The organizers of the 2021 Maine Fishermen’s Forum are canceling the event. Organizers decided that this year dangers posed by the pandemic and state mandates on facility capacity made it impossible to schedule this time out.
“The fact that we could bring so many groups of harvesters, management, science and enforcement together every year for a conference and we’re not going to do it this year is very disheartening,” says Long Island lobsterman Steve Train, the forum’s president.
Train says the board considered a postponement from the event’s usual timing of three days in late February or early March, but decided it would be unwise to compete with the opening of springtime fisheries. He adds that the forum does have funds to continue its scholarship program for immediate family of Mainers in the seafood industry, and for now, at least, plans to stage the conference again in 2022.
The decision to cancel breaks a 45-year streak of bringing thousands of fishermen and others to Rockport’s Samoset resort.