ROCKLAND, Maine — Continuing the lost lobster trap recovery efforts that it pursued early this year in eastern Maine, the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation now is turning its sights on ports farther south and west.
GOMLF has scheduled four meetings in January 2011, one for each of the four lobster management zones where it plans to search for lost lobster traps that may have accumulated on the ocean bottom. The foundation hopes to enlist 10 fishermen in each zone — Zones D, E, F, and G — to work two days in state waters in their zone as part of the recovery effort.
The January meetings are for advance planning. They have been scheduled, each one at 6 p.m., for:
Monday, Jan. 10, at the Rockland Ferry Terminal (Zone D).
Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Log Cabin meeting house in Yarmouth (Zone F).
Wednesday, Jan. 12, at the Lincoln County Communications Center in Wiscasset (Zone E).
Thursday, Jan. 13, at the Masonic Hall in Kennebunkport (Zone G).
The recovery efforts will get under way in February, according to foundation officials.
Earlier this year, in Zones A, B and C, fishermen working with the foundation recovered more than 1,100 derelict traps in six days. The two-year project, with assistance from Maine Department of Marine Resources, is being funded by a $200,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The purpose of the recovery effort is to assess the impact of lost gear on other marine species and activities, foundation officials indicated Tuesday in a press release.
“In addition to salvaging or disposing of the recovered gear, GOMLF and DMR will assess the presence of ‘ghost gear,’ record data about its condition, age, and bycatch, and will work with lobstering communities to help establish systems for future gear disposal options,” the statement indicated.
DMR officials also will look into how effective escape vents on the lost traps have been and the impact of derelict traps on lobster and other species, foundation officials said.
Fishermen interested in participating in the project are invited to attend the meeting scheduled for their zone, or they can get more information online at www.gomlf.org.