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Steaming Ahead: August 2016
Our beautiful Maine summer is in full swing. Most lobstermen are busy fishing hard, and we here in the office are hard at work conducting MLA’s summer membership campaign and getting caught up after this year’s hectic round of meetings.
The 2016 lobster industry was off to a great start as the predicted early shed did not materialize. The demand for lobsters has been steady, and the price has reflected the strong position of Maine lobster in the marketplace. Still, it wouldn’t be the Maine lobster industry if we didn’t have some sort of crisis to contend with — this year’s came to us compliments of the herring fishery.
The fish everyone wants
Although lobstermen increasingly fish throughout the year, the bulk of the catch landed in Maine comes in the later summer and fall months. Thus the demand for herring is greatest from August through November. That time also coincides with the period during which herring gather to spawn along the coast. To ensure that the stock remains healthy, spawning closures go into effect sequentially, from east to west, within Area 1A from August 15 to November 3 this year. These closures designed to protect spawning fish further limit fishing opportunities at a time when herring are in high demand.
Pay attention to your immersion suit
Immersion suits, also known as survival or “Gumby” suits, have been around since the 1960’s in their current form and even earlier in simpler forms. Immersion suits are the key reason why fishing fatality rates have dropped in past decades.
Celebrate Camden’s maritime heritage and living traditions at the annual Camden Windjammer Festival. From the great age of sail when coasting schooners were launched in the harbor, through the birth of the windjammer business in the 1930s, to today’s windjammer fleet and elegant yachts, sailing ships have always defined our lovely, vibrant community.
On Friday, watch the magnificent schooners as they maneuver into the harbor, bid on dinners aboard one of the fleet, and then watch a talent show by schooner crews in Harbor Park followed by fireworks over the harbor. The fun continues all weekend with a lobster crate race, a Build-A-Boat contest, fish relay race, nautical skills, displays of maritime activities and history, Chowder Challenge, tours of the windjammers and fun for all.
The 5th annual Harbor Fest will kick off on Labor Day Weekend with a full, 10-day schedule of events. The festival takes place in a variety of locations on the Boothbay peninsula, featuring more than 100 Maine businesses, organizations and individuals. Check out their website for all the events!
AN AUTUMN CELEBRATION ON PASSAMAQUODDY BAY WITH FIBER ARTS, TREE & LOBSTER POUND TOURS, FOOD, BEER AND MUSIC
For almost 30 years, the end of summer in Eastport, Maine, has been celebrated with a festival, a gathering, an homage to our local resources, especially the Atlantic salmon raised in the cold waters of Passamaquoddy Bay. Of course, no community festival is complete without a meal, and the Eastport Salmon & Seafood Festival is no exception. The centerpiece of Salmon Sunday has always been the salmon barbecue. Through the years, the details of the events and the meal — the side dishes and desserts, the musicians, the wine, the servers and cooks — have varied, but the one constant that brings us back year after year is that delicious piece of grilled salmon. We eat under the big tent in a crowd of friends, neighbors and visitors. We look up from our repast and gaze contentedly at the breathtaking view of the Passamaquoddy Bay just a few feet away. Those of us who live here try not to take our stunning surroundings for granted, and we’re happy to share with travelers who are wise enough to step off the beaten path to seek us out. Come for music, arts and crafts, a Fiber Arts Show, galleries, gift shops and museums, locally brewed beers, (wine too), a farmers’ market, flea market, delicious seafood chowders, and a fabulous salmon barbecue dinner.