Boat School, Eastport, Maine
We are asking for permission to manage a sustainable fishery.
1. Where should the boundary be for a Cobscook Urchin Zone?
Bog Brook near the Trescott/Cutler town line.
2. Who Can Fish Urchins Here?
Any Zone 2 license holder can choose the Cobscook zone and then can only fish urchins within the Cobscook zone.
3. Duration of Plan?
Make the plan an "Experimental Fishery". Take 3 years to answer questions & design a permanent approach.
During the experimental 3 years create a Cobscook Urchin Council with representatives elected from the people who fish in the zone. Work to create a balance between advisory & decision-making roles. Cobscook Council deals directly with the Commissioner. The Legislature should authorize the Commissioner to work with CBFA and the Cobscook Urchin Council to establish a broad range of management & research measures through rulemaking.
5. Management Measures To Consider During Three Year Experimental Period.
- Number of Days in Season
Make decisions about Cobscook urchins based on Cobscook data.
DMR says that they decide to increase/decrease number of days according to: DMR Summer Dive Survey, landings reports from buyers, fishermen interviews & catch samples, models, research (reseeding, closed areas, gear testing, larval settlement). Any decisions made on the number of days in the Cobscook Zone should be based on information from the Cobscook area.? DMR should use surcharge dollars from Cobscook to gather Cobscook data. Fishermen should consider keeping a logbook? to be able to document their claims of what is going on in the Cobscook area.
- Tote Limits
Consider a daily catch limit by volume.
- Closed Areas
- Rotating Closed Areas. Need to consider scallop & mussel harvest as well. Closed for repopulating & growth. Opened after a specific length of time or as specific trigger points are reached (population density, size, or roe count).
- "Permanent" closed areas: small areas of spawning sanctuaries around rocks & ledges.
- Areas closed for research, to test reseeding, relocation, spat collection, nursery growout, etc.
6. Gear Modification.
Experiment with developing gear with a lower environmental impact.
7. Conservation Hours
Could be a requirement for a Cobscook license or could be a reward resulting in more days, early access to reopened areas, or other benefits. Could get hours by participating in research projects, helping with video survey/monitoring/ sampling efforts, attending urchin management meetings, or by participating in other management activities approved as having conservation value.