According to the Web site 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.”

Lobster zone meetings scheduled

AUGUSTA – The following dates, times and locations have been set for regional meetings of Maine’s Lobster Zone Councils.

Jan. 19 – Zone D extends from Pemaquid Point to Cape Rosier, 6 p.m. at the Rockland Ferry Terminal.

Jan. 25 – Zone E extends from Small Point to Pemaquid, 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln County Communications Center in Wiscasset.

Jan. 26 – Zone C extends from Cape Rosier to Newbury Neck in Blue Hill Bay and includes Matinicus and Ragged islands, 1:30 p.m. at Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in East Orland.

The next Lobster Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Natural Resource Services Center in Hallowell.

For more information, including the dates for additional zone meetings, visit the Maine Department of Marine Resources Web site at maine.gov/dmr.

Business workshop planned for fishermen’s forum

ROCKPORT – LobsterBiz, a business workshop for lobstermen and their families, has been rescheduled. The workshop, originally set for Jan. 15, will take place during the Maine Fishermen’s Forum on the first weekend in March at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.

LobsterBiz will review critical elements of a successful independent fishing business, including how to develop a business plan, track expenses, obtain financing, and plan for long-range expenses such as retirement or the purchase of a new boat.

LobsterBiz is sponsored by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. The program is scheduled to take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5. For more information, call Patty Collins at 228-1625.

Sea State lecture schedule announced

PORTLAND – The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has announced upcoming programs in an ongoing public lecture series about emerging challenges and opportunities in the Gulf of Maine.

Sea State 5.0 speakers will explore the sustainability of seafood from a range of ecological and business perspectives.

  • Feb. 11 – Aquaculture: A Seafood Solution for the Future, with Sebastian Belle of the Maine Aquaculture Association
  • March 11 – Eco-friendly Fine Dining: Savor the Possibilities, with Sam Hayward of Fore Street restaurant
  • April 8 – The Pillars of Ocean Stewardship: A Harvester’s Perspective, with Alain d’Entremont of Scotia Harvest Seafoods
  • May 13 – Recognizing and Rewarding Sustainable Seafood, with Brad Ack of the Marine Stewardship Council
  • May 27 – Bonus Lecture: Creating Market Pull in the Gulf of Maine Region, with Jen Levin, manager of GMRI’s Sustainable Seafood Program
  • Nov. 12 – The Meaning of Sustainable: Seafood Business for the 21st Century, with Jerry Knecht of North Atlantic Seafood

GMRI catalyzes solutions for the complex challenges of ocean stewardship and economic growth in the Gulf of Maine bioregion. For more information visit gmri.org.

For reservations and more information, contact Patty Collins at lectures@gmri.org or 228-1625.

National saltwater angler registry opens

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Saltwater Angler Registry was opened on New Year’s Day. This new program is part of a data collection system and seeks to help protect the nation’s ocean resources, according to a Dec. 29 press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Saltwater recreational fishermen have long expressed concerns about the data used to estimate the effects of recreational fishing on ocean resources and the nation’s economy,” the press release said.

The registry will provide a comprehensive list of the nation’s saltwater anglers. The registry will be used to improve surveys of fishermen. These surveys are used by NOAA scientists to assess the health of fish stocks and to estimate the economic contributions of anglers, according to NOAA.

Many saltwater recreational fishermen will be required to register before fishing in 2010. The registry opened for registrations on Jan. 1. Those who hold state saltwater fishing licenses may already be part of the registry.

Recreational saltwater fishermen will need to register if they:

  • Hold a license from one of 10 coastal states or territories, including Maine, which do not currently have comprehensive saltwater angler license or registration requirements
  • Fish for or are likely to catch anadromous species in tidal and salt waters; these are fish such as river herring, shad, smelt and striped bass that live in the oceans but spawn in fresh water
  • Fish in the federal waters more than 3 miles from the ocean shore or from the mouths of rivers or bays

Licensed commercial fishermen, those under the age of 16, and some others may not be required to register.

National saltwater angler registration is free in 2010. To register, visit countmyfish.noaa.gov and click on the Angler Registry link, or call the toll-free registration line at 888-674-7411 between the hours of 4 a.m. and midnight.

Recreational fishermen should also remember that regardless of whether an individual is registered with NOAA, he must obey all state regulations and licensing requirements where he is fishing, the press release said.

Lighthouse Digest seeks photos of lighthouses keepers

EAST MACHIAS – For the past 20 years Tim Harrison, editor of Lighthouse Digest, has been searching for photographs of lighthouse keepers and the family members that lived at lighthouses in an effort to save lighthouse history for future generations.

According to a Jan. 6 press release, Harrison is working on several regional books about lighthouses and wants to locate photographs of lighthouse keepers and family members who grew up at the lighthouses.

Harrison’s books include “Lighthouses of the Sunrise County,” which is about lighthouse life in Washington County, “Lighthouses of Bar Harbor and the Acadia Region” and “Portland Head Light,” which also includes some of the lighthouses of Casco Bay.

Harrison said he does not need original photographs. He can be contacted at Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630, by e-mail at editor@lighthousedigest.com or by calling 259-2121.

Tidal power project files progress report

PORTLAND – Ocean Renewable Power Company filed its fifth progress report with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 31 for its work in the Western Passage and Cobscook Bay, both in Washington County.

According to the report, ORPC is in the final fabrication and assembly stage of a pre-commercial turbine generator unit and plans extensive in-water testing of the unit early this year. The report stated that the unit will be deployed from ORPC’s barge Energy Tide 2, which will be moored in Cobscook Bay.

The company plans to file its Final Pilot Project License Application in early March.

Pirate Festival announces schedule, prizes

EASTPORT – The Eastport Pirate Festival Committee announced Dec. 19 that the 2010 Fifth Annual Pirate Festival will take place Sept. 10, 11 and 12, the weekend after Labor Day. The Eastport Pirate Invasion of Lubec will take place the previous weekend.

More than 125 local businesses and numerous individuals contributed in 2009 to keep 95 percent of the events free for public enjoyment and participation. Planning and fundraising is under way for the coming year.

One new addition to the popular weekend event will be an International Lobster Boat Race between lobsterboats from Canada and Maine.

For more information, visit eastportpiratefestival.com.

Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at sauciello@villagesoup.com or call 207-236-8511.