The Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund presents Securing a Future for Coastal Fishing Communities: Ideas from Eastern Maine on Wednesday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Chilmark Public Library.

Robin Alden, executive director of the Penobscot East Resource Center and former Maine commissioner of marine resources, and Ted Ames, life-long commercial fisherman, scientist and 2005 winner of a MacArthur Fellows Program award, will share their work.

Mr. Alden and Mr. Ames will discuss how their organization, the Penobscot East Resource Center, puts ideas into practice through initiatives like the Zone C Lobster Hatchery, rebuilding the groundfish fishery in the Downeast Initiative, and leadership development through the Community Fisheries Action Roundtable.

Their goal is to sustain and restore the marine resources Mainers have grown to depend upon so that their communities will benefit from coastal fishing for generations to come.

For example, fishermen, scientists and environmental groups are coming together through the Downeast Initiative which aims to overhaul the existing fishing management system for one that is based on local biological and economic factors.

As Mr. Ames explains, “More and more people are realizing that ‘days at sea’ is simply not working [here]. It’s going to take a very different approach and the cooperation of fishermen and environmentalists to turn this thing around.”

In addition, Mr. Alden and Mr. Ames are very concerned about the lack of diversity in Maine’s fishery. More than 70 percent of Maine’s catch is lobster. If the lobster population were to crash, as it has off Long Island and southern New England, the coastal economy could be seriously affected.

Come learn first-hand about their strategies to create a more sustainable and future-thinking approach to fisheries management where communities directly manage their own marine resources.

The event is co-sponsored by The Friends of the Chilmark Public Library. All are welcome. Admission is free. For more information, call 508-645-3360.