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Virginia “Ginny” Olsen of the “Virginia Dawn”

Meet Maine Lobstermen

Ginny and her husband, Blaine Olsen are an Inshore Fishing Team (they fish only in state waters) , that fish together from spring thru fall. They live on an island off of the coast of Maine- connected to the mainland by bridges and causeways.

“Fishing is not just our history. It is our way of life, our yesterday and our tomorrow.  It is a skill set that has been passed down for generations and one we plan on passing down for generations to come. The picture of colored buoys represents 4 generations of fishermen in my family. Each person has their own colors and unique patterns to tell our lobster traps apart from other fishermen’s. We attach the buoy to a rope that then goes to the trap which sits on the ocean floor with fish in it for bait to entice the lobster into the trap. When we are ready to bring the trap back to the surface, we use the buoys to retrieve them.”

Ginny is also the recording secretary for both Lobster 207 and Local 207.

“I have watched our fisheries change so much since I was a child. Access to fisheries closed, regulations that cut us off at the knees instead of helping to conserve our industry.  I was thrilled when I saw  that the IAMAW was going to support an independent industry like ours. I would not be one lone voice, we would have a collective voice that would ring so much louder, and not be overlooked anymore!  I often get the question- What can the union do for me? We as union members are so much stronger together. It does not take long to figure out. You’re not in it for what you can take away for yourself, it’s for all the things you want to make better for tomorrow. It is a solidarity with your union brother’s and sister’s all around the country willing to step up and help whenever needed. I am proud to be a member of local 207.”

 

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