The Maine Fishermen’s Forum recognized the University of Maine Extension Group for their contributions more than numerous years, and especially throughout the pandemic, when the occasion went virtual. The group received the forum’s Distinguished Service award at this year’s forum to
commemorate these efforts. L-R: Steve Train, Maine Fishermen’s Forum Board of Directors
Jaclyn Robidoux, Maine Sea Grant (MSG) Afton Vigue, Maine Aquaculture Association Natalie
SpRinguel, MSG Dana Morse, MSG Chris Bartlett, MSG Amalia Harrington, MSG Parker
Gassett, MSG. Photo by Mike Young, Maine Fishermen’s Forum.

University of Maine students, researchers, Marine Extension Group members and alumni have been amongst the much more than two,000 participants in the 48th Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport, March 2–4. The annual 3-day occasion brings collectively fishermen, gear suppliers, scientists, government officials and other folks to share information and facts and collaborate on all items fishing: markets, resource status, regulations, the newest in technologies, the atmosphere and much more.

UMaine’s Darling Marine Center, Aquaculture Analysis Institute, Lobster Institute, Maine Sea Grant, and College of Marine Sciences have been amongst the much more than 130 exhibitors at the forum.

“I had so numerous intriguing and exciting conversations with folks at the forum,” stated Lobster Institute assistant director, Chris Money. “Prospective students, members of the sector and neighbors came by to chat — it is a excellent atmosphere to share the University’s ongoing analysis and sources with the broader neighborhood and get feedback. A lot of collaborations are formed as a outcome of informal conversations that commence at the forum.”

UMaine faculty and students attended the occasion to find out much more about Maine fisheries and fishing communities and to share their science. Graduate students Phoebe Jekielek and Kelsey Ward have been amongst the speakers in a session, focused on Maine’s inshore scallop fishery and aquaculture. Fishermen, scientists and other folks engaged in Maine’s marine economy have been operating collectively to fully grasp and assistance the human and ecological dimensions of this fishery and possibilities for culture. The session, co-organized by Jekielek, a senior scientist with Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, and Meggan Dwyer, associate director of UMaine’s Aquaculture Analysis Institute, was a opportunity to reflect on decades of function and to program for the future. 

Lobster Institute director Rick Wahle organized a session on how handling of lobsters can be altered to lessen loss as they are moved from traps, to boats, and then to trucks and airplanes via the provide chain. The session featured analysis findings by professor Damian Brady of the College of Marine Sciences and graduate student Cassie Leeman. A second session focused on lobster science was convened by Maine Division of Marine Sources scientists, mainly UMaine alumni, and incorporated Amalia Harrington from Maine Sea Grant, who shared her function and the function of numerous researchers all through the area funded via the Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative.

Maine Sea Grant has a extended history of supporting the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, obtaining funded the inaugural occasion in 1976 as portion of a collaborative project. In 2021, when the forum Board decided not to host an in-particular person occasion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine Sea Grant’s Marine Extension Group, in partnership with forum Board members and other partners, helped create and host sessions on the internet. They received the forum’s Distinguished Service award this year to commemorate these efforts.

“Our coastal waters are shared by men and women and communities with diverse interests. The Maine Fishermen’s Forum offers an annual setting for conversations about the problems these communities face,” stated Maine Sea Grant director Gayle Zydlewski. “And for us, the forum is an chance to hear straight from the folks we serve.” Zydlewski also serves on the Maine Fishermen’s Forum Board of Directors.

The 2024 Maine Fishermen’s Forum will be held Feb. 29–March two in Rockport, Maine. Registration opens Jan. 1, 2024. Find out much more at 

Speak to: Hannah Robbins,, 207.581.1442 Christina Money,, 207.581.1443

By Editor

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