February 24, 2018
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Robert Alley of Beals Makes Bid for District 138 Seat
Moosabec Lobsterman Has Experience in Fisheries Researc, Administration
By Nancy Beal
Beals native Robert W. Alley, 65, recently announced his candidacy for the Maine House open seat in District 138 (Beals, Jonesport, Jonesboro, Addison, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Cherryfield, Harrington,Marshfield, Milbridge and Whitneyville). A lifelong fisherman and navy veteran, he is also licensed as and has worked as a teacher and school principal.
Besides the experience gained on the water, Alley, who has chaired Beals’ shellfish conservation committee since 1997, has also been involved in fisheries programs on land. He has taken part in clam conservation efforts, collecting, spawning and reseeding softshell clams, and in scallop research in the Moosabec area. Much of the work was supervised by UMM Marine Biology Prof. Brian Beal, who has pioneered such research from his home town of Jonesport to the New Hampshire border and who founded the Down East Institute for Applied Marine Research (DEI) on Beals’ Great Wass Island. Most recently, Beals enlisted Alley and others in supplying seed lobsters, roe from which was raised at DEI from seed to a size large enough to be released into the ocean.
Alley has served on fisheries administrative committees, including the Maine Lobster Zone Council from 2009 to 2012, and the federal Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council, for which he was an alternate for three years. He chaired the World’s Fastest Lobster Boat races in Moosabec Reach for nine years.
After graduating from Beals High School in 1966, Alley enlisted in the navy and did a tour in Vietnam. Mustered out in 1972, he re-enlisted in the naval reserves two years later and retired in 1996. He holds a U.S. coast guard master captain’s license for vessels up to 100 tons.
In 1977 he earned a B.S. in education from the University of Maine at Machias, and a degree in administration from UM-Orono and Thomas College after that. He has taught in Machias, Machiasport and Addison, and was principal at Jonesport Elementary School from 2007 to 2011. He is a member of VFW posts in Harrington and Washington, D. C., the Elks, Knights of Pythias, and the Jonesport Masonic Lodge.
Alley has been married to Hazel (Beale) Alley for 46 years. They have three grown children—Bridgette Beal of Beals, Robert Alley Jr. of Addison, and Jeffrey Alley of Jonesport—five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
If elected, Alley aspires to bring his expertise to the marine resources committee. With an eye also to the cranberry and blueberry industries, boatbuilding and logging, he says he is running to “keep the downeast way of life going and to try to make it better.” He faces a potential June primary run-off against Dana Morris of Harrington.