PORT CLYDE â€“ The Midcoast Maine Fishing Heritage Alliance (MMFHA) announces that the non-profit organization secured its 501c3 status from the Internal Revenue Service in June of this year, paving the way for tax-deductible donations to promote and celebrate the fishing legacy of Maine.
Formed in 2009, the Alliance works with local fishermen, educators, and other interested individuals to increase awareness of the unique role fishermen play as repositories of first-hand knowledge about the health of the sea as well as their role as purveyors of local seafood. In addition, the MMFHA encourages vessel safety for those in the fishing community.
The Fishing Heritage Alliance is also pleased to announce two generous gifts from local family foundations, which, coupled with membership contributions, immediately bolstered efforts to create a portable boatyard, allowing fishermen to perform maintenance and repairs that they might otherwise defer, and begin community education and outreach services.
The MMFHA is developing a â€śmatchmaking systemâ€ť to link scientists, educators, and others concerned about fishing and the sea with area fishermen. Those interested in conducting studies are invited to contact the MMFHA; the group can match researchers with a captain whose boat is available. School groups, libraries, and local food advocates are similarly invited to contact the Alliance to schedule a fisherman to talk about sustainable fisheries, ocean health, and related issues.
â€śIf we are going to create a sustainable fisheries model, we have to continue to find new ways to solve problems. Providing the fishermen with an opportunity to both educate the public, students, and scientists and earn credit toward boat maintenance is a win-win proposition; it tightens the personal connections and strengthens our hopes of a sustainable future for our marine-based economy here on the coast of Maine.â€ť
Glen Libby, Chairman, Midcoast Fishermenâ€™s Association and Board of Advisors, MMFHA.
â€śThis foundation will fill crucial gaps in boat safety, conservation, marketing and management that do not exist in Maineâ€™s fisheries and could mean the difference to fishermen between life or death and economic viability or bankruptcy.â€ť
Jennifer Litteral, Policy Director, Island Institute
To tackle the many facets of the MMFHA workload, the group is currently growing its board roster and memberships. The Board of Directors includes Sherman Hoyt (Board President), of Spruce Head, Robert Steneck, of Whitefield, and Margot Kelley (Board Treasurer), of Port Clyde. The MMFHA is delighted that Antonia Small (Board Secretary), of Port Clyde, Maura Melley, of Tenants Harbor, and Dyan Redick, also of Port Clyde, have joined the Board this past quarter.
To promote and celebrate the sea this fall, mark your calendars for Saturday, October 16 when the annual membership meeting will be held at 1 pm at the public dock in Port Clyde, to which all current members are invited. Saturday November 6, the public is invited to a screening of Will Hylerâ€™s documentary The Fish Belong to the People at the Camden Opera House. The showing will be accompanied by a panel discussion of the issues raised in the film and appetizers featuring local fish courtesy of several area chefs.
For more information visit the organizationâ€™s website: www.midcoastfishingheritage.org.
Contact Name: Antonia Small
Telephone Number: (207)372-8610