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Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
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November 6, 1984     Quoddy Tides
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November 6, 1984
 

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9 November, 1984 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 15 I Regulations on scallop/lobster conflict The Maine Department of Marine Re- sources has promulgated regulations in an attempt to minimize conflicts between scallop draggers and lobster fishermen by segregative fishing activity by gear types and seasons. The regulations prohibit night-time scallop dragging in Maine's territorial waters before January 1 ; prohibit the use of chain sweep scallop drags in excess of 8 feet, 6 inches in Maine's territorial waters prior to January 1 ; prohibit the use of rock scallop drags in excess of 10 feet, 6 inches within the territorial waters each of Schoodic Point, Winter Harbor, Hancock County to the U.S.-Canadian boundary, prior to December 1; prohibit fishing for, o(taking scallops with any type of scallop drags, north and west of the Lubec-Campobello Bridge, except with chain sweep scallop drags not ex- ceeding 8 feet, 6 inches prior to Novem- ber ! 6 (now changed , with emergency measure prohibiting any dragging for the scallops in the area prior to November 16); and-specify certain areas (see chart) in which scallop dragging is prohobited prior to November 16 and December 1, respectively. These measures are designed to permit limited scallop dragging in the fall by taking into account the autumn emigration patterns of lobsters. Further information regarding this regulation may be obtained by contact- ing Robert Lewis, Dept. of Marine Re- sources, Hallowell, Maine. Telephone (207) 289-2291. ALL READY TO GO are scallop draggers at the Eastport breakwater on October 31st, waiting for the season to open the next day. After 5 days scalloping was closed in Cobscook Bay, but the season will reopen on November 16th. (Quoddy Tides Photo] Scalloping closed in Cobscook Bay until Nov. 16 by Edward French Spencer Appolonio, the Commission- er of Marine Resources, in an emergency ruling, prohibited the taking of scallops with any type of scallop drags north and west of the Lubec-Campobello bridge, as of midnighf of Monday, November 5th. The ban covers the areas of Cobscook Bay and the St.Croix River. These areas had opened on the 1st of November, despite a petition signed by 24 area fish- ermen that it not be, thus giving fisher- men five days of scalloping. As of mid- night of Thursday, November 15th, these areas will be reopened. The reason for the closing, according to Appolonio, was that there was an un- usually high concentration of fishing vessels that threatened "imminent deple- tion of the stock." In such cases the Commissioner has statutory authority to close the area. On November 1st, the first day of the season, a Department of Marine Re- sdurces plane counted 37 boats scallop- ing in Cobscook Bay. A number of boats from the westward had joined the fleet from Eastport and Lubec, since most of their good scalloping grounds are closed until November 6th, and some areas won't be open until December 1st, under the new regulations adopted by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The regulations were passed to prevent conflict between scallop draggers and lobster fishermen who might still have their traps in the water. According to Major William Pinkham, Chief of the Marine Patrol, the Patrol boarded 19 boats in Cobscook Bay on Saturday, November 3rd, and all the scallopers they talked with felt the area was being overfished and that it should be closed. Another, though less important, rea- son for the closing was that some Lubec scallop draggers had rock drags and weren't allowed to fish. Under the new regulations only draggers with chain sweep drags (not exceeding 8 feet, 6 inches) are allowed to fish in Cobscook Bay prior to November 16th. The De- partment of Marine Resources felt it was unfair that those boats with rock drags were left out while other boats Olclman . Cross Is L,bby Is Dyer PI. NOVI- NOV 15 MACHIAS NOV 15 - NOV 30 EggRock Long II . . 4 / NOV 15 - NOV 30 Isle Au Houl AREAS CLOSED TO SCALLOPING during November. Areas seaward of the innermost line are closed until November 16th, ?. Areas outside the second line are closed until December 1st. Areas north and west of the Lubec-Campobello bridge are now . closed until November 16th. .- J were fishing. Before the scallop season opened, many area fishermen had asked the De- partment not to open the area until the 16th. They felt if the regulations then proposed by the Department were pass- ed, boats from the westward would come to the area and would put too much pressure on the Bay's scallop stocks. The Department, however, decided to open the area on November Ist, with oy a drag-size limit, because they had received some opposition to closing it. At a meeting late last winter, according to Appolonio, area fishermen has insist- ed Cobscook Bay be kept open, al- though that was before they knew of the regulations that proposed to close other parts of the coast. More recently, Appolonio had received a few calls from scallopers asking for the area to be kept open because it was important for them as their source of income. Since most of the boats in the area are older and can't travel to other parts of the coast to fish, opening on the 1 st would give them a chance to make some money before the 16th. Also, since there was little gear conflict in the Cobscook Bay area, Ap- polonio had felt the area should remain open. Donny Holland, a scallop fisherman from Pembroke, is one of the scallopers who called Appolonio telling him he felt the area was being overfished and should be closed until the 16th. Holland points out that it is actually only a small area that is being fished, since none of the boats were working the St. Croix River and only certain parts of Cobscook Bay were being dragged. According to Hol- land, "it only took four hours to clean the Pembroke River", an area he says usu usually lasts 3 or 4 weeks. "If all the boats that were here fished for a month, it would take six months of work away" from the scallopers in this area. He has nothing against boats from the westward coming here to fish, but feels there were just too many boats fishing. He estimates there were about 17 boats from the westward fishing here. There are about 15 scallop draggers in the Eastport area (including Perry and Pembroke), and per- haps ten in Lubec. The boats from the westward left on the 6th, though a few may return on the 16th. ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN THE QUODDY TIDES