MACHIAS – This week, fisheries experts brainstormed ideas to continue to maintain the ecosystem in Downeast Maine.
Wednesday, the State of Science Conference wrapped up at the University of Maine’s Machias campus.
The conference gathered people including Jon Hare, the director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, from a broad range of backgrounds to talk about how to properly manage the Downeast Maine ecosystem by focusing on its fish, plants, rivers and the ocean.
“Our purpose wasn’t to develop new management. Our purpose was to build connections among towns and scientists and fishermen to better support the decisions the managers are making,” Hare said.
Carla Guenther, the chief scientist for the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, says maintaining the water ecosystem correctly is vital for the towns in eastern Maine.
“We are arguably the most fishing-dependent communities on the whole Atlantic seaboard, so fishing is really important to employing all these institutions,” Guenther said.
According to the director of the northeast fisheries science center, the different scientists and fishermen made important connections with each other.
“Ecosystems are complicated and it can be overwhelming to think about how we work in a complicated ecosystem and it also can be very rewarding to realize that we can make better decisions if we think about the impact on all the different pieces the ecosystem,” Hare said.
He said the conference was the first stage in a three-year regional ecosystem plan.
“We had a fisherman describing some collaborative research he has been doing around Gouldsboro Bay. And he said ‘this is what we’re doing, we’re deciphering the book, the ocean is a book, we have to create the decoder book, the way of deciphering what the ocean is telling us so that we can manage better,'” Guenther said.
People can learn more at http://stateofthescienceconference.org/