By Penelope Overton / Portland Press Herald
A regional planning group issued a sweeping ecosystem-based ocean draft plan Wednesday to guide federal agencies in New England.
The plan also points out surprising gaps in data, such as how and where lobstermen fish along the sprawling New England coast, even though the fishery is central to the economic health of coastline communities and New England states, especially in Maine, and subject to the impact of development and climate change. Nick Battista, the marine programs director at Island Institute in Rockland, said lobstermen should be involved in decisions that could impact their coast.
“The lobster fishery is the economic backbone of many coastal Maine communities,” Battista said. “Without this fishery, many of these communities might disappear.”