By Sheila Dassatt

        If you read my article last month, it was titled “Straight On” which was in reply to a reader that apparently disagreed with a lot of my previous articles concerning whales and windmills.  I am not going to devote too much time on this, but I would like to let you know that I haven’t heard a reply back nor do I have a name or return address…

I do appreciate the response of folks that virtually do care about the direction that our fishery is headed.  We have been very busy this past week with folks that want to help our fishery any way that they can.  You are all welcome to send along a guest letter to share how you feel about the issues that we are dealing with these days.

How many of you remember the song “In the Year 2525?” by Zager and Evans, around 1969?  I know that that is a long shot for some, but if you are curious, Google it on YouTube and listen to it.  It talks about all of the things that will be happening in the future and most of it is true now!  Talks about people just taking a pill to get through the day and you can choose your child with a test tube, also whether it is a boy or a girl.  That is just the tip of it.  Basically, we are all going to be disagreeing with one another so much that we will be our own demise.  It is a very interesting song and I have it in my collection of 45rpm records somewhere in my house.  Yes, I’m that dated!

Where am I going with this?  Well, look at the people that invest a lot of money, $3,750.00 to rent two billboards that will run for two weeks each in Massachusetts just to point their finger at the lobstermen.  They are called Mainers Guarding Right Whales.  The billboard asks if your lobster is whale safe and gives a Text safe number for you to check out.  These billboards are along the highway that leads to Maine, so any tourists that are coming to enjoy a Maine lobster dinner will think twice about eating them.

If you are really curious, you might want to check it out and see what they have to say. It just seems that as long as there has been lobstering in the State of Maine, which we are known for, that this did not come from folks that are near and dear to us.  Perhaps they should take this money that they invested to hurt us, and put it in a fund to help us out with all of the expenses that we have to make our gear whale safe.  That would be much appreciated and it would make more sense for better relations.  Help us out, instead of trying to break us for something that we are already working on, such as protecting the whales which we have for years now.  This idea of ropeless gear is very expensive and at this point, would be very hard for our Marine Patrol to monitor such practice.  Follow the money, I guess, someone will get rich with promoting and selling it, won’t they?  I hate to say it, but there is always an agenda with a lot of the alternatives that are pushed at us.

The windmill projects that are also being proposed is said to provide a lot of jobs.  For who?  I have to look at this long and hard and do the best that I can to not over think these things.  This could be a big reason why people are starting to become angry and defensive.  We do not want to be replaced with big business after generations of tradition and fishing along our rugged coastline.  Fishermen have been here since the very beginning of time here, for generations.

I am just trying to make everyone aware of what we are up against with our future. We have been granted ten years to come up with answers for the whales and the windmills. Ten years is not a very long time when you think about it.  It isn’t even the turnaround of a generation.  So during this time, we really need to help each other to come up with solutions to the problems that we are facing.  It would really help if a lot if people that like to protest would leave the anger somewhere else and come on board and help us out.  With the threat every day of the Covid virus and now another one, it doesn’t surprise me that people are living on the edge, it is very frustrating and a little scary.  Maybe the folks that are against us might take a moment to go out on a boat and really see the danger that we face everyday and get to know us a little better.  We’re really not a bad bunch of people.  We all need to survive in this crazy world that we are living in right now, win, lose or draw.

Yes, we do need to protect endangered species, but we also need to protect ourselves in the process.  Perhaps that song that I was talking about isn’t so far fetched after all. Personally, I would like to have our fishery strong and healthy for our next generation. I see the young fishermen and ladies every day and they are all fine young people who would like to keep their future going in a positive direction.  It’s only fair, isn’t it?

Please join in to help protect our industry, now is the time!