Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Yesterday's Storm

Today was an entirely different kind of experience that I was able to share with Fisheries Extension Specialist, Gabby Bradt, and Fisherman Lee Schatvet (LJ).  Gabby, LJ and a local nonprofit have worked together on the Marine Debris to Energy project. LJ has been a great example of a fisherman doing his part to clean coast lines by using his boat, time, fuel and brawn to remove marine debris and derelict fishing gear. Our adventure started on the docks of Rye Harbor at 4:45am... thank goodness for coffee. One of the projects that Gabby is currently working on, The NH Lobster Bands Pilot Project,  involves the claw bands seen on lobsters in markets.  The bands project is a combination project that brings together marketing of NH Fresh and Local lobsters and marine debris removal projects with 5 lobstermen. More information on the project can be found at "www.nhseafood.com/bands".
The bands- Keep an eye out for them!
To observe the bands being used for the first time, Gabby and I were able to accompany LJ on the F/V Yesterday's Storm as he hauled gear and collected his catch.  I was amazed by how LJ could monitor and maintain so many different tasks at once from baiting traps, to running the traps, measuring the lobster, banding the claws, and running the boat:
 LJ running a trap down the deck  
Banding the claws.
Seeing how demanding the work is motivates me to remain involved in the Fresh & Local marketing campaign. These fishermen work so hard they deserve that relationship with the community to keep their catch local.  Keeping the catch local is better for the fishermen, the economy, the environment and ultimately the community as well- who doesn't want fresher fish?! The experience was fantastic and I hope to be able to assist Gabby further on this great project.

The catch.

Trying out being a lobsterman, definitely a challenge but an awesome experience!

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