First published in Landings, October, 2015.
Good season on P.E.I.
Fall lobster landings on Prince Edward Island are on par with those of last year. The price, however, is much better. Most lobstermen are receiving $5.25 a pound for canners and $5.75 a pound for market size; both prices have risen a quarter since the season began in August. At $5.25 and $5.75 cents a pound, fall lobstermen are averaging $1.75 more per pound than last year. Fall prices on the island have generally lagged behind spring lobster prices. This year, however, the fall lobstermen are receiving 75 cents more a pound for canners and 50 cents more per pound for markets than the spring lobstermen did at the end of their season.
Searsport dredging permit process halted
The Army Corps of Engineers withdrew its permit application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to dredge parts of Searsport harbor in September.
The Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT), which is co-sponsoring the project, said the withdrawal was likely temporary and that a revised application would probably be resubmitted. The federal agency and MDOT have just ironed out an agreement on matching funds, with each side contributing an additional $150,000 to the application process.
The state would like to improve cargo ship access to Mack Point where the shallowest part of the channel is believed to be about 31 feet deep. The channel has not been dredged since it was first dug in 1964. Since then ships have gotten bigger, in part because of safety requirements such as double hulls, and the channel depth means ships can only come in at high tide. If the channel is deepened to 40 feet, it will allow ships to dock more frequently and not have to wait for a high tide.
DMR recognizes staff members
Department of Marine Resources staff received awards from Commissioner Patrick Keliher during the Department’s annual meeting on Friday, September 11 at the Department’s Boothbay Harbor facility. Marine Resource Scientist Heidi Bray received the Employee of the Year Award for work implementing a new online licensing system; Secretary Specialist Jessica McKay received a Special Commendation for organizing the Department’s move to its new location; and Marine Resource Scientist David Libby received the Manager of the Year Award for serving as Interim Bureau of Marine Science Director after the retirement of previous Director Linda Mercer.
A very L-O-N-G lobster roll
As part of the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival in September, the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association prepared one continuous lobster roll just under 23 meters (75.5 feet) in length. It took almost ten hours to bake and assemble the mighty roll, which required 32 local lobstermen plus a police escort to be carried to the festival’s main tent. About 34 kilograms of lobster meat (75 pounds) was mixed with 11 kilograms of mayonnaise (24 pounds) and 11 kilograms of vegetables. The roll, which beat the previous 22-meter (72.1 feet) record for length held by Shediac, New Brunswick, served 400 people.
After the story made headlines, Michel Boudreau, the president of the Shediac lobster festival, quickly reached out to CBC News to dispute the lobster roll record. “As the Shediac Lobster Festival president … I am proud to report that this year’s lobster roll record was 85 feet, 6 inches which is 26 metres in length,” Boudreau wrote in an e-mail. “I am happy to see that this event has stirred up some friendly competition.” The giant Shediac lobster roll was made — and enjoyed by many— during the town’s July festival.