Sep 14, 2012

Penobscot Bay's Fishes & Shellfishes, circa 1994

In the early 1990s NOAA carried out a survey of estuary fishes along the United States' North Atlantic Coast, charting abundance and distribution in bays along the North Atlantic Coast. The survey Distribution and abundance of fishes and invertebrates in North Atlantic estuaries included Penobscot Bay.  Below are the fish and shellfish  that were detected in Penobscot Bay in that 1994 survey.

ELMR North Atlantic Species in Penobscot Bay, surveyed by NOAA, 1994

Blue mussel Mytilus edulis Mytilidea
Sea scallop Placopeclen magellanicus  Pectinidae
American oyster Crassostrea virginica Ostreidae   USFC
Northern quahog Mercenaria mercinaria  Veneridae
Softshell clam  Mya arenaria   Myidae

Green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis Strongylocentrotidae

Daggerblade grass shrimp Pelaemonetes pugio Palaemonidae
Northern shrimp Pandalus borealis Pandalidae
Sevenspine bay shrimp Crangon septemspinosa Crangonidae
American lobster Homarus americanus  Nephropidae
Jonah crab Cancer borealis Canceridae
Atlantic rock crab Cancer irroratus Canceridae
Green crab Cancer Maenas Portunidae

Blueback herring Alosa aestivalis Clupeidae
Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus Clupeidae
American shad Alosa sapidissima Clupeidae
Atlantic menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus Clupeidae
Atlantic herring Clupea harengus Clupeidae
Flainbow smelt Osmerus mordax Osmeridae

Atlantic salmon Salmo salar  Salmonidae

Atlantic cod Gadus morhua Gadidae
Haddock  Melanogrammus aeglefinus  Gadidae
Silver hake Merlucccius bilinearis Gadidae
Atlantic tomcod  Microgadus tomcod Gadidae
Pollock Pollachius virens Gadidae
Red hake Urophycis chuss Gadidae
White hake Urophycis tenuis  Gadidae

White perch Morone americana Percichthyidae
Striped bass Morone saxatilis Percichthyidae
Bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix Pomatomidae

Scup  Stenotomus chrysops Sparidae
Tautog Tautoga onitis Labridae
Cunner Tautogolabrus adspersus Labridae
Ocean pout  Macrozoarces americansus Zoarcldae
Rock gunnel Pholis gunnellus Pholidae
American sand lance Ammodytes americanus Ammodytidae

Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus Scombridae
Butterfish Peprilus triacanthus Stromateidae

Windowpane flounder Scophthalmus aquosus Bothidae
American plaice Hippoglossoides platessoides Pleuronectidae
Winter flounder Pleuronectes americansus  Pleuronectidae
Yellowtail flounder Pleurontectes ferrugineus Pleuronectidae
Smooth flounder Pleuronectes putnami Pleuronectidae

Mummichogs Fundulus heteroclitus Cyprinodontidae
Silversides Menidia species Atherinidae
Fourspine stickleback Apeltes quadracus Gasterosteidae
Threespine sticklebeck Gasterosteus aculeatus Gasterostaidae
Ninespine stickleback  Pungitius pungitius  Gasterosteidae

Spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias Squalidae
Skates Raja species Rajidae
Shortnose sturgeon Aclnenser brevirostrum Acipenseridae
Atlantic sturgeon Acioenser oxyrhynchus Acipenseridae
American eel Anguilla rostrata  Anguillidae

Northern pipefish Syngnathus fuscus,Syngnathidae
Northern searobin Prionotus carolinus Triglidae
Grubby Myoxocephalus aenaeus Cottidae
Longhorn sculpin Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus Cottidae
Shorthorn sculpin Myoxocephalus scorpius Coltidae

Penobscot Bay Report Audio recordings 2008 to 2012

Penobscot Bay Report Audio 2008 to 2012
Listen to a  selection of the public meeting recordings I've made  since 2008, starting with 2012 Listen to them and learn about Penobscot Bay, the Gulf of Maine and those that work and play upon these waters. Or plan to.


July 2, 2012 Rockland city council takes testimony on letter to Searsport about DCP

Jun 21, 2012 Statoil Speaks: six Interviews at public info meeting in Rockland Six Interviews at public info meeting June 21, 2012 in Rockland ...Earlier Statoil Hywind events audio ... 3/12/12 Statoil at 2012 Maine Fishermens Forum. Posted by Ron Huber at 6/28/2012 08:12:00 AM ...

6/11/12  DCP midstream - my sampled song "Shut us down" sampled from Searport planning board meeting

May 23, 2012 Penobscot Bay Blog: Feds/Maine ocean energy task force e-meets, holds public teleconference  Feds/Maine ocean energy task force e-meets on next 2 steps reviewing Statoil's 4-turbine floating windpark plan, then holds public teleconference. AUDIO and TRANSCRIPT of public teleconference.

May 17, 2012 The Waldo County Local Emergency Planning Committee held a meeting and hosted an open house at their Waldo County Emergency Management Agency  facility in Belfast. Listen to Podcast  & listen to an mp3 recording of the hour long question and answer period in two formats:

Mar 13 and 14, 2012
  Open pit metal mining bill. Open pit metal mining: Maine legislature grapples with last minute bill. AUDIO of hearing and worksession.  

April 9, 2012 April 9th  Senator Douglas Thomas made the case before the appropriations committee (5min mp3) to get Sears Island dredge money on the transportation bond.

March 29, 2012  Casella  "surprise" resolution to  the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Listen to the committee chair describe it around 2:40pm today

March 13 & 14 2012 the Maine legislature's Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard and received testimony and emails for or against  LD 1853 "An Act To Improve Environmental Oversight and Streamline Permitting for Mining in Maine"

Mar 04, 2012 Windpower seminar at 2012 Maine Fishermen's Forum. Overwhelming static forced editing out of parts of several speakers including Glenn Libby and Pete Jumars.

Mar 02, 2012  Fishermens Forum: Maine Groundfish Permit Bank Seminar:: Maine Groundfish Permit Bank Seminar: "Maine Permit Bank Program:Full Speed Ahead."

Mar 01, 2012  Penobscot Bay Blog: Maine Legislature considers elver fishery and shrimp dealers.. On March 1st the Maine Legislature's Marine Resources Committee, Led by Committee chair Lois Snow-Mello, with DMR Commissioner Pat Keliher, held a worksession on LD 1765 An Act To Sustain the Elver Fishery,

Feb 28, 2012 Penobscot Bay Blog: LURC reform legislation LD 1798 has  Maine Legislature's February 28, 2012 worksession on LD 1798 "An Act To Reform Land Use Planning in the Unorganized Territory". NOTE to listen to the February 16th public hearing ...

Feb 24, 2012 Sears Island Container port bill gets skeptical reception. 

Industrial port-huggers and two determined Penobscot Bay defenders Paul McCarrier and Will Neils, at the Maine statehouse, challenging the "LD 420 An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Fund Building a Container Port on Sears Island" that came before the Maine Legislature's Appropriations Committee 

Feb 21, 2012 Belfast City Council hears TBNT on LPG, votes to write to ACOE Belfast City Council hears TBNT on LPG, votes to write to ACOE 

Feb 16, 2012 Penobscot Bay Blog: Legislature & citizens ponder bill LD 1798 to reform LURC...  On February 16, 2012, the Maine legislature took testimony on LD 1798 ,"An Act To Reform Land Use Planning in the Unorganized Territory" 

Feb 14, 2012: East West Highway bill hearing   February 14, 2012, the People came out to speak against LD 1671 An Act To Provide Funding to the Department of Transportation for a Feasibility Study of an East-west Highway Click on a name for the link to an MP3 audio ...


... to explain their bits of the puzzle. But without the Norwegian company's officials present, the meeting was strangely unfulfilling, like.

Audio. At the November 15, 2011 Belfast City Council Meeting, three Belfast residents spoke out with their concerns about the proposed LPG super tank in nearby Searsport. And the City Councilors listened and replied. Listen ...

Thanks But No Tank! Belfast public presentation AUDIO. Belfast Library, November third. The library's meeting room filled quickly and a two hour presentation and discussion ensued, exploring what is known about the plan for ...

 recordings. The meeting was organized by Island Institute. Speakers included Heather Deese, Ph.D., II Director of Marine Programs, Amanda LaBelle, II Marine ...


October 19, 2010  Audio recordings of DeepCwind official Habib Dagher. * Habib Dagher speaks at 1st annual Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Conference (one hour). * 

Sept 14, 2010  BOEMRE meeting Belfast Maine

 March 6, 2010  Maine Fishermens' Forum panel and discussion on windpower

March 11, 2010  Fishermen at Maine's State Legislature on LD 1810, An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Governor's Ocean Energy Task Force.  ...

Jan 1, 2010 Fox Island Wind, polluting the soundscape .Wonder what the windmills on Vinalhaven sound like ? Click here for an hour long unedited recording of these windmills' endless warbling howl, as if jets are constantly flying past in the middle distance.


Oct 28, 2009 ME Coastal Waters Conference  Maine Coastal Waters Conference October 28, 2009. Audio mp3s. See state website of the conference. The event had 10 sessions. Paul Anderson, Maine SeaGrant Welcoming remarks. George Lapointe. Angus King speaks.

June 2009 Shirley Oliver  on  historic Sears Island on a rainy day on the causeway back in June.  11 minutes long
Critics including members of their own group locally, Atlantic Canada Sierra Club members, and as far away as California (mp3 audio of Tom Politeo, interviewed by Ron Huber, Penobscot Bay Report, WRFR COmmunity ...

These are a selection of recordings listen to them and learn about Penobscot Bay, the Gulf of Maine and that that work and play upon them.

Feds put 60 day ban on gillnetting to protect porpoises

No reprieve on fall gillnet closures
By Richard Gaines, Gloucester Times, September 12, 2012

NOAA's regional office has affirmed the agency's decision to impose a two-month closure on gillnet fishing in the Gulf of Maine beginning Oct. 1 due to what officials say are unacceptable levels of harbor porpoise bycatch that, to the government, showed lack of compliance with a requirement that nets be equipped with functioning "pingers."

The closed area encompasses about 2,130 square miles of prime fishing grounds north, west and south of Gloucester. Pingers, which are placed in fishermen's nets, send an audible signal designed to scare away the porpoises.

The decision to stick with the closure announced last spring came in the form of a rejection of an alternative proposal.

Presented last summer by the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition, the region's largest industry group, the alternative would have reduced the length of the closure and the size of the area being closed; it also would have shifted the closure from October and November to the second half of March and April.

The decision to stand by the closures marks the first major science- and law-based action by John Bullard, who just weeks ago took over as Northeast regional administrator. Since his appointment in mid-summer, Bullard, a former mayor of New Bedford, has been on an introductory and opinion-and-fact-gathering tour of the states from Maine through North Carolina, whose federal waters are governed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northeast offices in Gloucester's Blackburn Industrial Park.

In a letter last Thursday to Jackie Odell, the seafood coalition's executive director, Bullard wrote that he had asked the acting administrator of fisheries, Sam Rauth, to have the harbor porpoise protection problem delegated to him; since then, Bullard said, he directed his staff to see if there was a way to protect harbor seals that "could justify" modifying the "consequence" closing.

Bullard rejected the proposed alternative proposed by the coalition, writing that switching to the coalition alternative offered fishermen or the harbor porpoises little to gain.

Moreover, he warned in his letter to Odell, a recent harbor porpoise stock assessment showed the "population has declined," implying that more radical actions than the "consequence" closure would be expected.

The term derives from the harbor seal management plan and indicates a carrot-stick approach to protecting harbor porpoises as required in the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act.

"The consequence closure area strategy gave gillnetters control of their own fate," Bullard wrote to Odell. "Fishermen on the (harbor porpoise take reduction team) accepted this as a challenge they could meet.

"Environmentalists on the team accepted it instead of an immediate closure of a smaller area. Unfortunately, during the past two years, fishermen in the Gulf of Maine did not fully respond to the compliance challenge," Bullard wrote.

Richard Burgess, who owns a multi-boat gillinetting business, disputed the assertion that the Gloucester-based gillnetters failed to utilize the pingers, while Paul "Sasquatch" Cohan, another Gloucester-based gillnetter, said losing the inshore grounds in October and November cannot be obviated by fishing in open months, due to the dearth of equally valued fish.

Cohan said he found insulting the suggestion by Bullard that, if they chose not to fish, gillnetters could lease out their quota. Such a business decision would produce a small fraction of the revenue of fishing one's own quota, he said.

"The analysis provided in the environmental assessment supporting the 2010 amendment to the (Take Reduction Plan) shows that if fishermen use the appropriate number of fully functional pinger the harbor porpoise takes would stay below total allowable catch equivalent for porpoises," said David Gouveia, a member of the take reduction team.

"If takes continue to occur at this high rate," Gouveia added, "the 'consequence' closure will likely be the back story as more measures to reduce harbor porpoise bycatch will likely take the front page."

That will likely be the focal point, he said of a take reduction team meeting in October.

In the initial announcement\of the Gulf of Maine closure, NOAA's Protected Resource Division said, "We have determined that the bycatch rate for the Coastal Gulf of Maine Consequence Closure Area has exceeded the target rate" for harbor porpoise mortality of one per 71,117 pounds of fish.

Richard Gaines can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3464, or at

But the "bycatch rate was so high (in the first year of monitoring) that the two-year average cannot be reduced below the target bycatch rate for this area, even if no harbor porpoises are observed being caught (in year two)," the NOAA statement said.

The two-year bycatch rate for porpoises in the Coastal Gulf of Maine Consequence Area was set at 0.031 porpoises per metric ton of fish landed, and in the first year the bycatch rate was reported to be 0.078.

In contrast, gillnet boats working in the east and south of Cape Cod did no exceed the limits: Pinger compliance was 65 percent, and the one-year by catch rate was 0.012 porpoises per metric ton of fish. The target rate for the Cape Cod region was 0.023 porpoises per metric ton of fish.

A Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Team made up of industry, environmental group representatives, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Councils, gear researchers and state and regional management organizations wrote the plan, required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, to drive down losses to a statistical zero.

Before management began in 1998, there were about 1,500 porpoise deaths a year from fishing gear, but the number fell to near zero for the first five years of regulation, before fatalities began trending upward again in 2005, which was when pinger compliance efforts were increased, said NOAA spokeswoman Maggie Mooney-Seus.

Government officials said they saw a cause and effect relationship between pingers and porpoise bycatch levels.

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