Seafood Industry Leaders Come Together in Rockport 

Fishermen usually work independently, but every year a large group of them get together and talk business.It’s the Annual Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport and 2013 marks the 38th year for the event. It’s a time when workers from all aspects of the seafood industry can come together. Coordinator of the Forum, Chilloa Young said “The fishermen get to learn and see people who they only talk to on the radio all year long, so once a year they actually get to see them in person and visit.”It’s the largest forum setting for marine businesses in New England with over 3,000 people attending each year. Professor of Oceanography at St. Joseph’s College of Maine, Mark Green said “There’s a lot of players, a lot of stake holders, and everybody has a say and everybody is important in coming up with a solution.”Fishermen, scientists, politicians and seafood dealers attend up to 30 forums, ranging from ocean acidification to offshore wind energy. Green said these forums can start positive a conversation. “How can I communicate the story better? What can citizen scientist do? Concerned citizens, what measurements might be important that they can do?”Politicians like Governor Paul LePage and Congressman Mike Michaud will be in attendance over the weekend. Researchers said having the opportunity to talk to officials helps them find ways for government funding. The weekend also features a trade show with over 100 vendors and an auction which raises money for an annual scholarship. The organization has awarded families $300,000 over the past 15 years.”The money is given to families whose children and everybody is involved in the seafood industry in one way or another,” said Young. The forum will run from Thursday to Saturday night at the Samoset Resort.