Maine Lobster Zone C Council Meeting Minutes
Zone C Meeting Minutes
Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery
January 26, 2010 1:30 p.m.
Introduce new member- Shannon Dyer- Vinalhaven
Approval of Minutes- April 6, 2009 & August 3, 2009
April 6 -motion to accept - unanimous
August 3- motion to accept- unanimous
Laura Ludwig - Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation- Derelict gear retrieval project-
Little funding for project -$200,000 for two years. Try to do one harbor in each zone and get 100 traps from each spot.
Discussion- Will environmentalists use this information against us? Not sure what they will find. Pretty small scale project and hard to get conclusions for whole state; still doing floating rope exchange. Trying to get a rope recycling program set up.
Deirdre Gilbert- proposed bills- DMR Legislation
LD 1560 -Eliminate 3 trap trawl limit outside Hancock County. Make it into rulemaking to enable zone councils to do what they want. Trawls larger than 3 from state waters to federal area. Allows zone councils to decide. Motion to support bill- all in favor
LD 1584- Dealers can only buy from licensed harvester. Have to write down license number for each person they buy from. For all species. Effects mostly shellfish. No vote either way.
LD 1593- Act to amend lobster meat laws. Maine processors at a disadvantage to Canada. Can’t produce mutilated lobsters- claws, tails, knuckles etc. and Canada can. Law would make a new processor license. Doesn’t really affect harvesters. Motion to support bill- all in favor.
LD 1604- Act to clarify laws for public safety and welfare. Commissioner able to close areas when there is any conflict. Can now only close areas because of gear conflict. Motion to oppose bill - 5 yes to oppose and 2 to not oppose and 2 abstain
Ocean energy and marketing-
Designate up to five sites for ocean energy. DEP & DMR designate areas. Boon Island- York, Damarscove and Monhegan. Not an issue for Zone C.
Lobster Task Force- Need to redo lobster promotion. Need to spend a lot more, $6-10 million dollars. Would like to tax landings 5-10 cents a pound. Harvesters worried that they will pay the tax and dealers will make the extra money. May go to legislature next year.
LAC update- Dan MacDonald
September- meeting- Herring issue- Cut in bait quota result in shortfall?
-reduce trap limit
-cut out days to haul during the week
November LAC- Meeting
Herring issue again. Want to have meeting at Civic Center.
Talk about gear conflicts. Marine Patrol has had some good cases but can’t get convictions. Ideas? People think 3 years is too long to loose a lobster license?
January meeting - want to talk about wet storage problem. Many guys say it’s cheaper to leave traps out then take them up. State would like to increase fines. Usually suspend license after second offense.
There are stricter penalties now for offenses - Example- 5 shorts were $125 now $1000
Mandatory suspension on second offense
ASMFC- LCMT 2008-2009 limited entry on Federal Area 1 Permits. Want to limit increased effort from ground fishermen getting into lobstering. As of Jan 2009 - persons had to have a permit with history and trap tags from 2004-2008 with EEZ on them.
Town Meeting Lobster Institute U.S. Canada Portland March 26-27
Zone A- Maybe take Fridays off June- Sept. Not much support.
Zone B- Wants to not haul on Saturday and Sunday- June thru September- only if it’s state wide. Will be sending referendum to rest of zone. Stop fishing at 4 p.m. June- Sept. Everyday.
Zone G - Want to come in at 4 p.m. each day.
Herring Issue Discussion
May not be as bad as it is thought, may be worse. Didn’t catch their entire quota last year in certain areas. Bait was scarce this fall and other baits sources were used but there’s not enough to make up herring shortfall.
Steve Robbins- Herring issue is not going away. Going to be a problem for a long time. Need to send letter to commissioner, representatives, governor etc. Something like- We feel we need more representation and that this is a very serious issue- Zone council in favor of signing a letter Steve Robbins write a draft?
Limited entry- 17 new licenses in the state. Lost? What was the change in Zone C? Number of retired vs. new licenses. We’re not closed so not sure.
B&C double tagging vote on in March.
District representative’s reports- Quiet everywhere.
Gear Density Logs- sent out with licenses. Not mandatory. A lot of guys thought it was. State got quite a few responses. Need as much info as possible on vertical lines to deal with whale issue.
Old business- Meet more often.
Scallop license discussion. If you didn’t get a scallop license by April 30, 2008 you can’t get one. A few zone members either had problems themselves or knew of other people who didn’t know about closure and couldn’t get a scallop license.
Next meeting late April on North Haven?