May 26, 2018
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Comments for: Long waits for Maine lobster licenses prompt review of system

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  • Anonymous

    I guess Maine isn’t open for business after all.

  • Guest

  • Anonymous

    Many of these situations are so horribly wrong.   We have to get this fixed.   Mr. Gray, I hope something can be done about your situation and others like you  to allow you the right to go on fishing on your father’s boat with a license of your own.

    Anyone who is thinking of leaving the industry today should continue to renew their license regardless as who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Let’s get this cleaned up and fast.

  • Anonymous

    Bottom line is: If the system affects me adversely, it is unfair. If the system adversely affects the lobster population or the other guy, I don’t give a hoot.

  • Anonymous

    A wise policy that helps protect the gifts that nature has given us, instead of letting greed wipe it all out.  Though the oceans are massively losing their bounty as it is.

    “If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, by 2050 the populations of just about all seafood face collapse, defined as 90 percent depletion, a team of
    ecologists and economists warns in a study published in Friday’s issue
    of the journal Science.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15532333/ns/world_news-world_environment/t/seafood-could-collapse-experts-warn/

    • Guest

      You’re absolutely wrong in regard to lobster fishing.

  • Anonymous

    The license should be able to be sold with a lobster business associated with the boat and transferred to the next owner of that business. That is the way federal licenses are transferred and that is the way the state of Maine should operate. Not based on anything else. If the business stays in the family it stays in the family and there it should be operated on the basis of a business license not in the name of a single person unless it is a sole proprietor, and family members should be allowed to operate under the sole proprietorship.

    • Anonymous

      When you sell a license it becomes a business and all people are going to think about is the bottom line. the only resone that lobstering has survived is because most lobstermen buy into saving something for the next generation. There a lot of other fisheries that you can’t get into and if there wasn’t any money in lobstering no one would care.

      • Anonymous

         That’s the problem it becomes exclusive to one group of people, who become the good old boy network. No one else has an opportunity to pursue their dream. The industry needs to change with the times and in my book there needs to be marine sanctuaries where species can be preserved to regenerate and migrate into fishing zones. There needs to be aquaculture and fisheries management. there shouldn’t be a fair set of rules  that don’t keep getting changed all the time. Shorten the season, shorten the quota, max the gear requirements all of these regulations keep costing fishermen and the government needs to stop playing around with fishermen’s livelihoods.

  • of course this system is unfair to families with a history in this business… the critieria for a liscense is bordering on archaic and needs to be updated, simpified so that it fair to Maine families that have fished …and yes if I have a license and want to sell the business the license should go with the business….. and if it is a family passing it on to kin, than the license goes with it too… this is foolish not to allow the family line to continue with an ongoing business without having to wait for years… duh

    • Anonymous

      clueless

  • Guest

    The David Cousens Lobstermen’s Association, aka the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, is the socialist organization that ushered in this piece of crap resource management system we’re stuck with right now.  The other major component that came with the license moratorium is the trap limit.  All this did was create an arms race mentality and actually encouraged a number of fishermen who were content with fishing 500 or so traps to start fishing the max of 800.  The industry could go back to the way things were thirty years ago and I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t have a huge influx of new fishermen, not with the cost of a boat, gear, and more limited water access (especially as you work your way to the westard).  You’d also have more guys retiring because they could have the peace of mind knowing that if they really wanted to get another license, they could without the pressure of keeping it and fishing traps.  I say if a guy has the drive to make a go of it, he should be able to.  Hell, we’ve wiped out the lion’s share of natural lobster predation.  That’s part of the reason that annual catches keep breaking records.  Besides, we’re farming them, not fishing them.  Put the bait out and they come, just like birds to a feeder.  The whole friggin access system is about as un-American as you can get.

    • Anonymous

      The trap limit came from the federal goverment and the “piece of crap resource management” came from Robin Alden. Truth be told  david cousens would like a 400 trap limit. If we had had a license moratorium at the same time as our trap limit we wouldn’t be in this mess. Something else to thank robin for. 

      • Guest

        There was definitely a lot of pressure from the feds to implement the trap limit, but it was the state, under Robin’s watch, that caved.  Maine has no balls unlike Virginia who told the ASMFC to jam it on a number of issues.  I’m all for giving “just” David Cousens a 400 trap limit.  That’s all the smug little puke deserves in my book.  I still firmly believe that the trap limit created an arms race mentality.  I base that on just from talking to different guys.  Also, my first Class I license only cost $10.  Now for a Class II license with 800 tags its $735.  That’s friggin ridiculous!  There really does need to be a better way for new guys to enter the fishery.

        • Anonymous

          I agree with most of you say. How do you let more poeple in and still bring the overall number of traps down? We must let the kids in because they are the future. Since the feds pay over 50% of DMR’s budget they can’t really say no to them.

          • Guest

            “How do you let more poeple in and still bring the overall number of traps down?”

            Good question.  I wish I knew the answer.  I do know that we need to protect the resource.  I don’t believe that we can fish them to extinction, but we certainly can fish them to the point where it’s not economically viable for most guys, which in turn isn’t good for anybody.  Trying to honor people’s freedom and liberty to do something they want to do, while still keeping the industry healthy is tough, and not something that any two fisherman will have the same ideas on.

          • Anonymous

            I really think that you need to let  the kids in because that is what makes peolpe buy into saving for the next generation.  When you start selling licences or going just for the money we will end up like every other fishery And you know how they are doing.

  • quit yer whining

    Until you have spent days working on a commercial fishing boat I suggest the rest of you refrain from making comments that clearly show ignorance.

    • Anonymous

      spoken like a true bully…even here in the county we would have a one on one chat

    •  Commercial fishing boats go out to sea for weeks and months at a time. I have watched lobster men check their traps and looks to me like they go home after they are done are you saying they go out and spend WEEKS at sea??????? I didn’t think so. Apples and oranges argument.

      • quit yer whining

        Well John like I said until YOU have done the work please kindly refrain from comments that you have no clue about. A lobsterman goes day fishing yes count the days he goes from 4 am till 4 pm!

        You seem to be suffering a Discovery Channel Deadliest Catch overload here! 

  • Guest

    Of course the lobstermen that have a license and make a profit now are going to dispute that the system is broken. As a non lobsterperson…………I know it’s broken. One should be able to get a license for recreational(like they use to) and one should automatically get one if they have done an apprenticeship. I recommend looking at and changing those rules/laws. Most folks don’t have that kind of job security.

    • Anonymous

      If you give everyone a license how do you reduce the over all number of traps. We as a industry have been told that we have to do that. This is why if you don’t know what you are talking about you should keep your thoughts to your self.

      •  Translation “we like our monopoly just the way it is thank you very much”.

    • Guest

      Who says you can’t get a recreational license?

      Job security?  Yeah, I suppose you’re right.  We can go to haul anytime we want, but operating costs go up every year.  Boat price, not so much.

  • Anonymous

    The current limited entry system is working just fine and has a great deal to do with the sustainability and success of the fishery. You must reduce the effort, not increase it, to maintain sucess in future years. There are a great number of  license holders that have held their licenses for many years and have never ever  put a trap in the water. They renew their license and buy tags every year. It’s a family and generational thing. They feel they are entitled. If you get rid of the dead beat free loaders, people on the waiting lists will get their licenses sooner. How would you feel if you had been waiting years and were near the top of your waiting list and someone like the person mentioned in the article just bypassed you because his stepfather has a boat and a license. The system is not broken. Ah the hell with it……….give everybody a license and the fishery will be wiped out  just as the elver fishery will be and the urchin industry is. The lobster industry is all but dead from Massachusetts south. It was greed and poor management that caused that problem.

    • Anonymous

      Wow!!! Someone who knows what they are talking about. Very rare here.

  • Anonymous

    The system was not done to preserve the lobster population or the fishing villages. It was done solely to protect and enhance  the incomes of those with licenses, driven entirely by greed. . Lobstermen are not like farmers who own and cultivate their own land. They operate in public waters and have a license to take what is arguably public property, for their own, and nobody else’s, financial benefit .
      An overhaul of the system, opening up the resource to all citizens of Maine, is long overdue.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you…most, if not all lobstermen want that fishery to themselves and will fight tooth and nail to ensure they have a big house and new pick up every year.

  • Anonymous

    The system is rigged towards the Lobster men and their families. Any other Mainers might as well forget it. This is clear discrimination and perpetuates Lobster Fishermen Families thinking that they own certain parts of Maine’s Ocean. The state has set up Dynasties Of Lobster Fishermen Families through discrimination.

    • Guest

      Trust me, the “dynasties” were there long before limited entry.

      • Anonymous

        Ayuh.

    • Guest

       oh pluezz. More ignorance from someone who knows nothing and hates Maine.

  • Anonymous

    seems to me if the resource can support it let these guys fish. Greed is not cool.

  • Anonymous

    Where the committee is farming out a contract for a review of the license practices there must be another lawmakers company or relative that needs a little work to hold them over untill the next contract is put out.Why cant the committee revamp the way it works themselves and save the taxpayer some well needed budget money.    

  • Anonymous

    Back in the late eighties my brother in law moved to the harpswell , cundy’s harbor area. He fell in love with life on the water and got to be friends with a couple of the locals. But it took nearly three years befor his traps stopped be cut lose. It takes a while but he paid his dues so to speak and became one of the local fisherman. Untill the day he went overboard he worked the waters in that area and felt the same as the rest of the locals about intruders in that area.

  • Everyone thinks this is a monopoly. The licenses are passed out as favors to the well connected and they they in turn pass them on to their kin. That is the perception tell me where I am wrong.

  • Anonymous

    the system is broken it is monoplized lets cut everybody to 200 traps and get 12 weeks a year to fish like the canadians do and if somebody wants to make the investment of buying a boat and gear give them a licence and keep them off welfare

  • Anonymous

    This is a public resource and others should be allowed to harvest lobster as well as those who have held on to their licenses and not fished in years. DMR caters to a certain few and by doing so they take care of DMR by playing politics with the legislature. This small group of lobsterman speak for the whole state and do whatever they are told by DMR to lobby the MR committee as well as the Governor’s office. If you think because they have been told to look at the entry system and make suggestions to fix it, you also need to realize that they will only go through the motions and that greedy group (David Cousens included) will be sure nothing changes to allow folks to start taking their.”bugs”. Think about it,why would they say the system is broken? They don’t want you or anyone else fishing for lobster, they are making money hand or fist, even though they cry poverty, do you think they want anyone else getting a taste of their poverty? The system is so screwed up it isn’t funny but don’t count on anything changing

  • EB

    Here is my opinion. I do believe this issue needs some good looking at. I have friends who have sterned all their lives and made a bad decision not to do the apprenticeship when they were younger. Now they wish they had their license after all these years in the same industry they’ve always been in but don’t even think about getting a license because of the difficulty and long wait to do so. This is unfair to people who have always lived in the State and have always paid their taxes. I think we need to reward everyone who was born here, always lived here, always worked here, and always paid their taxes. I do have the fear that this may deplete our “lobster supply” and my opinion to that is we need at least one lobster hatchery in every zone. Yes, sounds like alot of money but hey, we throw allot around anyway and this would probably be the best investment the State would ever make. Who knows, maybe the State could provide enough incentive for some sort of privately operated hatchery. Let’s at least base this on a lifetime residency in Maine. Or at least increase the number of years to even 5 or 10 before you can apply…But no waiting line. It’s a tough choice though because if you have lived here and lobstered all your life you should have done the apprenticeship. That’s been out there, people should pay attention to it, myself and many others worked long and hard days through it. We earned it! Why should anyone else get it any easier? It’s like flying, the part 91 program. You need 250 hours to get your commercial license period. The Feds aren’t going to cut that back just for you.

    • Anonymous

      Its not just like flying becuase with the FAA when you complete your hours you get a license. With the DMR when you complete your hours you go on a waiting list that will take 40 years to get to you. When this system was inplemented the idea was to protect the lobster stock. Back then the yearly catch was under 30 million pounds. Now it is over a 100 million pounds with essentially static effort and the system is being used as a tool to protect the bank accounts of fisherman. This was not its intended purpose.

      • Anonymous

        Trap numbers have gone up so the effort is not” static”.  I would have to look but have to thing in 97 the catch was higher than 30 million pounds. Do you think that it would be a good idea if we had twice the fishermen and thier cauch dropped by half or would catching 200 million pounds be good for the industry?

        • Anonymous

          you are correct it was 47 million in ’97, so it has more than doubled. The resource is healthy. One could argue if an increase in trap tags actually represents an increase in effort. The truth is nobody really knows. The only fact is the only zone with decreased effort in Zone C and it is open.

      • EB

        Good point there Brian! It certainly shouldn’t take that long by any means. My concern is the possibility that they could, potentially, make it too easy. As I say, the rest of us who did the apprenticeship playied our cards right, playied by the rules, and did our time. Just as everyone in the furture should to some degree.

        • Anonymous

          Some folks played by the rules and got caught by subte changes made over the years. The program was never designed to shut these folks out, but it happened. I dont think too many folks are arguing for wide open entry, but there are problems with the current system that should be addressed.

      • Anonymous

        This greedy group claims they are managing the lobster resource! That’s a good one, when the total catch was in excess of 100 million pounds! Does DMR really think they are protecting the resource or is it more like – protecting a group of fisherman who think its their right to catch as many lobsters as they can. One hand is taking care of the other and nothing will change as long DMR keeps on protecting this chosen few – NOT the lobster resource.

      • Anonymous

        8…that is eight new people were allowed in to the fishery this year!

  • quit yer whining

    You stick to growing those potatoes County BOY and I will stick to fishing! 

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