Oct 12, 2019

Penbay report 10/10/19

Rockland ad hoc  10.10/19
18:41 speaker 1

Pen Bay history   Fishing Families for Harpswell  speaks to Penobscot Bay  speakers at blog

* Science data gathering as commercial fishing  Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Thursday, October 10, 2019  Houlton High School, Houlton
 9:00 a.m. Wal-19-121 Erik Wuori v. Travis Otis  
Houlton High School, Houlton
Wal-19-121 Erik Wuori v. Travis Otis     Attorneys: Christopher K. MacLean, aura P. Shaw, Aaron Fethke
  • Appellant Travis Otis's Brief   see page 6 boat owner

  • In this disclosure action by Erik Wuori to collect on a judgment that he has against Travis Otis, the District Court ordered Otis to turn over to Wuori his 36-foot-long boat, determining that the boat was not exempt under 14 M.R.S. § 4422(9) "Exempt property"  because Otis did not use the boat for "commercial fishing."  Otis appeals, arguing that his use of the boat to fish for lobster in closed or restricted waters to obtain data from each lobster for research purposes, for which he is paid, constitutes "commercial fishing," thereby making his boat exempt from the claims of creditors.  
Trawl survey updates 
  Discussion In 2018,  "The spring and fall survey took place in May and October and 118 and 96 tows were completed, respectively, out of the scheduled 120 tows (Figure 3). Fish commonly caught in the MENH Survey include winter flounder, Atlantic cod, haddock, rainbow smelt, American shad, white hake, goosefish, Atlantic halibut, Acadian redfish, river herring, and Atlantic mackerel. Others seen in low numbers or infrequently are pollock, wolfish, bluefish, striped bass, and cusk. In addition to the catch of fish, the MENH Survey also catches important invertebrate prey species for sport fish such as American lobster, Cancer spp., and northern shrimp. 

Spring 2018 Summary The spring survey began April 30, 2018 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and was completed on June 1, 2018. A total of 118 tows out of the scheduled 120 were completed. This translates to a 98% completion rate, with an average of 4.72 tows per day. For Spring 2018, Maine DMR personnel participated on all five weeks of the survey. New Hampshire Fish and Game personnel participated in the first week of the survey as usual. Christine Lipsky and Julie Nieland from NOAA’s NMFS protected species branch participated in weeks two and three of the survey to continue collection of groundfish stomachs for their alosine prey study. The average yearly sea surface and sea bottom temperatures from the MENH survey show a slight positive trend over time (Figure 4) with the highest sea surface temperature occurring in 2013 and highest bottom temperature in 2012. In the Spring 2018 survey the average bottom temperature was 5.9C, and ranged from 4.5C to 11.4C. Sea surface temperatures ranged from 5C to 10.3C with an average of 7.88C. The average bottom and surface water temperatures were comparable to the previous spring survey in 2017. Average bottom temperatures for each region and stratum are provided in table 1.  

  The volume of total mixed catch in spring 2018 varied from 1.98 kg to 385.04 kg per tow, with an average of 107.94 kg and a median of 89 kg. Figure 5 shows the average weight (kg) of the catch per tow for spring surveys since 2001. Spring 2018 catch weight has increased from 2017.   

  Species groups by portion of the total catch for each spring survey since 2001. The first year was fairly variable, but after that the herrings (Atlantic herring, river herring, and shad) compromised the largest portion of the total catch until the Spring 2011 survey. From 2011 to the most recent survey in 2018, lobsters and crabs, of which American lobsters are the major component of, have become the main portion of the catch. Gadoid fish have begun to increase, in large part due to the larger catches of silver hake (whiting) and haddock. Mixed shrimp catches and flatfish numbers have declined.  

fishing families for Harpswell speak to Opponents of Pen Bay LNG plan April,18 2004

Oct 7, 2019

SOSUS recordings of North Atlantic cetaceans, shrimp and more in the 1980s


Listen to whales and shrimp speak

SOSUS  Whooper 8min 42sec

SOSUS    Moaner   6min 42sec

SOSUS Whistler 1 min 52sec 

Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) is a multibillion-dollar network of hydrophone arrays mounted on the seafloor throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

The SOSUS system takes advantage of the sound channel that exists in the ocean, which allows low-frequency sound to travel great distances.

At the end of the Cold War, the Navy decided to allow this system to be used by scientists with suitable security clearances, in what was called “dual-use.” SOSUS is now used to study hydrothermal vents and pinpoint underwater volcanic eruptions. The system is also used to study the vocalizations of whales. Scientists can study and track whales in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans using the SOSUS hydrophone arrays. This system has also been used to measure ocean temperatures in relation to climate change. By measuring the travel time of sound waves, the SOSUS system is able record average ocean temperature changes over an ocean basin.

Oct 5, 2019

Rockland's adhoc Harbor Mgmt Plan Committee 10/3/19 audio: Lobstering, Cruise ships

How the lobstering "Wild East" was won.

Below, read historic information  from Maine's fishery agency between 1901 and 1908 showing the rapid evolution of lobster conservation in Maine, when processing lobsters into canned food products stimulated a bottomless global market 

 They are from Maine Sea and Shore Fishery biennial reports between 1900 and 1908.   (Note: lobsters then were measured from tip of snout to fork of  tail, so the legal sizes mentioned in these reports are larger than today's carapace-only measure.)    Each excerpt has a link to the report it came from. 

(1.A) From: Maine Sea & Shore Fisheries 1901-1902 Ppg 26-27
"Lobsters...This fishery should have more than a passing notice. It is worthy of protection. It is a home industry. As each year rolls around more men, more boats, more traps, are being added to the business. It is unlike any other fishing. There is no salting, no curing, no waiting for a market, no anxiety about a market. They are staples, good as gold from Klondike mines.

"Prior to '95 we had many canning factories on our coast, whose only business was to can lobsters from April 15 to July 15 upwards of nine inches in length. The lobster business was almost annihilated. The can lobster filled almost every grocery store from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The people of the great West knew only canned lobster. Prior to '95 there had never been a live lobster shipped beyond the western border of New York state. 

"Lobsters had become scarce on our coast owing to the constant drain upon the small lobsters for factories. One of the methods of destruction in the canning days was the habit of carrying from three to five inches lobsters before the close time was off, crowding from 3,000 to 5,000 into space not large enough for 2,000, and on the 15th of April when the factories  (continued below figure)
"could secure them, more than half of the small fish were dead. It is said that one million were lost in this way each spring. We had but five wardens then and they were very poorly paid to look after the business. I have only shown a part of the willful destruction under the old law to compare with what has been done under the law of '95, when factories practically went out of business, never to return, I hope.

"The 10 and 1/2-inch law is the best for the protection of the young lobsters we have ever had. The fishermen claim that it is the salvation of the lobster industry, but it does not suit everyone - the violators or the summer tourists.

"The business has increased since '95. The number of men has increased four-fold ; the traps and gear have increased; the prices received have increased; pounds from four in '95 to twenty-three in 1902. Steam smacks have taken the place of sailing smacks; rapid transit and refrigerator cars are carrying our lobsters all over our country. 

Each year the demand is greater, and the question is - Can we ever supply the demand? Answer - Yes. Good liberal appropriations, great care and attention will increase the supply of lobsters and all will be benefited thereby.

"Now take the lobster law. There are certain clauses in our lobster law which make it very hard to enforce. The clause 'mutilated, uncooked lobster is prima facie evidence of their being short,' while mutilated cooked lobsters although short are all right. I have found in several instances mutilated cooked claws and tails of lobsters. If not less than the required length where were the bodies of these lobsters ?

"The lobster dealers may say it will hurt their business to make a law stopping the sale and transportation of lobster meat, but it should be done. What is the lobster meat that the dealers sell? It is nothing more or less than 'dead' lobster which they pick out of their cars every morning and boil and pick out the meat. Now this is no guessing, but something that I have seen for years. 

"Another way the dealers get rid of a good many dead lobsters is by selling them to the hawkers or peddlers, and they will take all they can get. In certain localities the fishermen will break the claws and tails from the bodies and throw the bodies away. At their homes someone will have the water hot and in a few minutes the claws and tails will be cooked, so the wardens cannot take them if they can get into their houses, which they can't do without a search warrant which is about impossible to get."  Letter from Warden George E. Cushman.

"Warden Isaac H. Snow states in his letter: "I would have the lobster law changed so that wardens can take mutilated lobsters cooked as well as uncooked."

"From the introduction of the lobster canning process at Eastport, about 1842, dates the beginning of the extensivecanning interests of the United States in all its branches. Lobster canning was first attempted in the United States at Eastport shortly after 1840, and was made successful in 1843, the method finally employed having been borrowed from Scotland, which country is said to have learned the process from France.

For the successful introduction of the same into the United States we are indebted to Mr. Charles Mitchell, who at that time resided in Halifax, N. S., who learned his trade of John Moir & Son of Aberdeen, Scotland, the first Scotch firm, it is claimed, to put up hermetically sealed preparations of meat and fish.

"Mr. U. S. Treat, a native of Maine, appears to have been most active and influential in starting the enterprise and introducing canned goods into the markets of the United States. Mr. Treat, with a Mr. Noble of Calais, and a Mr. Holliday, a native of Scotland, started the business of manufacturing hermetically sealed goods in Eastport in 1842, experimenting with lobsters, salmon, and haddock. Their capital was limited, appliances crude, and many discouraging canning difficulties were encountered. The experiments were continued for two years with varying success and in secret, no outsiders being allowed to enter their bathing room.

"In 1843 they secured the services of Mr. Charles Mitchell, who moved to Eastport. After Mr. Mitchell's arrival in Eastport no further difficulty was experienced in the bathing or other..."

end Page 40

Page 41
"preparations of the lobsters, and a desirable grade of goods was put up, but found no sale, as such preparations were unknown in our markets. Mr. Treat visited our large cities with samples, but was unable to make sales except on consignment. In 1846 Mr. Treat purchased the island between Eastport and Lubec, which has ever since been known as Treat's Island. In 1854 to 1856 we find him shipping canned lobsters to California. In 1850 there were but three canneries in the United States. In 1856 J. Winslow Jones of Portland commenced canning. In 1843 a one-pound can of lobster sold for five cents, three and one-half pounds, live weight, were required to make a one pound can. No lobsters weighing less than two pounds were then used for canning.

"Concerning the period from 1850 to 1880 sufficient information has not been collected to furnish a connected history of the progress of lobster canning.

"In 1880 there were twenty-three canneries on the coast of Maine, and over forty in the British provinces controlled by United States capital. The combined cash capital invested in the twenty-three factories in Maine was $289,834.

"In addition to the cannery buildings, the several Portland firms which were operating canneries had factories in that city for the manufacture of tin cans and wooden cases, and also warehouses for the storage of the finished product.

"Of the twenty-three , canneries in this State in 1880 ten prepared lobsters only, six, lobsters and mackerel, one,lobsters and clams, six, lobsters, mackerel and clams, and one of the last also put up salmon, fish chowder, and clam chowder.

"In 1879 the factory at Southwest Harbor began to put up lobsters in the shell for export trade. They were boiled, the tail bent under the body, and then packed in cylindrical tin cans twelve and fourteen inches long, put into the cans dry, bathed afterwards and vented in the usual manner. These lobsters were used chiefly for garnishing dishes for the table. In 1879 Mr. J. W. Jones estimated the average weight of lobsters taken for all purposes in Maine 1 ½ pounds; N. S., 2 pounds; Bay of Chaleurs, 2 ½ and Magdaline Islands, 3 pounds.
In 1879 one small steamer was used for collecting lobsters for the factory at Castine. The smacks of that time had an average
Page 41

valuation of about three hundred and fifty dollars ($350). The price obtained by the fishermen in 1880 average about one dollar per hundred (count) for canning lobsters. It is reckoned in 1880 that 9,494,284 pounds oflobsters were used at the Maine canneries, valued at $94,943, from the fishermen, and the number of men supplying the same was not far from 1,200, and nearly, if not quite all of these, were also interested in selling to market smacks, which yielded much greater profits.

From the 9,494,284 pounds of live lobster used by the canneries 2,000,000 pounds of canned lobsters, valued at $238,000 were put up on the coast of Maine. No account of the total production of canned lobsters on the coast of Maine during past years is at hand for comparison with those of 1880, but the fact of a very great falling off in the production from year to year is well known, and can be proved by the statistics of small sections. It is stated that the total production of 1880 was greatly exceeded, in ten years previous to that date, by that of a few canneries alone.
"Until 1842 lobsters were not in sufficient number at Eastport to induce people to fish for them. The canning oflobsters having commenced at Eastport in that year, smacks were sent to the western part of our State for their supplies. In 1855 they first began to fish extensively for lobsters about Eastport.

"In searching for information in relation to the production of our State, I find that the first report of the Fish Commissioners of Maine was made in 1867, the year that I first set foot on Maine soil. From that time forward to 1884 the lobster is never mentioned in any report of the State Commissioners, notwithstanding the canning industry was going on at that time. Salmon and fresh water fish seemed to have had most of the attention of the Commissioners during that period.
"There seems to be no way to compare the production of today with that of the seventies and eighties, for, during the canning period from 1855 to 1890, the U. S. Fish Commission's Report is the only source from which any reliable information is obtainable. In that year, 1880, there were sold to smacks and canners in Maine 14,234,182 pounds of lobsters. At that time they say only lobsters weighing 2 pounds were used for canning. We will figure them as weighing 2 pounds each, which will make the catch of that year 7,117,026 in count, and these were caught by the use of 104,456 pots, which shows an average catch to each pot of 68 lobsters. Thus it is shown at that time our production was far ahead of today. From about that date the catch decreased very rapidly until in 1895, when as I have said elsewhere, laws were enacted to stop the wholesale slaughter which was being made by our canneries, for at that time they were canning those nine inches long, and even smaller.

The canning business, which received the blow given by the legislature of 1895 when it repealed the nine-inch law died in that year, and with the death of the canning industry the lobster business of the State commenced to revive. I consider that in 1893 the business was at its lowest ebb, and since that date, according to statistics, the lobster supply has steadily but slowly increased."

"Our protective laws at the present time, if observed, are adequate; the transportation facilities ample, and the business generally, appears to be in a healthy condition among the dealers. If it is not so with the fishermen then they have only themselves to blame. The laws were enacted at their instigation, and wholly for their benefit, and it lies wholly with them, whether or not they are observed, for if they never save anything but a legal lobster the law never can be violated, no smacksman will be able to purchase one, no dealer can buy or sell one, no person can get any but a legal lobster to eat. 

"In short, unless the fishermen for whom the short lobster law was enacted, save short lobsters nobody in our State can violate it unless by importing from some other state or country. It would seem to anyone not familiar with fishermen and their movements that this would be a simple solution of the whole problem, when by observance of the laws by them ( for whose benefit the law was made, and who know as well as you or I that every violation made by a fisherman is an injury to his own business as well as to his brother fisherman's) that to observe the law would be the only thing he would do.


"Many years ago one of the leading industries connected with the fisheries were the canning factories. These flourished at a time when lobsters were very plentiful, and the regular market price was one cent a pound to the factories and three cents apiece for large lobsters for private use. The fishing season then extended from March to rough weather in the fall, no fishing being done during the winter months. 

"These factories preferred small lobsters, and it would be impossible to estimate the enormous number of young lobsters used by them even in a single season.These factories were the first cause of a large decrease in the annual catch. A law was finally passed making the legal length for canning the same as for ordinary use and it was hoped that the decrease would cease: but the closing of the factories did not stop the destruction of small lobsters. neither did it give the proper protection to the seed-bearing lobster.
The fishermen still continue to..."

"use the small lobster, even using them for cunner trap bait and hen-food. They also continued, after it became illegal to do so, to rub the seed from the spawn of female lobster, and sell them to the lobster buyers with the other market lobsters. These practices were not only common, but the usual methods of most fishermen. Is it any wonder that the catch became smaller and smaller each year until corrective measures were taken? 

"Finally our legislature passed a law making it illegal to have in possession any lobster below a prescribed length, ten and one-half inches, now three and three-fourths inches body measure; and made a general appropriation for the Department of Sea and Shore fisheries, which provided funds, for a warden service to enforce the law.  

"Their experience from using lobsters of that size has been that they are practically exterminating the species. At a meeting recently held in Boston. which was attended by commissioners and representatives of the several states, it was unanimously..."

"...agreed that the Maine legal length, method of measurement, etc., are the best to adopt."

Sep 21, 2019

BDN channel story 091819

Rockland Harbor’s expanded channel boundaries could limit future development

Lauren Abbate | BDN
Rockland Harbor is seen in this September 2019 photo.
By Lauren Abbate, BDN Staff • September 20, 2019 1:00 am

ROCKLAND, Maine ― It’s unclear how future development in Rockland Harbor ― including plans to expand a marina there ― may be hampered following a decision from city officials to expand the boundaries of a frequently used channel and add buffer zones around it.

The location of about a dozen boat moorings in the harbor’s South Channel could also be affected after councilors voted to more clearly define its coordinates.

“You have to clearly designate the channel so everyone knows where it is,” Harbormaster Matt Ripley said. “I felt that we needed to nail down the exact location of the start and the end.”

Yachting Solutions owner Bill Morong said Thursday that he is unsure just how the changes might hinder a proposed expansion of his marina.

The project has been in the works for nearly two years and has caused significant debate surrounding the harbor’s layout. The Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a study on the proposed expansion. If plans are cleared at the federal level, Morong said he expects for work to begin in the fall of 2020.

South Channel is a frequently used municipal path for vessels to navigate from the public landing, through mooring fields and then into the outer harbor.

The original coordinates for the channel have existed in the city’s code for more than 20 years, according to City Manager Tom Luttrell, but it’s unclear if the channel has ever been surveyed. According to the original coordinates, the 80-foot wide channel starts at the public landing and goes out 400 yards.

But the path has outgrown its designated boundaries over the years and the growth was never updated in the city’s code or on harbor maps.

“The channel has morphed out like 1,000 yards because we keep adding moorings out in these mooring fields,” Ripley said. “[The city code] should mirror where we are now.”

This summer, the city hired a surveyor to map the channel, and last week, city councilors approved a recommendation from Rockland Harbor Management Commission to alter South Channel’s coordinates.

A 20-foot buffer will be added on either side of the channel to bar any obstructions from being placed inside the buffer.

A citizen’s group strongly opposed relocating the channel to accommodate for the marina’s expansion and city officials agreed.

“Council agreed that we’re going to leave the channel where it is. It’s been there for ages,” Luttrell said.

The updated channel coordinates will also impact the location of about a dozen mooring balls, according to Ripley. Moorings are inspected nearly every year, so as the affected moorings are inspected ― which usually happens in the winter ― the moorings will be moved out of the channel.


Pen Bay report 9/21/19 links

Sep 12, 2019

Rockland City Council adopts remeasured municipal channel route - with 20 foot buffer. 8min audio

The Rockland city council met 9/9/19. Listen to them discuss and amend proposed changes to the city ordinance on its municipal channel, (also called the South Channel) 8min40sec

See pdf of the channel ordinance amendment under discussion including map,-

City Councilor Ed Glaser brought 2 proposed amendments, sent by the city Harbor Management Commission about 50 seconds in:
(1) Measure from granite face of existing pier, and
(2) accept the results of the surveyor that the Harbormaster hired as the dimensions of the official channel

Glaser urged continued support for a 20 foot buffer even though it affects YS. YS is discussed at 5min 41seconds in the recording .  A discussion on the buffer before vote. Only Westkaemper votes no.

Rockland Harbor access Orff deed's public access, including followon deeds1941 to 2007

One of Rockland Harbor's scenic public access sites along ocean street may still be protected. What are its implications today and for development of neighboring properties?

1941  Ardrey Orff  to Rockland Loan & Bldg Assn 4/11/41 Book266 Pg403

1943  Rockland Rockport Lime Co   to  Adrey E. Orff   Book 278 Page 7

1975 Ardrey E Orff to City of Rockland    Book 608 Page 171

1981 Orff to Utterback 8/18/81    Book  838 Page 200

1982_Orff_estate to  Utterback_040782.pdf   Book 860. Page 71

1983 Utterback to Fisher Engineering 8/24/83     Book 922  Page 142

1986  Fisher Engr to  Douglas Dynamics 6/13/86  Book 1095  Page 207

1995 Douglas Dynamics Inc to Douglas Dynamics LLC  Book 1939 Pg 184

2000 Douglas Dynamics to Bracebridge_061500  9pgs    Book 2486 Page 229

2007 Bracebridge to Rockland Harbor Park LLC 033007  Book 3774 Pg 125

Nearby land of interest
2010   Bracebridge to US Govt_ 4/20/2010    Book 4232  Page 271