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Fisherman Spotlight: Randy Cushman

Jun 22, 2016
2016 Issue 1

Name: Randy Cushman
Home Port: Port Clyde, Maine
Fishing Vessel: Ella Christine
Gear type(s): Otter trawl
Fisheries: Groundfish, shrimp

How has this fishing year been going?

I’ve seen huge improvement on one species out of the eight that I fish for. Then there’s been some improvement on another species. The biggest improvement has been on dabs and a little improvement on grey sole. But the other species that I have fished for or have mainly caught, I haven’t seen any improvement at all. Maybe a little bit on haddock last year but not a huge improvement for me locally where I fish.

Over the years you have been actively involved in research. What kind of projects have you worked on?

We took one of my net designs up to Newfoundland to see if we could improve it and change the materials for building it to see if we could make it tow easier and save on fuel. At the time, this was a big issue because of fuel prices. I’ve also been involved in an electronic monitoring project with GMRI and the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association for the past three years. I have also done research in the shrimp fishery by using the non-parallel grate to show that it catches less bycatch and less juvenile shrimp.

Why do you do participate in these projects?

I care about the fisheries — the fish themselves. I want to see a future for the fishery. I’d like to know that when I leave the fishery, I’ve left it in better shape than when I started. That is my goal.