'Questioning our Changing Oceans' panel discussion at forum

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 7:30pm

The Maine Fishermen’s Forum will be hosting a fishermen led event focused on fostering a salty discussion around climate change in fisheries. Headlined by Capt. Keith Coburn of the hit show Deadliest Catch and Capt. Buddy Guindon of the new breakout hit Big Fish, Texas, fishermen from around the world have been collected to talk about their experiences on the water and bring to light the issues Maine fishermen need to be thinking about when it comes to a shifting Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

Stemming from the minds of local Maine fishermen, the “Questioning our Changing Oceans” session is focused on addressing the real issues that the fishing industry is experiencing. To foster learning, discussion, and challenging the status quo, this session will include state and national scientists and experts in meteorology and climate change who will be joining our all-star panel of fishermen.

“As a fisherman, I’m seeing things on the water that I have never experienced before, and I have questions about what this means that I can’t easily answer.” said Gerry Cushman, a lobsterman out of Port Clyde and board member for the Maine Fishermen’s Forum “I spend most of my life on the water so the Maine Fishermen’s Forum is one of the few times, as a fishermen, I have the time to focus on the future of my industry. This should be a fun event which will allow us to ask the experts about what we are seeing and if this is really something we need to be worried about.”

The forum board has invited numerous experts to patriciate including: John Mellor of the recently closed California Dungeness crab fishery, Linda Williams of the Western Australia Rocklobster fishery; Todd Gutner, WSCH6; Jon Hare, NOAA; Andy Pershing, GMRI; Carl Wilson, DMR, and Jake Kritzer, EDF, but the real experts are the fishermen who are out on the water experiencing these changes every day.

“We are really excited to be able to host a session like “Questioning our Changing Oceans” at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum” said Kristen Porter, a fisherman out of Cutler. “This event will give us fishermen an opportunity to not only ask questions, but share what they are seeing and experiencing. What do warmer waters mean for lobster? What about cod? Or scallops? Or herring? Could there be benefits? How can Maine fishermen think about their businesses and really start to plan for the future?”

The Questioning our Changing Oceans event is sponsored in part by The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, The Environmental Defense Fund, The Island Institute, and The Nature Conservancy.

This session is free to attend and open to the public. It will be held in at the Samoset Resort in Rockland from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 3.