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Intertidal: 'Fisheries in Our Town' highlights seafood's impact on Brunswick – Press Herald

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We have a lot of waterfront for what may seem at first to be a fairly inland town. According to the Town of Brunswick website, there are 61 miles of coastline in Casco Bay and 20 miles of waterfront on the Androscoggin River. Fishing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Brunswick, but it is a big part of the town’s culture and economy. From seafood shops to recreational ice fishermen, to local restaurants, to clammers, to those who hold commercial fishing licenses and venture further from shore, there is a lot to learn about fisheries here that is relevant and valuable to those who live here. Whether you love seafood or not, fisheries are an important part of the town’s economy that is not always easy to find accessible information about.
That’s the purpose of an upcoming event co-hosted by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Curtis Memorial Library. The panel presentation, “Fisheries in Our Town” will explore the variety of seafood that is harvested locally and supports our economy, working waterfront and feeds our community. From clamming to pogy fishing, lobstering, aquaculture and even ice fishing, the breadth of our marine resources is impressive. Panelists will include Cody Gillis, chairperson of Brunswick’s Marine Resource Committee, shellfish harvester, commercial fisherman, and registered Maine Guide; Quang Nyguyen, owner of Brunswick’s Fishermen’s Net seafood restaurant and shop; Jaclyn Robidoux, of Maine Sea Grant; and Christine Rudalevidge, editor of Edible Maine, author and food writer. It will be moderated by Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association’s Director of Community Programs Monique Coombs.
Topics to be covered include an introduction of what types of businesses exist on the waterfront and who works there, what challenges these businesses face as well as what successes they are seeing, and what working waterfront means to different people who utilize it in different ways.
The idea behind the panel is to foster conversation around this topic and to invite participants to be a part of the conversation, asking questions along the way, whether attending in person or by Zoom. Those who do attend in person, however, will be able to sample Maine Coast Monkfish Stew, a product produced by MCFA in collaboration with Hurricane Soups & Premium Chowders in Greene. The proceeds from the sale of the stew benefit MCFA’s Fishermen Feeding Mainers program that donates fresh seafood to schools, food pantries and community groups statewide and has provided over 500,000 meals over the last two years. It is made using sustainably harvested monkfish along with Maine produce and dairy. It is free to the public, but registration is required at btlt.org/events/.
The event is a unique opportunity to find accessible information about the role of the working waterfront in Brunswick and what that means to the residents who live and work here, and to ask questions of those who participate in businesses that depend on our town’s marine resources.
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