The Fishing Industry

April 22, 2014 WPAC Meeting with the Bristol Fishermen
  • Concerns include:
    • The long term presence of the cable
    • The expansion potential of the wind farm proposal
    • The impact of yet another "hit" to an area already suffering from the loss of the shrimp season  & declining price of lobsters
    • The need for adequate compensation for gear losses, fishing time losses, etc.
    • The proposal to lay the cable "crossways over mountain ridges on the bottom"
    • The time of year the company plans to lay the cable
    • The impact of operation and maintenance activities (boat traffic)
    • The disruptions to the tows in Muscongus Bay
    • The impact of the eddies/vibrations from the turbines on the bottom topography
    • The impact on the herring fishery
    • The disruption to lobster habitat and nursery areas
    • The impact on the Bristol community and its economy
    • The order of the infrastructure installment 
    • The disruption/timeline of the laying of the cable (beyond the 7 day installment period)
    • The effects of corrosion on the turbines, and need for constant repair
  •  Direct impacts include:
    • Entanglement of gear with cable - 
      • One fisherman has been entangled 3 times in the submerged cable off Pemaquid Point (much smaller than MAV's proposed cable).  The entanglement "laid me right over."
      • 2 lobster traps cost $200 - potential monetary loss of entangled gear
      • Another fisherman became entangled and it cost $15,000 before his gear was free.
    • Loss of time, and related productivity -
      • Fishermen can't tow over the cable.  It will take a minimum of 40 minutes to haul up, steam across, and re-set gear.  On a fishing day that is often limited by outside entities, this time adds up.  
    • Loss of fishable area in Muscongus Bay -
      • The area disrupted by the proposed cable is fishable even when its windy/cold because it is in the lee.  In fact, fishermen can still work all day in bad weather because of the unique protection offered by the land surrounding this area.
  • Comments include:
    • The cable will be "in our way forever."
    • "We can't keep losing all the time."
    • "There is no positive thing for us at all.  It is a loss."
    • "We don't want it in the first place."
    • "We can't afford it."
    • "Once they get their foot in the door, what is going to stop them from putting 100 more out there?"
    • "It could sink us."
    • "It's a flawed decision from the start."
    • "[This will disrupt] one of the most intensely fished pieces of bottom in the U.S."
    • "We are losing our livelihood so we might as well be in jail - at least we'd have a roof over our heads."

Lobster Industry Facts
  • Bristol's lobster fishermen who fish out of New Harbor and Round Pond will be affected by MAV's proposed Wind Project.  They are part of Lobster Management Zone D.
    • ZONE D runs from Pemaquid Point to Cape Rosier, and includes New Harbor, Round Pond, and Muscongus Bay,  as well as towns from Bremen, Friendship, Cushing, and St. George, to Rockland and Belfast.
    •  Click HERE for a map of Zone D.
    • Fisherman in ZONE D hold 20% of all lobster licenses in Maine.
      • As of 2013, the Lobster Zone Council recorded a total of 1,130 license holders for Zone D.
      • In 2012, lobster landings for Zone D were 25,759,186 pounds worth $69,401,591.
      • This value represents 20% of the total landings from all 7 Lobster Management Zones.
Shrimp Industry Facts