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.”

Marine architect to speak at Camden library

CAMDEN — Marine architect Robert Stephens of Stephens, Waring and White Yacht Design will present “An Evolving Tradition: Modern Yacht Design and Construction on the Maine Coast” on Tuesday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Camden Public Library. Maritime Month at the library features a number of speakers on historical topics on the Maine coast, but Stephens’ talk will cover up-to-date design methods and materials and the current state of boat construction and design in Maine.

The Maine tradition of building fine yachts goes back for centuries, and has been evolving for as long to embrace new technologies and different ways of yachting. Stephens will talk about innovations in hull design, construction materials, and systems, and will accompany this talk with photographs.

For more information, call the Camden Public Library at 236-3440.

Lobster Foundation announces final groundline swap

KENNEBUNK – Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, a Maine-based nonprofit that collaborates with lobstermen and scientists on industry-based research projects, will hold the final phase of the Bottom Line Project for Maine lobstermen and other fishermen during the spring of 2010.

A press release from GOMLF on April 14 said that a waiting list for the program has been maintained since April 2009, when the broad-based sinking groundline requirements of the Final Whale Rule went into effect for the lobster industry. Recent federal funding has been awarded to GOMLF to make the additional exchanges possible, and to offer the exchange opportunity to other fixed-gear fishermen.

The groundline exchanges will be held at three locations over the next month: April 28 and April 29 in Ellsworth, May 6 in the Portland area, and May 12 and May 13 in the Rockland area. Additional dates or locations may be offered if necessary to accommodate Maine fishermen on the waiting list.

Lobstermen and other fishermen who fish outside of the whale exemption line and use fixed gear with groundlines are encouraged to pre-register by contacting GOMLF. It is anticipated that at least 500,000 pounds of floating groundline will be brought in for exchange.

Participating fishermen will receive vouchers worth $1.40 per pound toward the purchase of replacement sinking groundline at participating rope dealers in Maine and New Hampshire. Sinking groundlines, which are more expensive and less durable than floating groundlines, are required in many areas to comply with the federal regulation aimed at reducing the entanglement potential for large whales, the press release said.

Since its first collection in 2007, the Bottom Line Project has collected over 1.5 million pounds of floating groundline and has issued vouchers to lobstermen worth over $2.1 million. All of the collected rope has been recycled for use in making plastic products, or has been used by artisans to weave doormats or other rope products.

For more information on the Bottom Line Project, visit gomlf.org or contact Laura Ludwig at the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation at 985-8088.

Zone C lobster hatchery closes

STONINGTON — The Zone C Lobster Hatchery Steering Committee met April 9 and voted to suspend the operations of the hatchery until further notice. According to an April 12 press release, this action was recommended by Penobscot East Resource Center, which has developed, funded and operated the hatchery since 2005. Steering committee members also voted unanimously to work with Penobscot East to explore additional, cost-effective alternatives to enhancing lobster production in local areas that need it.

Despite the overall lobster abundance, there are still areas in the upper bays where lobster reproduction appears to be low, the press release said. For these areas there are a number of practical approaches that fishermen could undertake with Penobscot East, including the legal moving of egged lobsters into specific locations. These are the options that will be explored at the Hatchery Steering Committee meeting next month. Any fisherman who wants to participate should call Penobscot East Resource Center at 367-2708.

According to the hatchery director, Ted Ames, Penobscot East will support some continued dive monitoring this coming summer to check on the survival and growth of the lobsters released by the hatchery in past years.

“This is a big decision for us,” said Robin Alden, executive director of Penobscot East Resource Center. “The hatchery was our first project in service of our community, but in tough economic times you have to be smart about using funds.”

Alden added that Penobscot East is using the fishing permit purchased last year to support exploratory groundfish fishing this summer out of Stonington and Jonesport.

Community sailing planned in St. George

ST. GEORGE — Junior sailing and racing instruction will continue for its 10th year on the St. George peninsula. The St. George Community Sailing Foundation is a nonprofit organization formed in 2001 to teach sailing, seamanship, and safety, plus a respect for the water environment and Maine’s nautical history, to juniors from Port Clyde, Tenants Harbor, Wileys Corner, Spruce Head and the islands of Muscongus Bay.

This summer the foundation will again offer six weeks of instruction, from July 5 to Aug. 13, split into three two-week sessions. The foundation expects over 90 juniors to sail in its 11 Hunter 90 dinghies, four 420s and three larger sloops. Campers from Blueberry Cove Camp, operated by Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center, will also sail in the morning sessions.

On Saturday, July 24, the foundation and its co-sponsors will celebrate the eighth annual St. George Maritime Day, with the row-and-paddle rally in the morning and sailboat racing in the afternoon. The junior sailors will also race each week with Apprenticeshop (formerly Atlantic Challenge) students and participate in some of the weekly Maine Interclub Racing Circuit races.

For the 2010 brochure and more information on enrollment in the sailing program and participating with the foundation, contact Felix Kloman at the St. George Community Sailing Foundation, P.O. Box 435, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860, telephone 372-8008, e-mail stgeorgesail@aol.com, or visit stgeorgesail.org.

Maine Maritime Academy trustees to meet

CASTINE — The board of trustees of Maine Maritime Academy will hold a regular quarterly meeting on Friday, April 30 at 4 p.m. in the Holmes Alumni Heritage Room, located on the lower level of the Harold Alfond Student Center on the college campus in Castine. Standing committees of the board will also meet throughout the day at various times

Farmers and fishermen to collaborate in local foods events

ELLSWORTH — The Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine is inviting farmers and fishermen to participate in a regional forum to explore ways to work together to strengthen Maine’s local food system and its farming and fishing communities.

The discussion will focus on the challenges facing all of Maine’s food producers while exploring the potential for collaborative solutions.

Two forums have been scheduled. In Ellsworth the event will take place Monday, April 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ellsworth City Hall. The following evening, Tuesday, April 27, a forum will take place at Centre Street Congregational Church, 9 Centre Street in Machias.

Space is limited. Farmers and fishermen interested in attending should contact Amanda Beal at amanda.beal@tufts.edu or 756-9877.

Zone E lobster meeting rescheduled

HALLOWELL — The most recent update from the Maine Lobstermen’s Association reported April 15 that the next Zone E Lobster Council meeting has been re-scheduled to take place on Monday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln County Communications Center in Wiscasset.

Mainer wins national lighthouse photo contest

WELLS — A photograph of Maine’s West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec, by Philip Hunter of Bangor, won first place in the Most Unique Angle of a Lighthouse category in the 16th annual Lighthouse Digest Photo Contest.

Hunter was the only Maine photographer to win in any category of the national contest held each year by the Maine-based Lighthouse Digest, a national lighthouse history and news magazine.

Entries of the 17th annual Lighthouse Digest Photo Contest will be accepted from Sept. 1 until Jan. 15, 2011, and winners will be announced in the April 2011 edition of the magazine.

For more information on Lighthouse Digest or to subscribe, call 259-2121 or visit lighthousedigest.net.

Alaskan fishermen seek national marketing program

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Web site at seafoodsource.com reported April 5 that United Fishermen of Alaska is attempting to rally support for creating a national seafood-marketing program to bolster consumer awareness, and potentially consumption, of domestic seafood.

“The UFA has already received letters supporting the coalition’s formation from the Southern Shrimp Alliance, Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association, Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Lobster Promotion Council and Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Additionally, a resolution backing the coalition, submitted by Alaska Sen. Dennis Egan of Juneau in early March, is awaiting a final vote in the Alaska Legislature,” the article by SeafoodSource editor Steven Hedlund said.

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