Dec 16, 2007

Invasive species solution - a look outside the box.

In addition to organisms stowing away in ballast water, ships transport aquatic and marine life on their submerged hulls. The environment created by such organisms as barnacles, sea squirts other 'fouling' organisms, serves as protective habitat for even more species.

When the vessel's hull is cleaned, the biofouling community is scraped off and may well find its way into the harbor, bringing a host of species native to elsewhere.

A SOLUTION? 'Paint' the hulls of vessels with a preselected mix of fouling organisms , of a sort that is non-invasive in nature, that is already globally ubiquitous, that nonetheless makes short shrift of any other species that tries to com aboard the hull to pull an aquatic hitchhike across the seas by fouling to the ship or to the boat.

"Go away! There's no room at the inn", the invader wannabe is told.

Thats the idea, anyway. Let's explore it further at a later time and date.

Dec 6, 2007

Right Whales visiting Penobscot Bay!

A pod of nearly two dozen northern right whales is visiting the mouth of Penobscot Bay.

As a precaution, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has imposed lobster gear restrictions on nearly 2,000 square miles of ocean south of Rockland through December 19th.

Photo shows 600 feet of lobsterline unwrapped from a humpback whale.

The Dynamic Area Management (DAM) zone is likely to have varying impacts Maine fishermen. December is a big month in the offshore lobster fishery. Monhegan opens in January.

Some of the largest boats that fish offshore can land as much as 20,000 pounds of lobster, earning thousands of dollars for their crew on a single December trip. While the rewards can be high, so can the risk.

Its a hard pill to swallow, but until lobstering technology moves into the 21st century, we humans must make way for our majestic predecessors, who have lived in these waters since before the bronze age, for the trap lines WILL snarl a rightie if he or she blunders into it the wrong way.

Dec 4, 2007

As goes Moosehead Lake, so goes Maine - right, Governor?

Shall Moosehead Lake be crucified on the cross of corporatocracy?

Tourism and respectful exploitation of wild and natural northern Maine, or corporate profit driven growth centers sprawling over the wild landscape?

The question comes up repeatedly, even daily for Mainers: How shall our local economy be? Atomized into a robust democracy of small businesses, or congeal into superstores for the many and gated estates for the few.

Even Governor Baldacci, no enemy to big business, admits the plans of Plum Creek for the Moosehead Lake region are defined by the "S" word. And unfavorably so.)

Keep the faith, Governor. Don't equivocate. Better to leave a legacy of wild nature than be known as the hangman of Moosehead Lake.