ROCKLAND — More than 150 members of Maine’s dedicated seafood industry and community members congregated at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, Oct. 4, to listen to each candidate for Maine’s governor explain their views on the future of the industry under their administration. Questions, posed by industry associations and audience participation, covered critical issues the workers of the coast are facing such as waterfront preservation, ocean energy development, herring reductions, government appointments, and workforce issues.
The participating candidates were Alan Caron, Independent; Janet Mills, Democrat; Terry Hayes, Independent; and Shawn Moody, Republican.
Many left the venue with a better sense of what all the candidates would offer as governor and several commented that they may consider changing their vote come November 6, according to a news release from the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association.
“It was a fantastic event and a really great learning opportunity for everyone who was there or watched at home,” said Port Clyde fisherman Gerry Cushman, who was quoted by the association. “Some candidates really surprised me. They did the work to educate themselves on the issues and I’m impressed. They all seemed to recognize that [the seafood industry] matters to Maine’s future.”
In addition to the live audience at the Strand Theatre, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association’s live stream of the forum has garnered over 1,300 views since the event occurred. Tenant’s Harbor fisherman, Tad Miller, and his wife watched from the comfort of their home.
“We thought it was informative and well done overall,” he said, in the release. “Thanks to MCFA for putting this together.”
For many in the industry, they must now look ahead to the November 6 election and consider how each candidate’s administration would affect the future of Maine’s fishing industry and the health of the Gulf of Maine’s ecosystem.
Watch the video here: facebook.com/MaineCoastFishermensAssociation/videos/722997701382124/
Justin Libby, a groundfish fisherman from Port Clyde, reflecting on the evening, “I’m was really glad to see all of the candidates show up for the industry and I hope any administration elected focuses on the opportunities of all of Maine’s fisheries.
ABOUT MAINE COAST FISHERMEN’S ASSOCIATION
The Maine Coast Fishermen's Association (MCFA) is an industry-based nonprofit that identifies and fosters ways to restore the fisheries of the Gulf of Maine and sustain Maine’s fishing communities for future generations. Working with fishermen and fishing communities, it strives to ensure that the next generation of fishermen has the community infrastructure and environmental resources to maintain Maine’s coastal cultural identity and sustain vibrant working waterfronts.