Alex Todd is a fisherman. He works with his deckhand, Kenny, on a boat that Alex restored himself. The work is arduous and can be very rewarding, though it does come with its complications.
Alex goes out on the water for lobsters, scallops, fish and shrimp. Lobster regulations affect Alex the most, as that fishery accounts for about 70% of his income. Maine zone laws prevent Alex and fishermen like him from taking traps to other zones. This creates tension between fishermen and conservationists/policy makers who want fewer traps in the water. Alex’s view is that they can’t justify certain limitations on the grounds of stock. He says environmental factors such as global warming have made lobsters overabundant.
One adjustment, made for most all marine life, has to do with the lining on the inside of nets. The mesh has had to be made with larger openings to allow more juvenile fish to escape. This prevents overfishing but decreases sales for fisherman. Adult fish such as redfish make their way through the nets. Similar restrictions have been placed on scallop drags. The size of the opening is required to be larger.
Alex attended the 2015 Maine Fisherman’s Forum in Rockport to address the various limitations and issues that affect fisherman.