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.”

Bill would create research fund for pelagic and anadromous fish

AUGUSTA — The Maine Lobstermen’s Association reported Feb. 4 that a bill before the Maine Legislature would create a new license for commercial pelagic and anadromous fishing, such as for herring, Atlantic menhaden, whiting, spiny dogfish, alewives, Atlantic mackerel, blueback herring, squid, butterfish, scup, black sea bass, smelt and shad. Anyone engaged in commercial fishing for these species would have to purchase the license for a set fee and also pay a surcharge. Revenue from the fees would be used to conduct research related to the management of these species. The work session for the bill is on Feb. 10.

‘Life by Lobster’ to air on television.

PORTLAND — A film by Deer Isle-Stonington native Iain McCray Martin is scheduled to air on the television stations of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 10:30 p.m. Part of Martin’s undergraduate work at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., “Life by Lobster” takes an intimate look at six of his Deer Isle-Stonington classmates and friends as they take on the responsibilities and challenges of one of Maine’s iconic industries.

State saltwater license passes first hurdle

AUGUSTA — The Marine Resources Committee decided Jan. 25 to endorse a proposal to create Maine’s first license for saltwater sport fishing.

If approved by the Legislature, the law would require recreational fishermen who fish in saltwater to register with the Department of Marine Resources as of January 2011 and pay a fee of $5 for Maine residents and $15 for non-residents.

Canadian lobstermen hope to reduce effort

OTTAWA — Fishermen in three lobster zones off Prince Edward Island are working on measures that would lower their harvest.

In Area 25, the western end of the Northumberland Strait, 32 fishermen out of 252 currently holding licenses have agreed to retire their lobster licenses in return for a lump sum payment of $175,000 (Canadian).

North Shore lobstermen are calling for an area-wide reduction of 10 percent in the number of traps each fisherman puts in the water, currently set at 300.

Prince Edward Island’s southeast zone is still working on a plan. The deadline for all three proposals to be submitted for approval to the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans is March 31.

New ownership for Pemaquid Marine

NEW HARBOR — Pemaquid Marine announced Feb. 4 that the yard was recently purchased by Ted Derivan, the founder of Transom Boat Works formerly located in Nova Scotia.

A press release said that Transom Boat Works has received numerous awards for its work exhibited at the Mahone Bay Classic Boat Festival and was recognized in 2008 by the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association for company development and growth resulting from its significant investment in training, quality systems and facilities.

Pemaquid Marine, located on the Pemaquid peninsula, is best known as the builder of the Banks Cove 22, built at the yard since 1996 and designed by Charlie Pingree of North Haven.

The yard’s first new construction project under Derivan’s ownership is a wooden 27-foot birdwatcher-style sharpie schooner designed by Phil Bolger. The boat, for a client in Toronto, has a spring 2010 launch date.

Pemaquid Marine will be exhibiting at the Maine Boat Builder’s Show in Portland March 19-21.

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