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Congratulations to the Maine Fishermen’s Forum on Forty Successful Years

Mike Pentony (GARFO) and Dr. Bill Karp (NEFSC) take questions at Listening Session with Fisheries Leadership - Credit NOAA

Forty years ago, visionaries in Maine saw the potential benefits in bringing fishermen, scientists and managers together in a neutral setting to discuss fisheries issues.  They recognized that bringing these groups together in Rockland, Maine during the first weekend in March (picked because of its historically poor weather) would encourage a much needed dialogue on science and regulatory issues that impact the regional commercial fishing industry.  The fact that this forum is still going strong after four decades is testament to the strength of that vision, and to the ongoing guidance of the Forum organizers.  Most importantly, it has created a sense of community that now reaches beyond the borders of Maine.

NOAA Fisheries has been an active participant in this forum for a few decades. Typically, the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and Northeast Fisheries Science Center host informational seminars on current management and science issues, and also staff booths at the trade show.  In recent years, NOAA Fisheries held a listening session with leadership from the Regional Office, Science Center and Headquarters.  This year was no different as NOAA leadership held a well attended listening session in which they responded to questions and listed to concerns on topics ranging from Gulf of Maine cod to fisheries observers. Regional Office and Science Center staff also participated on panels concerning electronic monitoring and Gulf of Maine cod.  Lastly, Regional Office and Science Center staff supported two booths that provided educational materials and information on a variety of topics ranging from updates on regulations and cooperative research projects, to information about our fisheries observer program.

NOAA Fisheries would like to congratulate the Maine Fishermen’s Forum on 40 years of bringing the fishing community together in a collaborative and fun setting.  The forum is a great opportunity to work together to support our region’s fishermen and fishing families. We appreciate our many years of partnership with the Forum and hope to continue this partnership in years to come.  For more information about the forum, go to: www.mainefishermensforum.org.