Movies, lectures and public hearings highlight this week’s selection of events addressing issues of importance to mariners.

Four fish and a movie

PORTLAND — The Gulf of Maine Research Institute announced this season’s free Sea State public lecture series that will include local and global perspectives on species that include river herring, lobster, salmon and tuna.

Port Clyde fishermen will share perspectives on Maine’s fishing heritage and describe how local fishermen care for cod and other species that are important to their community.

The following is a schedule of announced lectures.

  • Thursday, July 14: Bonus Lecture — The Sea Connects All Things with Peter Neill of World Ocean Observatory.
  • Aug. 11 — Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, A Fish Too Cool for its Own Good by Walt Golet of GMRI and the University of Maine.
  • Sept. 15 — Where Do They Go and How Do They Get There? Spying on Atlantic Salmon with New Tracking Technologies with Fred Whoriskey of Dalhousie University.
  • Sept. 29 — The Decline of River Herring: Fact vs. Fiction and Is There a Smoking Gun? with Michael Armstrong of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.
  • Oct. 13 — The Secret Life of Lobster with Win Watson of the University of New Hampshire.
  • Nov. 10 — Movie: “The Fish Belong to the People” with a representative of Port Clyde Fresh Catch.

All lectures begin at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Sea State Lectures are free and parking is provided in GMRI’s adjacent lot at 350 Commercial St. in Portland. To reserve space and for more information, contact Patty Collins at or 228-1625.

Model boats at The Apprenticeshop

ROCKLAND — Dave Blanchard will offer a presentation on ship modeling and remote control boating at the July meeting of Second Thursdays at The Apprenticeshop, a monthly program series, sponsored by Eastern Tire and Auto Service.

Examples of various types of models will be on hand, and Blanchard will lead a wide open discussion, demonstration, and very small boat rendezvous. Blanchard is the founder of the Ship Model Builders Club of Maine.

The lecture will take place Thursday, July 14 at 6 p.m. at 643 Main St. in Rockland. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, visit or call 594-1800.

Public hearings on fishing rules

HALLOWELL — The Maine Department of Marine Resources will hold hearings on several proposed changes to the rules governing the state’s fisheries.

Hearings will take place at 6 p.m. on July 11 at the Yarmouth Town Hall and on July 14 at the Ellsworth City Hall Auditorium.

Following urchin season hearings, there will be hearings each night for rulemaking for scallops, lobster, groundfish and seaweed aquaculture, in the order listed, starting immediately upon the conclusion of the hearing for the previous chapter.

The deadline for written comments is July 25.

Lobsterboats to assess herring stocks

PORTLAND — The Gulf of Maine Research Institute will use a grant to equip select lobsterboats with acoustic devices that will be used to help assess the herring biomass along the Maine Coast, according to a story on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

The institute received a $400,000 federal grant to equip lobsterboats with acoustic devices to measure herring populations along the Maine Coast.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said the quota for herring in coastal Maine has been cut in recent years by 25 percent, despite a lack of understanding of the health of herring stocks in the region.

Department of Marine Resources aquaculture public hearing

BOOTHBAY HARBOR — On Thursday, July 21 at noon at the North Haven Municipal Office, the Department of Marine Resources will hold a public hearing to consider the application of Adam and Michelle Campbell for a 10-year, three-acre lease for suspended and bottom culture of American oysters located in Pulpit Harbor Mill Stream in North Haven.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearing to ask questions of the parties and give testimony.

The department evaluates several criteria for the granting of leases, including the effect of the proposed lease on riparian owners, navigation, fishing and other uses of the area, other aquaculture uses, and ecologically significant plants and animals.

For further information contact DMR Aquaculture Hearings Officer Diantha Robinson at 633-9531 or

National Boatbuilding Challenge returns to Belfast

BELFAST — The National Boatbuilding Challenge will return to Belfast Saturday, Aug. 20 during the Belfast Harbor Fest, sponsored by the Belfast Rotary Club.

The challenge involves two-person teams building a 12-foot wooden skiff in less than four hours, followed by a rowing race. Teams are judged on how quickly they complete construction, the quality of the craftsmanship and their speed on the water in the two-man relay rowing race.

For the $150 entry fee, each team receives plans and building materials, a workspace and competes for a $300 first place prize, $150 for second place and a $50 gift certificate for third place. Teams provide their own tools, worktables and oars, which can be made beforehand.

The competition will begin at 10 a.m. at Steamboat Landing in Belfast. For more information or to register, visit or call David Crabiel at 322-5805.

Apprenticeshop welcomes Bella Pierson

ROCKLAND — On June 27, the Apprenticeshop in Rockland welcomed the return of Bella Pierson. Pierson graduated from her apprenticeship in 2007. Since then she worked for three years at Rockport Marine and completed a three-month course at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.

Pierson will be the primary instructor for new apprentices and interns, giving them focused attention and day-to-day instruction in safety, tool use, and basic boatbuilding. She will also act as shop manager, helping to deal with purchasing and shop facilities.

Glacier pieces moving south

BATTLE HARBOUR, LABRADOR — Large pieces of the massive glacier that broke off northern Greenland last year are traveling near southern Labrador, according to a story that appeared online June 23 at

Ocean extinctions increase

A June 21 news story that appeared on the website at discussed a study that may demonstrate that ocean life is at risk of “the worst spate of extinctions in millions of years due to threats such as climate change and over-fishing.”

The study, conducted by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean, said there was little time to address such issues as the collapse of coral reefs and the spread of low-oxygen “dead zones.”

To see the report, visit

Ocean Chemistry at Café Scientifique

WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Bigelow Laboratory Senior Research Scientist Ben Twining will lead a Café Scientifique discussion at 6 p.m. on July 19 about the use of advanced technology in understanding the role of trace metals in the world’s oceans.

Don’t Kill the Messenger is the fourth of 10 Bigelow Laboratory summer science conversations, held every Tuesday evening through Aug. 30 in the Boothbay Harbor Opera House, 86 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor.

Twining’s research examines the interactions between microorganisms and trace metals in the ocean, investigating how the presence of metals in seawater affects phytoplankton growth.

Open Lighthouse Day set for September

AUGUSTA — The third annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day will take place rain or shine Sept. 17, with many of the state’s coastal, island and river lighthouses planning to welcome the public.

Last year, 18,000 people visited 25 open light stations, and 5,000 people climbed up light towers for the lantern room view. The event is coordinated by the U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation and is the largest event of its kind in the country.

For more information, visit

Tsunami detected in English Channel

SOUTHAMPTON, Great Britain — A network of coastal tidal and wave monitoring stations maintained by Southampton-based EMU Limited recorded the progress of the waves caused by this week’s minor tsunami along the south coast, according to a story at the website at

A massive underwater landslide in the Atlantic 200 miles off the Cornish Coast is believed to be the cause of a small tsunami along the south coast, which created waves of between 18 and 30 inches and resulted in abnormal tidal records at the Channel Coastal Observatory and Plymouth Coastal Observatory shore stations.

Fishermen’s Energy awards management contract

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — AECOM, a provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients around the world, announced that Fishermen’s Energy LLC recently awarded the firm a contract for project and construction management, engineering, and procurement services for its Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm project. Located about 2.8 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J., this will be the first offshore windfarm project to be built in North America.

AECOM is currently supporting Fishermen’s Energy LLC in the detailed project planning and scheduling activities as well as in the procurement of construction contracts and major equipment. The project is slated to produce up to 25 megawatts of energy capable of powering approximately 10,000 homes. In addition to creating more than 200 construction jobs, it is a prototype for larger scale utility projects that are currently in various stages of development. AECOM has begun pre-construction activities and will provide project, procurement, construction and commissioning management services for the project.

Fishermen’s Energy LLC is a developer of offshore wind energy projects, founded by New Jersey commercial fishermen. According to a press release, Fishermen’s Energy intends to harvest the wind and the sea, side by side, in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.

Greenpeace executive arrested on arctic rig

The international executive director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, was arrested and flown to Greenland after breaching an exclusion zone and scaling a controversial Arctic oil rig about 75 miles out to sea.

At 6:45 a.m. on Friday, June 17, an inflatable speedboat carrying Naidoo was launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. The rig’s operators, Cairn Energy, used water cannons to try to prevent him from climbing a 100-foot ladder up the outside of one of the rig’s giant legs, but Naidoo made it to the platform, where he demanded that Cairn immediately halt drilling operations and leave the Arctic.

He also sought a meeting with the master of the rig so he could present the names of 50,000 people from across the world who have emailed Cairn to demand they publish the rig’s secret oil spill response plan. The document has been at the center of a month-long campaign of civil disobedience in the Arctic.

The area where Cairn intends to drill is known as Iceberg Alley. According to a Greenpeace press release, the company intends to tow icebergs out of the rig’s path or use water cannons to divert them to avoid a collision as the rig drills for oil.

According to the website, “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.”

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