Students enrolled in the Spring 2019 at College of the Atlantic called Fisheries, Fishermen, and Fishing Communities wrote some great stories about Downeast Maine’s fisheries, and we are thrilled to share a number of them here.
“Where It All Starts” is a short documentary centered around working waterfronts in Maine and their socio-cultural importance in coastal communities. Produced by College of the Atlantic graduate student, Giulia Cardoso, the documentary looks at the working waterfronts of Steuben, Boothbay Harbor and Northeast Harbor through the eyes of local fishermen, while contextualizing the significance of such spaces at the State level through interviews with representatives of Maine Sea Grant and Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. Reliable access to the water is key to any fisherman’s livelihood, but on the coast of Maine working waterfronts are more than that – they are the heart of communities and a place to come together.
Alewives and Elvers at Somesville Mill Pond is a short educational video created by a College of the Atlantic student, Annaleena Vaher, as a final Project for her Fisheries, Fishermen, and Fishing Communities class. The video explores how alewives and elvers migrate from Somes Harbor to Mill Pond, to eventually reach Somes or Long Pond. It looks into how the Somes dam affects the run both on land and underwater. The video also focuses on monitoring work that the Somes-Meynell Sanctuary conducts in order to restore the population of sea-run alewives. It is born out of curiosity and deep respect towards both species. Somesville Mill Pond is a site on the Trail.
How Lobsters Consumed Herring
Imagine you and your family are visiting Maine for the first time. Everybody is excited to taste the local food, but you are especially craving the quintessential Maine delicacy. You go to a seaside shack and are given a bright red bib that says “Let’s Get Crackin!’’ You are salivating while your server comes and sets down a small, oval tin. With a crack of the tin, you reveal six sardines nestled inside with a glob of mustard acting as a blanket. “I have never tasted sardines this good!” SEE MORE
Law enforcement, marine resources and community Downeast
As students in COA’s Fish, Fish, Fish class, we were given the opportunity to interview various members of fishing communities. If asked about who makes up fishing communities before taking the class, our list likely answer would have consisted solely of fishermen. Through our interviews we were exposed to many other actors as well, such as processors, aquaculturists, and the focus of this blog— wardens and marine patrol. SEE MORE
Rockweed: a growing industry potentially cut short.
Picture it. You’re on the coast of Maine, walking along the shore. It’s foggy. The waves crash and fill the air with briny aroma. The rocks are slick and covered in long fronds of seaweed, deep green and knotted with air bubbles. Believe it or not, that seaweed–rockweed–has recently caused some pretty heated legal debates. SEE MORE
Growing out: expanding perspectives of aquaculture in Downeast Maine. We are going to share stories from our experiences visiting four different farms in Downeast Maine and talking with aquaculturists. We found that aquaculture ranges from small to large-scale operations along the coast of Maine, there are a variety of different practices and species grown, and that each individual we talked to has unique motivations for having an aquaculture business. In conjunction with one another, all of these things create an array of perspectives on the industry, even when just focusing on the aquaculture company owners’ side of the story. SEE MORE
A Visit to the Peter Grey Hatchery in East Machias, Maine
We are greeted at the door by Brett Ciccotelli, a fisheries biologist for the Downeast Salmon Federation. Ciccotelli leads us through a glass door into a room filled with the sound of quietly whirring pumps and running water. This is the hatching area of the hatchery. Tall varnished wooden boxes sprouting white PVC pipes pour constant streams of water into large, deep plastic pools half covered by white wooden boards. It’s hard to see at first, but as our eyes adjust we can make out hundreds of tiny fish, only about an inch long, sitting on a white disk at the center and bottom of the tank. The water, like the East Machias River outside, is not clear but a dark brown, stained with tannins from leaf litter. SEE MORE