Fishermen’s Forum 

Fishermen from throughout Maine got together on shore today in Rockport. Seminars, exhibits and a trade show are all part of the 34th annual Fishermen’s Forum, being held at the Samoset.From lobster traps to the floundering economy – This year’s Fishermen’s Forum covers all the issues.”The demise of the ground fish fishery in the state is a very serious issue, there’s a lot of issues around the lobster market with the fall of the stock market last year.” Says Pat White, the President of the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation.Fishermen from across the spectrum came to the forum to attend various seminars, and discuss the current state of the industry.”It’s very important for people to stay educated on everything that’s going on especially with the whale ruling… what will they do to effect us.” says lobsterman Danny Staples.”There are people here trying to get together to talk about the different ways of marketing lobster and what they can do, hopefully to cut back their expenses and fish more profitable.” says White.But it’s not all about business here, the forum is as much about networking and socializing.”I’ve been attending for 20 odd years… It’s a social hour as well, see old friends, that you might have not seen for a year there’s probably very few vendors in here I don’t know.” says Staples.”It gives a good chance for the lobster fishermen to interact.” Says White.There are over a hundred vendors at the forum and they’re selling everything from engine parts to jewelry to lobster traps! … But even the vendors say seeing familiar faces is the best part of this event.”There’s a lot of relationships that’s been made over the years. Besides just selling the product it’s a good social time.” Jerry Wadsworth, a salesman for Friendship Trap Co. explains.But even if fishing is not your forte, the fishermen say the forum is fun for everyone – and open to the public.