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Press Release 6/11/04
Harvesting of undersized (< 6") marine baitworms prohibited.
1.
Diggers are harvesting 100 to 200 (6" to 10") bloodworms
    Last year diggers were harvesting 500 to 600 a tide.
2. Bloodworm have little chance to spawn, or grow into a larger worm.
3. Diggers harvesting bloodworms (< 4") are harvesting 700 to 800;
    (4" to 6") are harvesting 300 to 400 bloodworms a tide.
4. Diggers say that they have found 90% of the tidal flats have no bloodworms.
5. 1/3 of the diggers have found other jobs since last year.
6. Worm dealers are buying < 4".
7. Wholesale Bait Companies in MD & VA are telling their customers
    that if they do not purchase their bloodworms (< 4"), they will not be able to buy  
    bloodworms, or any other baits from their companies again.
8. We would also like to see the shipping of seaworms in seaweed be stopped.
    Worms last much longer in the salt water than in seaweed.
    Worms in seaweed usually die if they are < 4" worms.
Here are our suggestions for much-needed management:
Rules:
1.
< 6" bloodworms or sandworms- dealers and diggers are prohibited from selling or
    harvesting.

2.
Shipment of seaworms in seaweed prohibited. Shipment in prepared salt water
    required.

3.
Enforcing what is harvested should be the responsibility of the worm buyer.
4.
The buyer is responsible in taking back the < 6" seaworms to the ocean.
5.
Inspections by the wardens will be a surprise visit, not a scheduled visit.
Fines:
1st Offense- $2,000 fine
2nd Offense- 6 months lose of buyers license
3rd Offense- Permanent lose of buyers license
Press Release 8/20/03
What Extent Will The Maine Marine Worm Dealers Go To Become Wealthy!  
We need to stop the destruction of the Maine ecosystem. If the bloodworm industry or the Maine
Department of Marine Resources (DMR) would only set a size or weight limit there maybe some
bloodworms for the future.
1. Maine Worm Dealers will tell their harvesters to clean the tidal flats (pick up every
bloodworm in the mud including 1” bloodworm).
2. Retail Bait Shops will throw away half of the bloodworms because they are dead or too small
to place on a fishing hook.
3. There are several tidal flats that are spawning grounds and the spawning areas should be
closed for harvesting bloodworms. Many harvesters will harvest bloodworms in the spawning
areas to harvest the 1” bloodworm. Harvesters can harvest twice as many bloodworms in the
spawning areas:
Small Bloodworms (1” to 3”)- 1000 per tide. Large Bloodworms (4” & larger)- 500 per tide.
4. Marine Worm Dealers will also not change their shipping practices. Dealers could ship in salt
water instead of seaweed. Worms live 5 days in seaweed opposed to living 2 weeks in salt water.
5. Ted Creaser, a scientist for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, confirms that marine
worm landings have declined. "Bloodworms hit their peak in 1970, with 37 million worms
landed; sandworms in 1963, at more than 32 million. The 1998 landings were more than 21
million for bloodworms and nearly 7 million for sandworms"- Info from-
http://www.oldfilm.org/ed/mirArchiveWorm.htm
from Winter MIR 2000 Collections: Worms’ Eye View
6. "The seller's market has attracted a new wave of diggers, who want to cash in quickly.
Everything's being spread too thin." says Peter Thayer, a scientist with the Maine Department of
Marine Resources. "There's worry that the market could be ruined."- info from
http://www.sunspot.net/ Worm shortage a bloody mess Originally published July 29, 2001.
We have tried for 2 years to convince the Marine Worm Dealers and DMR to set a law to limit
the size of the bloodworm that can be harvested, but the Marine Worm Dealers and DMR will
not make any changes. The Commissioner of DMR could set a law on the size limit without
petitioning the Maine Legislator. The only laws on seaworms are:
1. A license is required to harvest over 125 seaworms.
2. No Sunday harvesting of seaworms.
3. Seaworms can only be harvested by hand power.
The dealers & harvesters greed will ruin this industry by buying and harvesting small
bloodworms. The next generation of harvesters will not have any bloodworms to harvest.
This situation is going to get worse until something is done about the over harvesting of the
BLOODWORM!
Press Release 6/11/04
Reasons why we would like to see the harvesting of undersized
(< 6") marine baitworms prohibited.
1.
Many of the marine bloodworm buyers are working for several large wholesale bait
    dealers in the southern coastal states of the USA, and the dealers all work together to
    purchase a small bloodworm. 

2.
We have received many complaints from store owners from all over the world that
    they are receiving very small bloodworms from marine worm dealers.

3.
Harvesters are now digging only 200 bloodworms (6" to 12") a tide opposed to the
    diggers harvesting 2000 bloodworms 10 years ago, and in 2002 the digger was
     harvesting 1000 bloodworms a tide.

4.
The price of purchasing a  6"-12" bloodworm from the harvester has increased 75%
     from 2000 to 2004.

5.
When a harvesters regular buyer is not purchasing bloodworms Maine Bait.com is
    one of the only few buyers that will purchase bloodworms from another harvester
    besides their regular harvesters.

6.
A study done by Graham Daborn of Acadia University claims that the overharvesting
    bloodworms may also be contributing to the decline of the arthropod population.
    When biology is eliminated, the mud flats disappear.

    http://www.eman-rese.ca/eman/reports/publications/national95/part32.html
7.
In 1 year a bloodworm will grow to 2" and in 2 years a bloodworm will grow to 6".
    In such a short time (2  years) a bloodworm will grow to a size that would be sold
    as a medium size bloodworm.

8.
Bloodworms that are 4" & smaller are usually the bloodworms that die in shipping
    because they are very fragile when they are young and under 2 years of age.

Robin Brooks
owner
http://www.mainebait.com/
Articles:
Baitworm Diggers Resist State Regulation
http://www.ellsworthamerican.com/
archive/news2002/09-05-02/ea_news7_09-05-02.html
Maine’s forgotten fishery:
How a lack of scientific understanding and regulations may be putting baitworms at risk.
http://www.namanet.org/collaborations/collab_sep_03.pdf
THE ECOLOGICAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT NETWORK
Research and Monitoring Approaches for Ecological Science Cooperatives to Assess Cumulative Impacts:
Estuarine and Coastal Zone Examples
http://www.eman-rese.ca/eman/reports/publications/national95/part32.html
We have a local towns willing to close down several tidal flats to harvesting seaworms (year round closure). They have conservation closures for clams and if the tidal flats keep getting overharvested the mud flats will disappear.  
Maine Bait
Milbridge, ME 04658
info@mainebait.com
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207-956-0708