Turner Cove Isle Au Haut, Maine


Pulled up to the dock the other day and Ezra was there.
Ezra is a lobster catcher. I hadn't spoken to him for
several years - been seeing him on the water now and then
to wave but not up close.

Anyway, I noticed that Ezra had a pile of those fence-wire
traps on his boat like you see so many of now. So I asked
him what he thought of wire and he guessed they were so
common now that the lobsters had pretty well adjusted to
them; might even prefer them.

Ezra gave me a tour of one of his traps. It had entrances
just like those old, wood, biodegradable traps he used to
use. It's the ways out that had changed some. Why it had
escape hatches for undersize lobsters, emergency exits for
big lobsters who might get stuck in a lost trap, trap doors
for the lobsterman to clean out the place now and then
and a fire alarm system.

I asked about that and he thought it was some kind of safety
regulation. He says there are a lot of regulations now.
He told me he'd heard that the high-end traps now have
a microprocessor in them. It's to keep track of all the
creatures that enter and exit plus any that decide to stay.
It counts them, weighs them, sizes them and assigns each an
F.I.D. ( Fishy Identification Number ) for future reference.

Ezra figures that the high-tech stuff is a conspiracy of the
computer makers. If they get you so loaded up with facts
and numbers that you don't know what to do with the data,
you have to buy a computer to do the statistics and to store
the information. It makes sense to me.