|Courtesy The Ellsworth American
A Prospect Harbor resident, Kotula runs Hurdy Gurdy Man Antiques and Salty Dog Gallery on Route 186. In a former life, he worked as an observer on foreign factory trawlers for the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and this photography show includes several images from that period.
In 1975, the U.S. Congress passed the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, defining an area three miles from the U.S. coastline to 200 miles out to sea as U.S. waters.
Until that time, Kotula said, no regulations were in place to protect the domestic fisheries from dwindling stocks. That depletion resulted, in part, from the massive harvests from very efficient foreign factory trawlers, he said.
Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, foreign fishing vessels had to apply for permits and pay for the privilege of fishing in U.S. territory.
The foreign vessels were only allowed to take species underutilized in the United States, such as mackerel and squid, and were limited to yearly quotas.
In addition each and every vessel had to have an American on board during fishing operations to witness and document catches and collect biological data.
“From 1985-1990, I worked aboard these factory ships as an observer, taking full advantage of this extraordinary experience by putting my camera to use,” Kotula said.
Foreign ships were not allowed to fish in U.S. waters after 1990.
Presented by Schoodic Arts for All, the one-man show also will include various other images of and related to the sea, many of which were taken on the Schoodic Peninsula.
Kotula’s photos also can be seen at his Salty Dog Gallery in Prospect Harbor. To learn more, visit www.saltydoggallery.net