Fishermen from across the state will be heading to Rockport this weekend for the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum.As Meghan Hayward tells us, a lot of folks return each year to see the friends they’ve made in the past.It’s a chance for fishermen to mingle with others in the industry and learn about the latest equipment.And it’s become a popular yearly event for many.”Oh I wouldn’t miss it. It’s the fishermen and the people relating with the fishermen in the industry. I’ve never had as much fun in my manufacturing business as I have since since I got to know the fishermen community.”Those who attend say it’s important for them to have a forum like this. “They’re seminars that are very valuable. It brings the things together, the issues together and the fishermen can act as one.”Ron Thomas of RE Thomas Marine Hardware in Hancock has attended the forum for the past six years.”We’ve had numerous sales. I won’t say it’s in the big percentages but we’ve probably picked up on a year’s sale 5 or 6 percent from the show.”Donny Favaloro of Rose’s Marine Service comes all the way from Massachusetts. “We love the people up here. We do a lot of business up here. We buy a lot of stuff from the companies that exhibit here.”Favaloro says it’s easier to make a sale when folks can see the products up-close, as opposed to on the web. “A lot of the fishermen need to get there and see, touch and feel things first hand.”Besides the exhibits, several different lectures will be taking place throughout the forum.Some of the topics being discussed include ocean energy and wind power, aquaculture and changes in scallop management.For a complete list of all the events and times and locations visit their website www.mainefishermensforum.org.