Fuel saving tips for commercial fishermen
ROCKLAND — A series of free workshops will be held to provide information on practical, easy-to-implement practices and retrofits for commercial fishermen interested in decreasing fuel use. The workshops, sponsored by CEI and the Island Institute, will take place in Stonington, Friendship and Vinalhaven.
The workshop will include an overview of current fuel prices and trends, a 10-step program to help lower fuel costs and practical steps to optimize engine and drive-train maintenance for fuel savings. Maine Maritime Academy engineering professor Doug Reed will talk about Penobscot East Resource Center’s innovative Green Lobster Boat design. Speakers will also briefly cover topics such as fuel flow meters, trim tabs, biofuels and electric-diesel hybrid engines.
The first workshop was held Nov. 7 at the Penobscot East Resource Center in Stonington. Locations and dates of the remaining workshops include the following.
- Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Friendship Town Office.
- Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Vinalhaven School. Remote participation options will be available for this event.
For more information call 772-5356, ext. 120 or visit the website at islandinstitute.org.
Fishing gear collection scheduled
KENNEBUNK — The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation is offering several opportunities for fishermen to dispose of old, used, or unwanted fishing gear in order to encourage proper disposal and eliminate disposal costs often incurred at transfer stations.
While no vessels will be accepted, wire or wood traps, buoys, warp, nets, or other equipment can be brought on Friday, Nov. 18 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to the old Highway garage lot at 47 Beachwood Ave. in Kennebunkport.
Canadian firm charged in lobster deaths
Gatineau, Quebec — A Nov. 3 story by Bill Trotter in the Bangor Daily News said three officials from Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture have been charged in Canada with using illegal pesticides. According to the news article, lobsters were killed within a few miles of Maine’s border.
Charges are punishable by a fine of up to $1 million and three years in prison.
The investigation by Environment Canada is in regard to lobster deaths off Deer Island and Grand Manan Island. Dead lobsters, which had been exposed to cypermethrin, were found off Grand Manan in late 2009 and off Deer Island in February 2010. The pesticide is banned in Canada but permitted with prior state approval in Maine.
Cooke operates two dozen licensed salmon aquaculture sites in Hancock and Washington counties under several subsidiary companies. The pesticides were used in Maine and New Brunswick to combat an outbreak of sea lice, parasitic crustaceans that weaken the fish and expose them to infection and disease, according to industry officials.
According to Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill, pyrethroid pesticides such as cypermethrin attack the nervous systems of organisms they come into contact with. She said they were “extremely toxic” to lobsters and other marine species, especially crustaceans.
The pesticides have also been used on land-based agriculture operations and affect bees, earthworms, birds and humans.
In 2010, Cooke used the brand-name pesticide Excis, which contains cypermethrin, in 59 of the 76 cages it had at its five operating Maine salmon sites in Cobscook Bay and Western Passage, according to Nell Halse, Cooke’s vice president for communications. The only pesticide treatments Cooke has used in New Brunswick and Maine this year are hydrogen peroxide baths in well boats. The choice is based on temperature-related outbreaks of sea lice and other infestations.
Regulators sued for whale deaths
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Fish Information and Services website at fis.com reported Nov. 1 that the Humane Society of the United States and other environmental organizations have sued the National Marine Fisheries Service over the deaths of endangered whales.
The groups want the federal court in Massachusetts to make NMFS reconsider regulations that allow trap, pot and gillnet fishing in the American lobster, northeast multispecies, monkfish and spiny dogfish fisheries. These areas cover the East Coast from Nova Scotia in Canada to North Carolina in the U.S.
As a result of NMFS’s decisions, the suit says, endangered whales are being put in harm’s way and killed. The plaintiffs claim recent entanglements and deaths prove that NMFS made “erroneous” conclusions in allowing certain types of fishing to take place.
The whales in question are the North Atlantic right whale, the humpback whale, the fin whale and the sei whale — all endangered species, according to the suit.
Two right whales have died this year as a result of entanglement, and there have been at least seven additional new entanglement reports for right whales. Since June, eight endangered humpbacks have been reported with first-time entanglements.
According to the website wordorigins.org, "Scuttlebutt is an early 19th century nautical term for an open cask of water kept on deck for use by the crew. The term comes from scuttle — to cut a hole in — and butt — a large cask. Sailors would gather about the cask and trade stories and gossip, much like modern office workers do at the water cooler or coffee pot. By the turn of the 20th century, American sailors began using the term scuttlebutt to refer to these sea stories and gossip. Eventually the term became associated with any gossip or rumor."
Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at email@example.com or call 207-236-8511.