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.”

Red Lobster mulls growing its own

ORLANDO, Fla. — A July 3 article by Sandra Pedicini in the Orlando Sentinel reported that Darden Restaurants, the owner of the Red Lobster chain, is working on a method to grow lobsters in captivity.

Darden’s plan would involve capturing young lobsters and growing them to size in controlled environments. The company is in discussion with governments in Brunei and Malaysia and is involved in a lobster-aquaculture project in Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos, the article said.

Darden Aquafarm is seeking a patent to collect what are referred to “seed lobsters.” The Sentinel story said the company cited “increased pressure on lobster supplies” as a reason for its application.

A link to the Orlando Sentinel article can be found by typing “lobster farm” into the search window at orlandosentinel.com.

Hearings scheduled for island limited entry program

HALLOWELL — The Maine Department of Marine Resources has scheduled public hearings on Chapter 25.97 Management Framework for Island Limited Entry Program for the lobster fishery.

The proposed regulations would establish procedures under which an island limited entry program could be created, including the petition process, referenda, and adoption procedures. The regulations would identify which year-round islands qualify, define residency and residency exceptions for temporary absences from an island for medical or educational purposes, establish the waiting list procedures, establish how the number of licenses to be issued would be calculated, and describe the requirement for an island limited entry program committee for participating islands.

Public hearings will be held at the following dates, times and locations.

  • July 19 at 6 p.m. at the Ellsworth City Hall auditorium in Ellsworth
  • July 20 at 6 p.m. in Chamber B of the Municipal Building at 258 Route 1 in Scarborough
  • July 22 at 6 p.m. in the conference room at the State Ferry Terminal in Rockland

The deadline for written comments is Aug. 2.

Free cruises from Sail Power and Steam Museum

ROCKLAND — Five more free cruises have been added to the summer schedule of the Sail, Power and Steam Museum’s flagship Rekord. Dates for the tours are July 27, Aug. 10, Aug. 24, Sept. 7 and Sept. 21. All cruises start at 10:30 a.m. and reservations are requested.

Sharp’s Point South and the Sail, Power and Steam Museum are at 75 Mechanic St. in Rockland. For more information on cruises and the Sail, Power and Steam Museum, call 701-7627 or e-mail spsllc09@yahoo.com.

Talbot promoted to deputy chief of Maine Marine Patrol

HALLOWELL — Department of Marine Resources Marine Patrol Col. Joseph E. Fessenden has promoted Maj. Alan Talbot of Milbridge to the rank of deputy chief of the Maine Marine Patrol effective July 4. Talbot began his career with the marine patrol in 1988 as a boat specialist in the Mount Desert Island Patrol. He was promoted through the ranks, and in 2000 became lieutenant of the Downeast Division, covering all coastal waters from the St. George River in Thomaston east to the Canadian Border.

Talbot has two grown sons, Matthew, a marine patrol specialist assigned to the Camden/ Rockland Patrol, and Morgan a resident of Salem, Mass.

State to sell multispecies fishing permits

HALLOWELL — The Maine Department of Marine Resources is soliciting bids for the sale of Federal Limited Access Northeast Multispecies Permits.

Bids are solicited for permits exclusively: vessels will not be purchased. Permits acquired through this program will become the sole property of the state of Maine and will be placed in the Maine Groundfish Permit Banking Program. The associated fishing rights will be distributed to Maine fishermen who meet certain eligibility criteria.

Completed proposals must be received no later than 2 p.m. on July 28. For further information or to receive a copy of the proposal application, call 624-6558.

Talk to consider algae as fuel

WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Willie Wilson, director of Bigelow Laboratory’s Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Culture of Marine Phytoplankton, will lead a discussion about algal biofuels at the laboratory’s July 20 Café Scientifique gathering at 6 p.m. in the Opera House at 86 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor.

Wilson’s talk is titled Green Gold: Are Algae the Fuel of the Future? He will address the technological challenges and possibilities involved with using algae as a carbon-neutral alternative energy source.

Wilson is currently working with Bodega Algae, a Massachusetts-based renewable energy company, on a National Science Foundation-sponsored research project to develop and test technology that would make algal-based fuels commercially viable.

Apprenticeshop offers adult classes

ROCKLAND — The following is a schedule of courses for adults offered at the Apprenticeshop in Rockland. Class sizes are limited. A full schedule and registration information is available on the Web site at apprenticeshop.org.

  • Traditional Wooden Boatbuilding — two-week workshops, July 26 to Aug. 6
  • Traditional Sailing Workshop — one-week workshops, July 19 to 23 and Aug. 9 to 13
  • Introduction to Woodworking for Women — one-week workshop, Aug. 30 to Sept. 3

For more information call 594-1800 or visit atlanticchallenge.com.

Historic sardine carrier finds a home

ROCKLAND — Penobscot Marine Museum has sold its 83-foot sardine carrier Jacob Pike to a private party who will repair and maintain the historic vessel in Rockland, near where it was built. The new owner is Jamie Steeves, who owns J & J Lobsters in Rockland with his fiancee, Joanne Campbell.

The Jacob Pike was built in 1949 by Newbert and Wallace in Thomaston, and worked between Gloucester, Mass., and the Canadian Maritimes, taking on sardine catches from fishing vessels and delivering them to canneries.

In 2007, years after its retirement, the Jacob Pike was given to Penobscot Marine Museum, which used it as a working exhibit of Penobscot Bay’s fishing and boatbuilding industries.

Steeves, who has committed himself to the task of refurbishing the vessel, recently completed the rebuilding of the Rockland Gulf, a historic wooden-hulled tanker of a size similar to the Pike. Steeves will bring the Jacob Pike to North End Shipyard in Rockland to undergo repair and refitting.

Following repairs, Steeves plans to use the boat as a bait carrier and to berth it in Rockland, where it will remain a visible reminder of the city’s working waterfront heritage, a July 9 press release said.

Snowe calls on federal regulators to freeze spending of forfeiture funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, has asked National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chief Dr. Jane Lubchenco to end expenditures from the Asset Forfeiture Fund where fines and penalties levied on fishermen were deposited, according to a July 2 report by Tom Porter on Maine Public Radio.

The request followed an audit carried out on behalf of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Inspector General’s office, which found that millions from the fund were misspent on cars, boats and travel.

The inspector general’s audit concluded that federal officials failed to properly account for the Asset Forfeiture Fund, and used the money for personal expenditures including a $300,000 luxury undercover boat. The MPBN story attributed Snow with saying fishermen in the Northeast pay fines that are three times higher than any other region in the country.

A July press release from the advocacy group Saving Seafood said that NOAA paid for judges’ services from forfeited assets.

According to the press release, the fines and forfeitures judges levied were providing 60 percent of the funds used to pay them.

Several federal legislators, including Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, have joined the call for action in the aftermath of the allegations of misuse of the Asset Forfeiture Fund.

Maine State Museum offers program on sardine industry

AUGUSTA — The Maine State Museum will celebrate herring fishing, sardine canning and sardine cuisine at a special event at the museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 31. The event will put the spotlight on the museum’s new exhibit, “The End of the Line … America’s Last Sardine Cannery,” that includes historical artifacts and photographs from the recently closed Stinson Seafood in Prospect Harbor.

Special events for the day will include a talk by food historian Sandy Oliver, who will explore sardines and seafood in the New England diet; musical performances by Roll and Go, a popular group of Maine musicians who sing shanties and songs of the sea; a sardine recipe exchange; a reading of poems about sardines and the culture surrounding Maine’s sardine industry; and fun activities for families. Admission to the museum will be free all day.

Touch, hold and learn about marine life

SEARSPORT — Visitors to Penobscot Marine Museum will have several opportunities to learn about the marine life of Penobscot Bay and touch a number of sea creatures this summer.

Oceanographer Mike Dunn will present a program on marine life at 1 p.m. on three Sundays: July 18, Aug. 8 and Aug. 29. Visitors will be invited to ask questions and hold some of the animals in the museum’s touch tank marine aquarium.

In addition, the tank will be open every Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. A staff person will talk about the animals in the tank and allow visitors to hold and touch some of them. The programs are free with museum admission.

Penobscot Marine Museum is on Route 1 in Searsport between Camden, Bangor and Mt. Desert Island. More information can be found at the Web site at penobscotmarinemuseum.org or by calling 548-2529.

Jonesport lighthouse declared excess property

MISTAKE ISLAND — The federal government has declared Moose Peak Lighthouse, on Mistake Island, off the coast of Jonesport as excess property under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. This means that any qualified nonprofit group or other government entity can apply for ownership of the lighthouse, which will be given to them free of charge.

Up until 1939, the lighthouse was a family station and many of the descendants of the lighthouse keepers still reside in the area. Family life at the lighthouse came to an end after 1939 when the United States Lighthouse Service was taken over by the Coast Guard and the lighthouse was staffed by Coast Guard personnel.

When the lighthouse was automated in 1972, the keepers were removed. The light in the tower was converted to solar power in 1999.

The once beautiful lighthouse keeper’s house was blown up in 1982 after plans fell through to sell the house to a private party, leaving only the 57-foot brick tower and the fog signal building.

To learn more about applying for ownership of the Moose Peak Lighthouse, visit the Web site of the General Services Administration at nps.gov/history/maritime.nhlpa.

Muscongus Bay Project launches Web site

WALDOBORO — The Muscongus Bay Project, part of the Quebec-Labrador Foundation’s Marine Program in Waldoboro, has unveiled a new Web site for this region at muscongusbay.org.

The Web site features a number of resources for anyone living, working or traveling in the region. Images from local photographers, quirky facts, and direct links to schools, towns, businesses and organizations around this region are all featured on the “Muscongus 101” menu.

There is also information about QLF’s work in the communities that border Muscongus Bay — from questing (a new form of outdoor recreation) to marine conservation. Marine program participants and partners will also find resources at the site, from education materials to special publications like “Seascapes: Getting to Know the Sea Around Us. A Guide to Characterizing Marine and Coastal Areas.”

For those who have yet to pick up a Muscongus Bay Atlas or poster, the site also includes an updated list of local retailers.

Pollock catch limits raised

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced July 14 that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was raising Northeast catch limits on pollock, a key fish stock to Maine fishermen.

The limit will be raised from 6 million to 36 million pounds.

According to the Web site at noaa.gov previous recent actions have raised the spiny dogfish limit from 12 million to 15 million pounds and revised the skate limit upward from 67.5 million to 90.5 million pounds. A pending action would increase the red crab limit from 3.56 million to 3.91 million pounds.

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

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