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.”

Ocean Energy Task Force recommendations to get legislative hearing

AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci’s bill implementing the recommendations of the Ocean Energy Task Force, L.D. 1810, was printed March 3 and scheduled for hearing March 11 at 1 p.m. at the Utilities and Energy Committee.

Lobster business planning workshop scheduled

PORTLAND — LobsterBiz is a business planning workshop for lobster fishermen and their families that will review the critical elements of a successful independent fishing business. Topics include how to develop a business plan, track expenses, obtain financing and plan for long-range expenses like retirement or a new boat.

A range of business contacts and resources will be present at LobsterBiz including local commercial lenders, business counselors and Certified Public Accountants familiar with the unique aspects of the lobstering business. In one day, attendees will have an opportunity to cover the basics for sound business planning and create a network of resources for the future.

The LobsterBiz workshop will take place Saturday, March 27 following the Canadian/U.S. Lobstermen’s Town Hall Meeting and will begin 1 p.m. at the Gulf of Maine Resource Center, 350 Commercial St., Portland. For more information and to register for this free event, contact Patty Collins at 6 pcollins@gmri.org or call 228-1645.

Zone C Lobster Council meeting scheduled

HALLOWELL — The next Zone C Lobster Council meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 5 at 1 p.m. at Waterman’s Community Center on North Haven.

Lobstermen’s Exchange to visit 12 locations

KENNEBUNK — Lobster fishermen from Tasmania, West Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia will meet with those in Maine and beyond.

In addition meetings at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, March 4 through 6, the following events have been scheduled.

  • March 7 — Community Dinner at 5 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Cutler. For more information, contact Kristan Porter at 460-0560.
  • March 8 — Community Open House from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Tall Barney’s in Jonesport.
  • March 8 — Community Dinner at 6 p.m. at the Somesville Fire House in Mount Desert. For more information, contact Jim Dow at 288-9846.
  • March 9 — Regional Meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. at Ellsworth City Hall Council Chambers.
  • March 9 — Community Dinner at 6 p.m. at Fisherman’s Friend in Stonington. For more information, contact Steve Robbins at 460-7415.
  • March 10 — Community Open House at 9 a.m. at Harbor Café in Stonington.
  • March 10 — Community Dinner in Vinalhaven. For more information, contact Steve Rosen at 863-4948.
  • March 11 — Tour and lunch from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Brooks Trap Mill in Thomaston.
  • March 11 — Community Meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Town Hall in Phippsburg. For more information, contact Rick Albertson at 751-3886.
  • March 12 — Regional Meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland.
  • March 12 and 13 — Community Dinner in Long Island. For more information, contact David Johnson at 766-3318.
  • March 13 — Tour of lobster processors in Portland.
  • March 14 — Boston Seafood Show

Lobstermen’s Exchange sponsors include the Island Institute; Maine Sea Grant, Lobster Research, Education and Development Fund; Maine Fishermen’s Forum; Diversified Communications; Brooks Trap Mill; Gulf of Maine Research Institute; Andy’s Old Port Pub; and the many families and communities who are hosting the international visitors along the coast.

For more information, call 967-4555 or send e-mail to patrice@mainelobstermen.org. For more dates and times, visit mainelobstermen.org.

Fisheries summit to explore catch shares and sectors

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Mayor Scott W. Lang announced March 2 the Northeast Fisheries Summit, a day-long discussion that will focus on the future and sustainability of the fishing industry in New England and near- and mid-Atlantic ports.

The Summit is co-hosted by Lang’s Ocean and Fisheries Council, the School for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute. Expected to attend is Eric Schwaab, the newly appointed Assistant Administrator for Fisheries with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Congressman Barney Frank; and industry leaders, scientists, elected officials, environmentalists and government officials from across the Northeastern region.

The summit will include panel discussions on catch shares and sectors, scallops and scallop by-catch and amending the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

The summit will begin 9 a.m. Monday, March 8 at the Whaling Museum, located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in New Bedford. The public is welcome to attend.

Marine Systems Training Center adds courses

THOMASTON — Three more offerings round out the March schedule at the Marine Systems Training Center in Thomaston.

  • March 23 — Propellers & Propulsion, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, with instructor Larry Kindberg.
  • March 25 — Customer Service — from the Top Down, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, with instructors Linda Buckmaster and Norm Pierce
  • March 31 — Estimating Effectively, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with instructor Steve Bunnell.

Women’s sailing program slated for summer season

CAMDEN — Starting in June, NorthPoint Yacht Charters will offer Women at the Helm, Midcoast Maine’s summer sailing collaboration for women. Designed by and for women to teach basic sailing skills, this day program will offer hands on experience to help students gain confidence and improve maritime skills in a fun, relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Women at the Helm will work with sailors at all levels of experience to help them have the confidence to be take-charge skippers by working on points of sail, sail trim, navigation, piloting, helmsmanship, seamanship, anchoring, safety, man overboard drills and much more.

For those who cannot afford the time or expense of taking a week-long teaching cruise, the program schedules affordable day sails out of Camden with flexible schedules, small group dynamics with an experienced captain and teacher aboard Sagacious, a well-maintained 34-foot, Bill Shaw designed, Pearson sloop.

For information about this and other NorthPoint Yacht Programs and charters contact Larrain Slaymaker at info@northpointyachtcharters.com, visit the Web site at
northpointyachtcharters.com or call 557-1872.

Rockland sailmaker and Freeport sailor collect sails as shelters for Haiti

FREEPORT — John Eide and Maine Sailing Partners in Freeport are collaborating to collect used sails to be shipped to Haiti to be used for makeshift shelter. The rainy season is starting early this year in the Caribbean, so Eide hopes to get the used sails to Haiti quickly, according to a March 3 e-mail message.

Pope Sails and Rigging in Rockland will accept sails in the Midcoast area and Maine Sailing Partners in Freeport will act as a drop-off point for the sails between March 5 and March 19, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Portland Yacht Service will accept sails in Building 11 during the hours of the Maine Boatbuilders Show, March 19, 20 and 21.

The sails will be trucked to Miami where two organizations, Haiti-Life and Shake-a-Leg, have the infrastructure in place to ship the sails to Haiti.

Boat owners and other interested parties are asked to contact friends, yacht club members, other sailors and anyone else who might have old, used sails taking up space and ask them to donate to the people of Haiti.

Any sail will be accepted, other than torn, shredded or de-laminated sails. Hoist and foot lengths should be available so sails can be properly tagged.

The deadline for donations is Friday, March 19.

Shake-a-Leg, the Miami collection point, and Haiti-Life, the shipper to and distributor in Haiti, are both 501c3 organizations so donations are tax deductible. Shipping from Miami to Haiti is funded by Project Medishare, also a 501c3.

Ventless trap survey seeks bidders

HALLOWELL — The Department of Marine Resources is seeking three industry participants for a Ventless Trap Program through a competitive bid process. First initiated in 2006, and intended to continue as a long term monitoring program, this project will run during June, July and August 2010. Interested parties will need to complete the application to identify vessel specifications, daily rate and preferred sampling leg.

Three of nine legs are open for bid, covering southern Penobscot, Muscongus and Casco bays. Each leg will have 75 to 100 small mesh traps randomly positioned at three depths. This is an opportunity to participate in a cooperative research project supported by industry and science along the entire range of the resource.

For more information and to apply, visit the Department of Marine Resources Web site at maine.gov/dmr/rfp/ventless.

Obama administration calls for endangered listing of bluefin tuna

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Obama Administration announced that it wants to list bluefin tuna as an internationally endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. A CITES listing would effectively stop Maine fishermen from selling bluefin tuna outside the United States, which closes off the important Japanese market, according to a March 3 press release from the office of Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine. Since the Maine tuna season is short and there is no freezer capacity to store tuna, limiting Maine fishermen to a domestic market would put many of them out of business, the press release said.

Pingree said international quotas, set last fall by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas as part an international agreement, should be allowed to work. The press release also said the problem with the CITES listing is that countries like Japan are likely to opt out, which means they will continue to buy tuna internationally from non-U.S. fishermen, while Maine fishermen who play by the rules will be left on the dock.

Portland boatbuilder offers computer numerically cut kits from France

PORTLAND — Clint Chase announced March 3 that his company is now a U.S. agent for precision cut boat kits for François Vivier, a prolific designer of ships, yachts and traditional small craft in France. In addition, Chase is contracting with other designers around the world to bring new boats and computer numerically cut boat kits to the American market for the first time.

Chase is also providing CNC kits for designs by Michael Storer, from Adelaide, Australia, and Eric Risch, from Gardiner, Maine. CNC cutters in Maine will be employed to cut the kits and ship them by freight.

Chase is a graduate of the Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design in Kennebunkport. For more information, visit clintchaseboatbuilder.com or see his exhibit at the 2010 Maine Boatbuilders Show, March 19 through 21 in Portland.

Maine shrimp gains popularity in Virgin Islands

Linda Bean has recently opened a lobster and shrimp concession in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, she reported during the opening session of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum Thursday. Bean said that, so far, shrimp is outselling lobster in the Caribbean resort.

Nominations open for EnergyOcean pioneers

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Submissions are being accepted for the EnergyOcean International 2010 Pioneer Awards. Applications in any of six categories must be submitted by March 31 for consideration. The winners will be determined by the EnergyOcean International Advisory Committee.

For further information, contact Kayla Appelt at (713) 343-1869 or kappelt@tradefairgroup.com.

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