of May.
Abigail Barrows has proposed a 4-acre oyster and scallop farm south of Big Hay Island. In her application to the Department of Marine Resources that was deemed complete last week, she asked to grow oysters in suspended surface bags and scallops in lantern nets in the water column. Pogy fishing and clamming take place about a quarter to half mile away and most lobstering is farther out in Southeast Harbor, Barrows wrote in the application.
The farm would request for no lobstering within the perimeter of the lease due to the potential for gear fouling and loss for both parties.
The full application is on the DMR’s website and comments can be sent by email to [email protected] or by mail to ATTN: Aquaculture Division, 21 State House Station, Augusta, ME, 04333-0021. The deadline is May 29 at 4 p.m.