STONINGTON — With dwindling stocks, limited access, and imprecise management, the groundfishing industry in Eastern Maine seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird. There is, however, a glimmer of hope.
The Downeast Groundfish Initiative, being organized and implemented by the Penobscot East Resource Center (PERC), is a campaign to build a sustainable groundfish industry in eastern Maine. It is based on a management system that will determine on a local scale where fishing efforts should be, known as area management.
The initiative will address areas critical to groundfish life stages to ensure fishery sustainability. In that same vein, the initiative will create accountability in monitoring catch limits and make recommendations based on those figures. Improved scientific data on local marine ecology gathered, as a result of better monitoring, will provide for better management practices.
PERC is creating the Eastern Maine Sustainable Fisheries Trust to ensure that future generations of fishermen have access to the fisheries.
The community supported fishery program instituted in Stonington and Mount Desert Island will play an integral part in the plan.