Maine Maritime Museum, Lobster Industry Collaborate on New Exhibit

March 23, 2015

When the staff at Maine Maritime Museum began planning the creation of the state’s largest and most comprehensive exhibit on lobstering, they recognized a critical component would be the input of those who know the industry best: the men and women of Maine’s lobster fishery. The end result of this collaborative effort, opening July 26, 2015, will be the complete, authentic story of Maine’s most iconic fishery, from trap to table.

Thanks to collaboration and support from the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, Department of Marine Resources, fishermen, scientists, and dealers from around the state, the permanent, 6,200-square-foot exhibit will give the museum’s 60,000 annual visitors an inside look at this complex industry and its cultural significance in the state.

Patrice McCarron, Executive Director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said, “Lobstering is a huge part of the history, culture and economy of Maine’s coastal communities. We are very excited that the museum is able to celebrate our industry through this amazing exhibit. The Maine Lobstermen’s Association is proud to be involved, and it has been a real honor for so many lobstermen to have an opportunity to share their stories.”

One of the most unique components of the exhibit will be a display of buoys donated by lobstermen from up and down the coast. Using touch-screen kiosks, visitors will be able to view photos and information correlating to each buoy, including the lobsterman’s name, location, boat name, and in some cases, personal stories gleaned from life on the water. The buoys, and the stories of the men and women who fish with them, will continue to be added to beyond the exhibit opening as an ongoing documentation of the lobster fishery.

Chris Hall, Curator of Exhibits at Maine Maritime Museum, said, “The story of Maine lobstering is about how a reclusive creature from dark undersea burrows has become a signature culinary icon, worldwide; it is about the audacity of shipping wild-caught protein, alive, as far as China; it is about how scientific research has mingled with native savvy, family tradition, and a unique ecosystem to position Maine lobstering as a working model of fishery sustainability; it is about the travails and triumphs of its owner-operator harvesters, and their worries for the next generation of lobstermen – that despite a string of record landings, the tide comes in and the tide goes out.”

If you'd like to submit a buoy, please complete this form and send with your buoy to Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath, ME, 04530. Buoys and forms may also be left with your MLA zone rep or dropped off at any Brooks Trap Mill location. For more information, contact Curator of Exhibits Chris Hall at 207-443-1316 ext. 326 or hall@maritimeme.org.

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Maine Maritime Museum

243 Washington Street
Bath, Maine 04530