DMR, Scalloper Settle Their Spat

ELLSWORTH — A disagreement over how the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) set the upcoming scallop season that escalated to an angry confrontation and a demand that Deputy Commissioner David Etnier be formally disciplined has apparently been resolved.

Southern Maine scallop diver Brian Preney and Etnier clashed at an Oct. 18 meeting of the Scallop Advisory Council (SAC) in Ellsworth. At issue was DMR’s decision to shut down the fishery on some Thursdays and Fridays — including those in the week before Christmas Day — in exchange for several weekend fishing days requested at public hearings by some recreational and part-time scallop fishermen.

Preney charged that DMR ignored the SAC recommendation on fishing days for the season that begins Dec. 15. An explanation by DMR Resource Manager Togue Brawn that the change was made after DMR received comments at a public hearing didn’t satisfy the diver.

Preney grew heated when Etnier tried to defend the department’s actions, as did the deputy commissioner. Both men raised their voices, not merely to be heard.

Although apologies were exchanged before the SAC meeting ended, Preney later e-mailed DMR Commissioner George Lapointe to demand that Etnier be fired or disciplined. The next day, Lapointe forwarded the complaint to the department’s human resources office for investigation.

Last week, Lapointe advised Preney that the investigation had been completed and that the matter was closed.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.


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