Interview With a Lobsterman

0
693

   Every summer I go to Maine. We fish, hike, and swim at the beach. Not far from the shore you can see the rainbow of buoys.

   Every summer I go to Maine. We fish, hike, and swim at the beach. Not far from the shore you can see the rainbow of buoys. On the buoys there is a rope leading to the bottom of the ocean where there is a lobster trap. Lobstering is a big industry in Maine. This year I had the privilege of interviewing lobsterman Gerry Cushman, of Port Clyde, Maine.

   As a lobsterman how does your job affect your life?
   It’s my way of making a living for my family. It’s a lot of time away from home.

   On average how many hours do you spend on the boat?
   I usually get up between 3:30 and 4:00 and some days I don’t get home until 5 or 6 at night, in the fog maybe 7 or 8 at night.

   Have you had any strange experiences with the lobster?
   The other day I was out fishing and on each line we had two traps and so on the bottom of the ocean between the two traps is what we call a ground line. It’s a piece of rope that sits along the bottom of the ocean. In between that line two big lobsters, an 11 pounder and a 24 pounder, got caught in the line because they were fighting. When I hauled the traps up they were still snared in the line and the 24 pounder had killed the 11 pounder. We brought the 24 pounder in and now he’s in the aquarium in Boothbay. To catch a 24 pound lobster is like a 1 in a 1,000,000 catch.

   Where do you sell your lobster?
   I sell my lobster to the Port Clyde Fisherman’s Co-Op. The co-op is owned by a bunch of fisherman and we sell our product to a processor trying to cut out a middleman to try to bring more money back to the fisherman. It was originated by my grandfather and father now their deceased and now it’s left down to me. Now we’ll leave it for the future generation so they’ll always have a place to work on the waterfront.
 

 Is there a certain territory on the seas?
   We all have territories; every fisherman up and down the coast has territories that they have to abide by in the lobstering industry.
   

On the offseason what do you do?
   On the offseason I have a tree-cutting business. I do grooming and stuff like that.

Even if lobster isn’t your type of food you still should stop by the docks and witness the beauty of Maine.