Brian Billings hails from Deer Isle, a seaside town nestled along the eastern edge of Penobscot Bay. Deer Isle, like many Maine coastal towns, is filled with a rich heritage of fishing families, like Brian’s, that reach back for generations.
“My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father, they were all fishermen,” said Brian. “I guess you could say I was born into it.”
During Brian’s childhood, quality time with family and fishing went hand in hand. Talk of Maine Lobster was a staple in the Billings household.
“I first started fishing in a skiff, hand hauling with my brother,” said Brian. “When I was in high school and college, I went with my father. I was pretty much always fishing if I wasn’t in school.”
After graduating from the Maine Maritime Academy, Brian left his Maine roots to explore a different kind of dream on a tugboat on the opposite side of the country.
“We went all the way from Alaska to Hawaii, and all along the West Coast,” said Brain nostalgically. “But I wanted to come home.”
With his fond childhood memories and hometown pride, Brian knew he couldn’t stay away for long. He packed his things and headed back to Deer Isle – where you can still find him today. Now, he’s raising a family and lobstering on the Dreadnought, a boat he named “after the old British battleships; grace and toughness all rolled into one like a Downeast lobster boat.”
What is your favorite way to eat Maine Lobster?
“When I’m camping, on the rocks at the beach, it just tastes good there. I don’t even use butter, just the lobster cooked in saltwater.”
What is the best part of living in Maine?
“Maine is a friendly state made up of many hardworking, honest people. I like the ease of traveling place to place without getting on five-lane highways or dealing with city gridlock. Plus, occasionally we get the added enjoyment of experiencing all four seasons in a day.”
What makes you proud to go to work every day?
“I look forward to being out on the water and getting the fresh air, while watching the other boats steam by and enjoying the various wildlife.”
What is special to you about Maine Lobster or the Maine Lobster fishery?
“One of the things I find special about this industry – aside from the obvious ‘tradition’ it has – is its sustainability. Everything is taken out of the traps by hand, and any bycatch or unwanted lobsters are immediately released back to the ocean alive.”
Meet The People Behind the Fishery
A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.