Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lobster Fishermen

 A pleasant ride today took us along Somes Sound, a five mile long narrow bay sometimes incorrectly referred to as a fjord.

 There are many lobster bouys here and we noticed this fisherman checking his traps.  Each trap is attached to a bouy by a long rope.

 All his bouys are green with one black vertical stripe, just like the one he’s displaying from his antennae.  All lobstermen have their own color scheme to identify themselves and their bouys from all others.

 There is a definite method to this.  As the boat pulls along side one of its bouys--

 --the rope on the bouy is hooked by a pole and the bouy is brought aboard and placed in a bucket.

The rope is attached  to a winch and the boat is idled and turned in a tight circle around the  rope as the trap is raised from the bottom.

                            The trap is placed  on the side of the boat.

 That green and orange bouy belongs to another lobsterman and has a trap below.

                   The hole in the net on the left is where the lobster enters the trap.

 The red and green rectangle slots in the traps are escape hatches to allow undersize lobsters to escape, but legal size ones cannot fit and get back out.

The top is opened and anything that is not legal is returned to the water.

Old bait is removed and thrown overboard.   Gulls know exactly when to fly by.

                            New bait is prepared and tied into the trap.

                              The trap is closed and placed on the side.

 The captain then goes to the wheel and lets the trap slip back into the water.

                            The bouy follows it over the side to mark its position--

 --and the fisherman steers the boat away through the colored bouys--

--until he gets to his next one.  He checks these traps every one or two days in any weather.

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