ROCKPORT, Maine — Sen. Olympia Snowe had to abandon her plans to attend the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum at Samoset Resort on Saturday due to poor weather.
“She comes every single year. She meets and greets with the fishermen. They cherish the opportunity,” forum organizer Chilloa Young said. “She had every intention of being here, but couldn’t because of the weather.”
Saturday marked the final of three days for the 37th annual event. Young said the forum has been very productive.
“Everyone seems upbeat about talking about what’s going on. Lots of good conversation,” Young said. “This is probably one of our better forums.
“All in all, it was a very productive place for people to meet on neutral territory, and that’s what the forum provides,” she said.
Young said there were 35 seminars during the conference and about 2,000 people attended over the three days.
“I’ve been told my estimates [for attendance] were low,” she said.
The forum also gave away $1,000 scholarships to 23 students on Saturday. Two scholarships came from last minute donors.
“It’s a great thing to be able to do because everyone supports it,” she said.
Some of the seminars were well attended, she said. Fishermen provided valuable feedback to off-shore wind energy presenters.
“They gave lots of feedback and tough questions. Questions they have to go back and answer. It was very positive overall,” Young said. She added that the northern shrimp and scallop management seminars were quite meaningful to the fishermen.
“They were here to give excellent input for the people who make the decisions,” said Young.
The trade show featured more than 100 exhibit booths.
“It’s a great venue for people to put new products out. Ecologically friendly products that fishermen like,” she said.