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Haddock bycatch upsets groundfishermen

November 04, 2008

Working Waterfront
November 2008
By Jennifer Litteral

Lobstermen up and down the coast of Maine this month reported finding large amounts of haddock mixed in their herring bait.

The haddock, caught as bycatch by industrial midwater trawl ships fishing for herring on Georges Bank, was the most seen mixed in with lobster bait to date this year.

Maine Marine Patrol Officer Wesley Dean happened to be in the area and witnessed the October 4 incident in Port Clyde. “The bait delivery truck that I witnessed in Port Clyde was believed to be filled right from the midwater trawler boats in Gloucester,” said Dean.

Roughly 35,000 pounds of herring will support 24 lobstermen from Port Clyde for a week. It takes millions of pounds of herring to supply the entire coast of Maine with bait for the lobster fishery.

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