15th Canadian/U.S. Lobstermen’s Town Meeting April 5–6 in Portland

Editor’s note: Story updated March 11.

The 15th Canadian/U.S. Lobstermen’s Town Meeting, hosted by the University of Maine Lobster Institute, will be held April 5–6 at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel in Portland, Maine.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Two Nations, Two Fisheries: Shared Challenges, Shared Opportunities.” Lobstermen, dealers, processors, scientists and policymakers from the Northeast United States and Atlantic Canada, will gather to discuss the status of the lobster resource and the business of lobstering.

The American lobster fishery is currently the most valuable single-species in North America. But in Canada and the United States, this iconic fishery is facing an unprecedented gauntlet of challenges as it enters the third decade of the 21st century. Whether it’s shifting lobster distributions in a warming ocean or a dwindling bait supply, redoubled gear restrictions to protect whales or unpredictable global markets, harvesters, dealers and resource managers need to be nimble to succeed.

With each challenge comes new opportunities, according to Richard Wahle, director of the UMaine Lobster Institute and a research professor in the School of Marine Sciences.

The town meeting format will feature experts from industry, government and academia framing the issues with perspectives from both sides of the border, followed by a moderated discussion from the floor. The meeting will run all day Friday, followed by an evening social, and will conclude at noon Saturday.

Register online or call 581.4095.

The Lobstermen’s Town Meeting, first held in 2004, alternates between the U.S. and Canada each year. The Lobster Institute, a center in UMaine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, is dedicated to engaging the university’s faculty, students and facilities with stakeholders in the lobster fishery of the United States and Canada. More information is online.

Sponsors secured to date include the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, Maine Sea Grant, Inland Seafood, Maine Salt, Maritime Fishermen’s Union, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, and the University of Maine Office of the Vice President for Research.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745