AUGUSTA — Two Maine lobstermen have had their licenses suspended by the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) for violating laws intended to protect harvesters’ property and to sustain the lobster resource, according to a news release by the Maine Department of Marine Resources May 26.
As a result of an investigation led by Maine Marine Patrol Officer Kaelyn Kuni, Calvin Pinkham, 55, of Steuben, was charged in 2022 for stealing a total of 59 lobster traps belonging to seven other fishermen, a violation known as trap molesting.
Pinkham’s license has been suspended by DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher for three years. In a deal with the Washington County District Attorney, Pinkham has pled guilty to seven counts of trap molesting and ordered to pay $8,732 in restitution to the victims.
Pinkham’s license is scheduled to be reinstated in 2025.
Rodney Genthner, 38, of Friendship, has had his license suspended for six years after an investigation led by Maine Marine Patrol Officer Brandon Sperling in 2022 when it was discovered that he was in possession of traps belonging to two other harvesters. The length of his suspension was informed by his violation history which has resulted in multiple summonses for lobster related offenses, according to the state.
Genthner still awaits a court date on the trap molesting violations but faces up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. His license will not be reinstated until 2029.
In 2022, Genthner was also charged twice with possession of V-notched lobsters. V-notching is a conservation measure intended to protect egg bearing female lobsters. He received a one-year license suspension to run concurrently with the six-year license suspension, which will conclude February 8, 2029.
While he still awaits a court date in Rockland District Court on those violations, he faces fines of up to $8,400 in addition to his license suspension.
“Suspending someone’s license isn’t something I take lightly,” said Commissioner Keliher in the news release. “It restricts their ability to earn a living, but so does stealing another harvester’s gear. These are serious crimes. And possessing V-notched lobsters undermines the conservation success that law abiding harvesters have worked hard to achieve. I’m proud of the diligence of our Marine Patrol Officers whose thorough investigations have brought these two to justice.”
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