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Jim Dow

The coast of Maine is a part of Jim’s identity. He comes from five generations of fishermen before him, and his great-aunt, Ruth Moore, wrote a series of novels set in Gotts Island, Maine – the family’s ancestral hometown. Needless to say, Jim started fishing from an early age.  

“At 8, I started fishing in a 14′ skiff that my grandfather built,” said Jim. “I spent a lot of time around the docks listening and learning from the older fishermen.” 

In his early teens, Jim regularly fished and learned from both his father and his brother. Nearly a decade later, however, he found himself at a crossroads. 

Jim was in a serious car accident after turning 17. The collision left him without the use of his left arm, and his limited mobility narrowed his options as a lobsterman. He decided to go to college to pursue other options, eventually graduating with a degree in accounting. 

While working as an accountant, though, Jim felt something calling him back. 

“I didn’t like it,” said Jim. “I missed working on the water. How could I not?”  

With a renewed resolve, Jim worked to regain the use of his arm so that he could haul lobster traps. He started working on herring seiners (the boats used for a type of fishing that uses a net) for a time, traveling back and forth from Gloucester to Mount Desert Island.   

“Being away from my family was difficult,” said Jim. “I went seining out of Vinalhaven for a summer. Then, I decided to move home and go lobstering again.”  

Today, Jim fishes out of Bass Harbor, which sits on the southern tip of Mount Desert Island – most known for Acadia National Park. During the summer months you can find Jim cruising along the Maine coast on his boat, the Blythe Megan, named for his two daughters. 

What is your favorite way to eat Maine Lobster?​ 

“My favorite way has to be lobster rolls – made the traditional way – with mayo, celery, paprika and tarragon.” 

What is the best part of living in Maine?​ 

“You can’t beat the ‘office views’ in Maine. I get to watch the sunrise every morning along the water, and I love it.” 

What makes you proud to go to work every day?​ 

    “Whether you’re fishing in Bass Harbor or Portland, there’s something about being a lobsterman in Maine that unites us all. I want to help shape the fishery and involve lobstermen in building the next generation of this tradition.” 

    What is special to you about Maine Lobster or the Maine Lobster fishery? 

      “To me, Maine Lobster was a family tradition. I think that’s incredible that I’ve been able to carry on a tradition. While neither of my daughters fish, maybe I’ll have a granddaughter or grandson who takes to it like I did.”  

      Meet The People Behind the Fishery

      A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.