Maritime Shorts: Extension request, Brook trout sale, Climate Change discussion

Extension request 

BAR HARBOR — In a March 30 letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden, and Gov. Janet Mills request a delay in the implementation of part of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) new Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP) rule that requires weak points in lobster lines, highlight the supply chain and availability issues facing lobstermen who are trying to acquire the required gear, and stress that the current deadline puts the lobster industry in what the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy described as an “impossible scenario.” 

The letter calls for the implementation date for gear conversion to be postponed two months from May 1 to July 1. According to NMFS’ own data, changing the compliance date to July 1 would result in a potential increase in risk to whales of just 0.9 percent. On the other hand, failure to delay the rule will cost Maine’s lobstermen $7.3 million, which could pose a significant economic threat to the small businesses that power this industry. 


Brook trout sale  

ELLSWORTH — The Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District is holding its annual brook trout sale for private pond stocking. Delivery is planned for May 9. A valid Inland Fisheries and Wildlife permit is required. Orders may be placed until April 30. 

To order, visit or call 667-8663. 


Climate change discussion  

BAR HARBOR — The next online MDI Science Café program, “Community, Culture and Climate Change,” will be held on Monday, April 11, from 5-6 p.m. 

Join the MDI Biological Laboratory for this online discussion to hear three expert panelists share their thoughts, followed by a moderated Q&A session. 

Pre-register to receive a link to the talk at 


Aquaculture opposition  

JONESPORT — A group of lobstermen, marine harvesters, concerned residents and citizens have formed a group to oppose a land-based fish farm in Jonesport. Kingfish Maine, a Dutch company, seeks to grow yellowtail kingfish (commonly used in food products such as sushi). The planned facility will occupy some 15-20 acres of the 94-acre waterfront parcel of land the company has purchased. If completed, the estimated $110 million facility would produce some 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons (about 13.2 to 17.6 million pounds) annually of high-value yellowtail. 

In a news release from Protect Downeast announcing the group’s formation, the group says that the project will pollute the local waters and ecosystem in Chandler Bay, jeopardizing the existing lobster fishery.  

“The effects of nutrient pollution are well documented,” said organizers. “High nitrogen levels cause ocean acidification, impacts on eel grass and algal blooms.” 

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