Short Ships Regatta and Small Boat Rendezvous

ROCKLAND — The 2010 Rockland Community Sailing Short Ships Rowing Regatta and Small Boat Rendezvous is returning to Rockland on Saturday, Sept. 18. This regatta is a fun and friendly three-mile inner harbor race open to all recreational and racing rowers and paddlers. Gigs, fixed and sliding seat, single and multiple oars, kayaks and canoes are welcomed. Small boat (sailing and rowing) owners are welcome to launch and sail in the harbor or leave their craft on display for an informal rendezvous.

The Short Ships Regatta will start at The Apprenticeshop pier, 643 Main St., row out to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, continue along the inside of the breakwater, and return to the Apprenticeshop. The public is invited to watch the race and enjoy the festivities.

Registration will be held from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. at the Apprenticeshop’s Bosun’s Locker (head of the pier.) The registration fee is $10 in advance or $15 the day of the race. The skippers’ meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. The race starts at 9:30 a.m. The race will be followed by refreshments and awards.

The sail/row rendezvous is a gathering for small boat sailing and rowing craft. The rendezvous continues until sunset. At 4 p.m. rendezvous participants are invited to share a bring-your-own barbecue (grills provided) and close the day with a campfire on the beach.

For more information contact The Apprenticeshop at 594-1800 or visit apprenticeshop.org.

Snowe announces $1.4 million in funds for Gulf of Maine Research Institute

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) announced Sept. 15 that NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service awarded $1.4 million to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to assist the groundfish industry as it continues to transition to sector management.

“This sorely needed infusion of funding will help ease the transition Maine and New England’s groundfishermen continue to face as they move to a new, complex management system and struggle with biting reductions to total allowable catch levels,” said Snowe in a news release. “I appreciate the fiscal support NMFS has shown over the past several years as we strive to return America’s first fishery to a state of long-term sustainability. Yet, a true balance between the economic and ecological demands of the fishery will not be achieved until we see a greater investment in science to develop accurate, timely stock assessments in which both fishermen and scientists can have complete confidence. With thousands of jobs at stake from Eastport to Kittery and south throughout New England, further investments in fisheries science will be critical to the future of this historic industry.”

In May, the groundfishery began operating under a management structure known as “sectors” and is now being forced to adhere to catch limits for some species that have been reduced by as much as 75 percent from 2009 levels. Snowe has long cited concerns regarding the investment in science that leads to total allowable catch levels. Under the law, fishery managers cannot set catch levels that exceed the scientific recommendations, which in some cases recently have been cited by the researchers themselves as being based on insufficient data.

NOAA awarded an initial $1.7 million to GMRI in 2009 to administer and support sector implementation, mostly through small grants. According to NOAA, this year’s funding will be used to provide more direct support for sector operations such as manager salary, office and equipment rental, and to cover dockside monitoring expenses.

Meet the candidates

ROCKLAND — Candidates for the state Legislature will meet with representatives of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association in several meetings along the coast this month. The candidates will have an opportunity to talk with lobstermen and members of the public about issues important to the state’s lobstering communities. A meeting will be held Tuesday, Sept. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Rockland City Hall council chambers. For more information, contact the MLA office at 967-4555.