The Downeast Institute has gone from a respected research group to an advocate group for its own interest. They are now a joke in the shellfish world.

After a cold reception from the Maine Shellfish Advisory Council with their ideas, the institute has teamed up with the last five members of the Maine Clammers Association to try to force laws on the clammers of Maine. These bills have the potential to crash the shellfish industry. Don’t worry, the Downeast Institute will still get paid.

I encourage all shellfish towns to research each of these many bills, as some even come from Lewiston. (That’s funny – I’ve worked for 42 years in three fishing industries and never dug Lewiston.)

Here’s a thought: If you have to pass a law to put yourself on a committee, maybe they don’t want you there.

If the good people of Maine really want to know what’s going on in a fishing industry, don’t ask a scientist – ask a fisherman.

Glen Melvin

vice chair, Waldoboro Shellfish Committee

Waldoboro