Careers is the marine and maritme field

Careers is the marine

Lobster man Eben Wlson starts his days early-as in, the middle

 By 4: 00AM, he’s casting off the docklines aboard the Elise

A., his 40-foo t wooden lobster boat named for his little daugh ter, and headin gout to offshore waters, or,

on days he stays closer to shore, between Pemaquid Point and Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

He takes with ‘9 him a helper called a “stern man,” and over ,.

the course of an 8-to-15 hour day, they will haul 300-400 lobster traps.

State law restricts the days he can fish to about 3 or 4 days a week.

When he isn’t hauling traps, he is repairing them ashore or maintaining his boat so that it is safe and ready to go the next time he goes out.

Government regulations also dictate the size oflobsters that can be kept to sell vs. those that must be put back in the ocean.

Egg-bearing females are also returned to the water to help susta in the lobster population,

but not before he snips a notch in her tail flipper as a way to identify her as a breeding female.

The lobster traps (also called lobster pots) are set from the deck of the Elise A .

and d ropped to the seafloor, anywhere from shallow waters to more than 1,000 feet deep.

The traps are tethered to a buoy on the surface , and Eben tracks his buoys on a GPS plotter so that he can fi nd them again,

even in the thick of fog or through choppy seas.

When he pulls his boat up to the buoy, he pulls the buoy onboard with a winch and then hauls the line and the trap up on the deck.

His stern man picks through the lobsters, measuring each one and keeping only the lega l-size ones

(or non-egg bearing females), re-baits the trap- usually with salted herring, and resets it.

Eben isn’t very old, but he’s been lobstering a long time.

He grew up on the coast of Maine, and many of his neighbors were lobstermen.

Careers is the marine and maritme field He was only 8 years old when he got his first lobstering li cense.

To lea rn the trade, he worked as a stern man for 14 years with a seasoned lobsterman from his town.

Careers is the marine and maritme field To get a lobstering lice nse today in Maine, you need to log 2,000 hours workin{g for another fisherman first.

Then you can apply for the license and be placed on a waiting list, which can rake years before your name comes up.

The stare only issues a cerrain number of licenses ro make sure rhat rhe lobster population is maintained at healthy levels.

“Today, ir’s a long process thar few have the time or patience for. B

ack in 1987 when I starred lobstering as a kid, ir was an open fishery and I could simply buy a license fo r about $120.”

Lobsrering is one of the few susta inable fisheries left; in 2015, Maine’s lobstermen (and women) landed more rhan 120 million pounds oflobsters,

making rhe fishery Each lobster is measured from the end of its ey e socket to the end of the carapace

(the shell j ust before the tail starts).

Legal-sized lobsters are “keepers,” and can be sold ashore. A breeding female lobster can carry thousands of eggs under her tail.

a major fac ror in the state’s economy.

Many other fisheries have been overfished and either shur down, or become very restricted.

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