Industry News – June 2017

Alden receives prestigious Hero of the Seas award

WASHINGTON, DC – Robin Alden, executive director of the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (formerly Penobscot East Resource Center) in Stonington, ME was the recent recipient of a Hero of the Seas award from the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards.

The awards gala took place on the evening of May 11 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History here.

“This is a great time for this award,” Alden said.

“Fisheries are at a turning point because climate change is forcing fishery regulators to face the fact that the ocean changes all the time.

Robin Alden.
(Photo courtesy of MCCF)

“Constant change makes real time, on-the-ground, observation so much more important than the old approach of primarily depending upon abundance predictions.

“We – fishermen, scientists, and regulators – have to learn how to learn and act together.”

Alden served for 20 years as publisher and editor of Commercial Fisheries News, was a co-founder of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum and was Maine’s Commissioner of Marine Resources from 1995 to 1997, before co-founding PERC (which has become Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries), in 2003.  /cfn/

Program finalized for international lobster conference in Maine, Jun. 4-9

PORTLAND, ME – Program details have been finalized for the upcoming 11th International Conference & Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management, according to University of Maine marine scientist and conference co-chair Rick Wahle.

Set for Jun. 4-9 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay here, this is the first time the international event has been held in New England and only the second time in the US.

The international conference puts Maine and its coastal economy in the spotlight and its fishery in a global context, says Wahle, one of the so-called renegade biologists in Trevor Corson’s 2004 book The Secret Life of Lobsters.

Forging connections, engaging in a global dialogue, and learning from other scientists have been valuable to Wahle, who has attended six international conferences since 2000.

He’s a natural to co-chair the conference along with Kari Lavalli, a marine biologist at Boston University.

For decades, the UMaine research professor has studied the ecology and fishery of the American lobster.  And, Wahle’s lab at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center in Walpole is the hub for the US-Canadian monitoring program, the American Lobster Settlement Index. (see page 8).

Wahle said this conference offers something for just about everybody with an interest in the commercial lobster fishery.

UMaine President Susan J. Hunter will welcome conference attendees on Jun. 5 and introduce Sen. Angus King (I-ME), who will underscore the importance of international collaboration to the advancement of science and commerce.

Wahle says King is a longtime supporter of Maine’s fishing industry and is knowledgeable about the impacts of the changing climate and world economy on the region’s working waterfront.

Five keynote speakers will highlight scientific sessions.

Jelle Atema, professor at Boston University, will discuss the importance of lobsters as model animals in the broad field of sensory biology and behavior.

Paulo Prodöhl, professor at Queen’s University in Ireland, will discuss the impact of the genomics revolution on lobster research.

And, in his talk titled “Ocean Animals on the Move,” Malin Pinsky, assistant professor at Rutgers University, will talk about consequences of climate-related poleward shifts in species ranges for ecological and human communities.

Jun. 8 will be Industry Day, organized by …

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