3/20/12 -- HARPSWELL SOUND, HARPSWELL, Maine. Sternman Zach Drehobl, left, and Captain Jim Barclay of Harpswell's F/V Lorelei haul aboard a lobster trap lost in 2007 on Tuesday morning as part of 'Gear Grab', sponsored by non-profit association, Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation (GOMLF).
Gear Grab provides grant funding to lobster fishermen who volunteer to grapple up some of the thousands of pounds of lost lobstering gear - known as "Ghost Gear" - which litters the sea floor in Maine's fishing grounds.
The 2-day Harpswell-based event allowed fishermen to clean up places which they knew were already a mess - and drag a grappling hook along the bottom in places where they guessed Ghost Gear might have accumulated. ."I didn't even use the fish finder -- I just knew where that one was - I was snagging it all last year," said Captain Barclay of hauling in a snarl of 18 traps in Harpswell Sound on Monday.
On Monday F/V Lorelei brought in close to 30 ghost traps - the first day of the event. Tuesdays catch came to four - with a few pieces of wooden traps which appeared to disintegrate on the way up from the bottom. "We've really only dragged about a quarter of the spots which we know are bad," said Sternman Drehobl. "And, the hard part is - you could miss [a ghost trap] by three feet with your hook and never know it."
GOMLF is a non-profit based in Kennebunk which works with fishermen, scientists and community members to support a healthy lobster fishery in Maine.
Another Gear Grab is planned for Tenant's Harbor on Wednesday and Thursday this week and a date and place are being set up by Director Erin Pelletier for Southern Maine in the next few weeks.
For more information or to participate in GOMLF events visit http://www.gomlf.org/ or call: 207-205-8088.
Photo and extended caption by Roger S. Duncan.