Lobstermen: NOAA Research Vessel Caused $25,000 in Gear Loss Since 2009

Jun 6, 2014

Some southern Maine lobstermen are upset that a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel is inadvertently cutting their fishing lines and traps.

The Portsmouth Herald reports on Thursday that NOAA's ship is working off the York coast to map the depths for new nautical charts. Mike Sinclair, president of the York Lobstermen's Association, told the paper he estimates NOAA vessels have caused $25,000 in gear losses since 2009. The ships have worked off the York coast four times since then.

The York Lobstermen's Association includes about 50 lobstermen, and other fishermen also fish out of York Harbor. Sinclair says NOAA reimburses lobstermen $80 for each lost trap.

A NOAA official told the Herald that the administration failed to notify Maine lobstermen of a schedule change, and apologizes.