Lobstermen Exchange 

Maine fishermen got a chance to mingle with other lobstermen from all over the world today in Ellsworth.As Meghan Hayward tells us, it’s a chance for all of them to learn some tricks of the trade.”We’ve been really challenged in Maine just talking about the issues facing us. There’s a lot of fear about change and we at MLA were a little frustrated because I think fishermen are truly facing some hard times.”So the Maine Lobstermen’s Association decided to host a lobstermen’s exchange and bring fishermen from across the world to maine.Some came from as far away as Ireland, New Zealand, and West Australia.”It’s been fantastic. I think we’re learning just as much as some of the guys here. And it’s always good to know what your oppositions are up to and thinking about doing. I think we’ve opened a few eyes here in Maine.”Organizers say in these tough times, it’s important to see what other regions are doing and what is working for them.”A lot of what works in other places won’t work here. But I think there are bits and pieces about how people approach the fisheries that we could really learn and maybe create our own ideas that would work for us.”Something that’s been frustrating for Maine lobstermen is finding out what others are getting paid compared to them.”We are not getting what we should be getting paid for our lobsters. Last year averaged less than $3 a pound and our counterparts are getting just in Ireland $9 a pound or if we got to Australia or New Zealand upwards of 25-dollars.”The lobstermen from away say they’ll be taking back a better knowledge of the various industries.”Oh when I leave here, I’ll be giving my advisory board a lot of information we hope to use in the future.”But the one thing they all have in common.”I think that at the end of the day, we’re all fishermen at heart and we enjoy very similar things and we all love the sea.”