Dec 31, 2004
Fisheries: Shrimping is perking along okay, though a lot of guys stayed in haven't gone out yet. The bigger shrimp haven't come inshore yet. Processors will ramp up after the new year (mid-January) Dock price has not been fabulous; from 40 to 80 cents per pound. Last year the stats showed pretty dismal at the Portland fish market, There was a lot of anger at last years fishermen's forum over that year's tiny season, because shrimping is needed to fill in the wintertime gap economically speaking for many a fisherman.
Groundfish inshore is pretty much nothing. Scallops inshore not so hot, on top of small catches, the competition from the Nantucket Shoals fishery completely dominates the market.
Aquaculture. Erick Swanson's abrupt switchover from salmon to mostly mussels is a harbinger of things to come. Mussels are the growth sector in aquaculture. Prince Edwards Island mussel aquaculture is maxed out.
Great eastern needs competitors; its getting them in the persons of Swanson and others.
Absentee aquaculture is as bad as absentee forestry. Its best to be local aquaculture. With lobster, Maine zoned it regionally and forbids corporate ownership or license transferability. We should structure the lease process similarly so that aquaculture leases are not transferable.
Bay Management At least one Penobscot Bay area proposal (Bagaduce River) has been sent in for consideration - state has some $$$ various groups are scuffling over.
LNG - No sign of it sneaking into the bay - the energy seems to be in the area of deciding the fate of Sears Island - shall MDOT retain a chunk to keep its future port dreams alive? Or will the local residents in unison with the Penobscot Nation make it a non industrial natural destination site.
More to some...
Dec 30, 2004
January 26, February 3, February 8. Maine Coastal Program and the Maine DMR are co-hosting a series of public listening sessions along the Maine coast to hear your input on whether and how the state treats the marine life, marine resource users and shorefront landowners that inhabit, use and live around Maine's bays. The results will be analyzed and presented to the legislature with recommendations for reforming and consolidating bay-related laws and regulations
Share your ideas and concerns at one of these three upcoming public meeting in your area.
Ellsworth (Ellsworth City Hall) Wednesday January 26, 2005 (Jan. 27) 7-9 p.m.
Rockland (Rockland High School) Thursday February 3, 2005 (Feb. 9) 7-9 p.m.
Portland (Portland High School) Tuesday February 8, 2005 (Feb. 10) 7-9 p.m.
DMR's Bay Management point of contact: Lorraine Lessard at 207-287-1486.
Dec 18, 2004
Dec 15, 2004
Dec 14, 2004
There are a variety of activities going on to liberate Sears Island from the MDOT yoke. Cape Jellison, alas, is experiencing SPRAWL without much if any resistance.
Dec 13, 2004
* The Sierra Club & Islesboro Island Trust are doing what they do best - negotiate-with- the-govt-behind-the-scene Sears Island dance, though this time the Penobscot Indian Nation hsa joined in the effort.
* Penobscot Bay Alliance? While saving Sears Island ought to be the "coming out" campaign of this outfit, two of the group's key leaders are acting on Sears Island from their parent organizations Sierra Club and Islesboro Island Trust, spurning any appearance before the media or in public as leaders of what appears to be a perpetually not-quite-ready-for-prime-time PBA.
* A Searsport municipal comittee has been holding somewhat murky dealings with MDOT.
Now charette style public meetings are underway with everyone from the MDOT and BPL to the Penobscot Incdian Nation and the eco-yuppies conversing on possible futures for the island.
MDOT hopes to get Searsport to sign a Memorandum of Understanding giving DOT permanent rights to the SW corner of the island. Residents of Searsport just voted to re-impose a moratorium on industrial development by an overwhelming margin
*A bill has been been put together to enable Maine DOT to transfer the island to the Bureau of Parks and Lands. Presently under state law MDOT can SELL or LEASE land under its control to private interests. It can't TRANSFER land to another agency (except the Maine Housing Authority gets first dibs if the land has been declared "surplus", which wouldn't be the case for Sears Island).
How a bill is introduced into the Maine Legislature As noted at the above link, the bill that's submitted by a legislator goes to the Revisor's Office, Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, and Office of Fiscal and Program Review. Their staff checks the wording and passes it back to the legislator for approval or not, until it says what he or she wants it to say.
* Legislators to sponsor/co-sponsor John Eder, of Course, Our beloved Green Party legislator. Stay Tuned
Dec 3, 2004
today's Federal Register the National Marine Fisheries Service announces that the
New England Fishery Mgmt Council (NEFMC) is holding a public meeting of its Research Steering Committee on Dec 14, 04, (with committee recommendations brought to
the full NEFMC for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.)
They are going to "consider experimental fishery
permit requests and develop related comments for consideration by the
NEFMC and Regional Administrator. They will continue discussions on
2005 research priorities, particularly in relation to the long-term
programs currently underway in the Northeast such as the cod tagging,
study fleet and industry-based survey initiatives. They will also
coordinate comments on final reports that have been funded through
NMFS' cooperative research program and begin to develop a consistent process
for the various research set-aside programs provided for in the NEFMC
fishery management plans." More info at the above hyperlink.
Nov 26, 2004
Mustn't toast the citizens. The crux of the Fall Riverian petition to the Us Coast Guard for Rulechanging is that two sentences be added to the federal LNG regulations
"Section 127.115 Every vessel carrying LNG, whether in transit or while moored at a waterfront facility handling LNG, must maintain a thermal exclusion zone for marine spills of LNG as required under 49 C.F.R. s. 193.2057 for spills of LNG on land."
"Section 127.1 17 Every vessel carrying LNG, whether in transit or while moored at a waterfront facility handling LNG, must maintain a vapor dispersion exclusion zone for marine spills of LNG as required under 49 C.F.R. s. 193.2059 for spills of LNG on land."
Not a bad idea; who wants to get broiled en passent?
Sep 3, 2004
The response (caveated with the usual cautions of scientists handling raw data) is that it appears that "[N]umbers in southern Maine have slightly increased, but Hemi has not spread further east, and the furthest east collection site is still Isle au Haut. We came up empty in eastern Penobscot Bay, around MDI, and in Washington County."
Ha! The little buggers' eastward movement seem to be stymied.
Last year's crab-watch found them the the shores of Isle au Haute; in 2001 and 2002, Asian Shore Crabs (ASC's) were captured on Crescent Beach in Owls Head.
What with their alleged predatory habits towards juvenile lobsters, ASCs may end up changing the 60 million dollar/year crustacean economy of west Penobscot Bay.