Good deeds and fish feeds abound on the Maine coast at this time of year.

Meanwhile, the working waterfront is coping with regulations that create logistical boundaries for those shipping their catch from Maine’s harbors on the unbounded sea, to those in other states.

Fish bake to benefit Midcoast fishermen

ST. GEORGE — On Saturday, Aug. 13 from 4:30 to 7 p.m., the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association will host its Fifth Annual Fish Bake at the St. George Town Office.

Dinner will include baked stuffed fish, red potatoes, salad, rolls and homemade desserts prepared by the fishermen, their families and friends. The cost of meals is a voluntary donation, with all proceeds benefiting the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association and the small boat fishing communities of Maine.

Fish for the benefit will be provided by Port Clyde Fresh Catch and local fishermen.

For more information about the Fish Bake and the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association contact Ben Martens at 619-1755 or

50th Annual Frenchboro Lobster Festival set for August

FRENCHBORO —The small offshore island village of Frenchboro will host the 50th Annual Frenchboro Lobster Festival on Saturday, Aug. 13. The annual event started in 1962 and welcomes those who want to visit a Maine fishing village and eat lobster in a unique intimate setting.

The festival, set on the banks of Lunt Harbor with the mountains of Acadia looming in the background, features a boat ride through Blue Hill Bay and offers guests a chance to relax by the harbor, stroll village roads, or hike miles of scenic shoreline trails. The Frenchboro Historical Society will be open throughout the day.

Highlighting the festival again this year will be local country rock band Boots Murphy and the Heels. The band, featuring lead singer and Frenchboro resident Megan Murphy, will make its fifth appearance at the festival and will perform both classic and contemporary country music as well as classic rock. This year’s festival will also feature a library book sale, recycled treasures table, and a tie-dye booth to benefit the Frenchboro Fire Department.

Frenchboro, located on Long Island eight miles from Mount Desert Island, was established as a community in the 1820s, and now has a population of about 70.

Dinner will include lobster, chicken salad, hot dogs, coleslaw, homemade pies, and soda, and will be served, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Maine State Ferry (passengers only) will make a special Frenchboro Lobster Festival run, leaving Bass Harbor at 9 a.m. and then leaving Frenchboro for the return trip at 3:30 p.m. Round trip ferry tickets are $10 for regular fares and $5 for seniors. Veterans and children 5 and younger can ride free. Ferry tickets can be purchased the day of the event only outside the Bass Harbor Ferry Terminal. For more information about the Frenchboro Lobster Festival call 334-2974.

Audubon Society hosts lobster bake

BREMEN — The Mid-Coast Audubon Society’s 2011 Annual Meeting, Saturday, Aug. 13, will be a traditional Maine lobster bake on the shores of Hog Island, in Bremen.

Chapter members and their guests are invited to share the meal and visit the Hog Island Audubon Sanctuary. The $40 ticket includes: transportation to the island aboard the Snow Goose, a guided or unguided nature walk on Hog Island, lobster, clams or mussels, potato, onion, and ear of corn – all cooked on the beach under seaweed in the traditional manner. Lemonade, coffee and dessert will finish the meal. Children’s tickets are $20 each. Bring your own beverage, if desired. The boat will depart Bremen at 10:30 a.m. and depart Hog Island at 3:30 p.m. after lunch and the meeting.

Pre-registration is required. Contact Carolyn Gray at 563-3578 or for more information or to reserve a spot.

Whales featured at Olde Bristol Days

BRISTOL — Kicking off Olde Bristol Days weekend, a workshop about whales will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Aug. 12, at Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center.

The workshop is best for children ages 7 and up, and children under 7 who do attend should be accompanied by an adult, a press release said. The workshop is free, but participants must pay the town’s admission fee to the park. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required by Aug. 10, by calling 563-2196.

Local author/illustrator Dee Perry will lead a presentation and bring a collection of bones from whales and other marine mammals. Her book, A Whale in My Backyard, tells how a humpback whale is discovered off the coast of Maine, brought to the mainland, and, eventually, its bones are reconstructed for a museum display.

For more information, visit the website at The program will be canceled if weather is inclement; call 677-2754 for information about the park.

Lobster town meeting dates set

ORONO — Preliminary dates have been set for the next Canada/US 2012 Lobstermen’s Town Meeting. The annual event, which alternates between Maine and Maritime Canada, will be held Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24 in Portland, at a location to be determined.

Maine Maritime sets annual meeting date.

CASTINE -— The Board of Trustees of Maine Maritime Academy will meet Friday, Aug. 12 at 8:30 a.m., in the Holmes Alumni Heritage Room in the Harold Alfond Student Center on the college campus in Castine.

The meeting will be part of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the MMA Alumni Association.

Maine crew wins prizes in Halifax race

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Falcon, a 1936 New York 32 Class yacht took three first place trophies including first in fleet for the Offshore Racing Rule Division, and the Over the Hill Gang trophy.

Falcon’s first race was the Bermuda Race in 1936. The yacht campaigned for years in classic yacht races on the Maine coast. Maine sailors on the crew were Matt Murphy of Penobscot, Greg Smith of Surrey, Tom Lunde of Orrs Island, Chris Miller of Castine and Bob Scott also of Castine and skipper of Falcon.

The 75-year-old sloop took part in the fastest race in the 109-year history of the ocean race that started July 10 at Marblehead and finished 46 hours later in Halifax, Nova Scotia harbor, a distance of 432 land miles.

States to the west change lobster size limits

A story by Edward D. Murphy, in the Portland Press Herald and online at the news website, described changes to laws in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey “that bar the possession of some lobsters that are of legal size in Maine.”

According to Murphy’s story, the new regulations require the body of any lobster sold in those states to be at least 3 3/8 inches long. In Maine, the minimum size for a lobster is 3¼ inches long.

“The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut laws specify possession, meaning that it’s a violation if someone is found with a lobster that’s too small, rather than a law aimed only at the minimum size for lobsters caught in the states’ waters,” Murphy wrote. That means lobsters shipped into the three states must meet the specifications of the new regulation, not just those caught in those three states.

Pew supports endangered species petition for river herring

HARWICH, Mass. — Peter Baker, director of the Pew Environment Group’s Northeast Fisheries Program and the Herring Alliance, issued a statement Aug. 2 in support of the Natural Resources Defense Council petition urging the federal government to list both species of East Coast river herring (alewives and blueback herring) as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

“Listing river herring under the Endangered Species Act is strongly warranted, because their populations have declined by more than 95 percent on the East Coast.” Baker wrote. “Contrary to their name, these fish spend most of their lives in the open ocean, where they are caught accidentally and in large numbers by industrial vessels fishing for other species, thereby threatening their survival.”

Baker said river herring are “a keystone fish that provide food for many top predators, such as striped bass, ospreys and river otters both at sea and in freshwater.”

“The federal government must take vigorous steps to protect these fish in their ocean environment in order to prevent the possibility of their extinction,” he said.

Wooden Boat School’s Roberge recognized by Coast Guard

BROOKLIN — Sector Northern New England Commander Capt. Christopher Roberge recognized Richard Hilsinger, director of the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, and his son, yesterday at Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor.

Hilsinger and his son were involved in the rescue of three people on the afternoon of July 9, after their 16-foot recreational sailboat capsized in high wind in Eggemoggin Reach just off Center Harbor. Hilsinger, along with his son and a student of school, immediately responded from shore, in a powerboat, to assist.

Once on scene, Hilsinger and the others were able to rescue three people from the water. Two of the individuals were transferred to a nearby lobster boat and transported ashore. Hilsinger then remained on scene with the third person and towed the capsized boat back to the harbor.

“Due to Hilsinger’s quick and selfless actions, none of the three people in the capsized boat suffered any serious or cold water-related injuries,” a press release said. “[They] undoubtedly helped save three lives.”

Ocean Renewable Power Company  launches Nova Scotia operations

PORTLAND — Ocean Renewable Power Company has announced that it has formed ORPC Nova Scotia Ltd. to expand its tidal energy development work in the Canadian maritime province. ORPC management recently participated in Nova Scotia Department of Energy’s Getting Power to Market tidal energy symposium in Halifax, where they met with Premier Darrell Dexter to deliver the news about the formation of ORPC Nova Scotia Ltd.

Earlier this year, ORPC formed a strategic partnership with Fundy Tidal Inc. of Westport, Nova Scotia, to develop tidal energy projects on the Canadian side of the Bay of Fundy, and the formation of ORPC Nova Scotia will help facilitate that goal, a press release said.

ORPC’s Eastport and Lubec hub has become a center for tidal energy development where, in 2010, the company completed its successful Beta TidGen Power System project, involving the largest ocean energy device ever installed in U.S. waters, the press release said.

ORPC’s Nova Scotia projects will benefit from the first feed-in tariff for tidal energy in North America announced earlier this month by the province’s Utility and Review Board. The 65.2 cents, Canadian, per kilowatt-hour paid to developers of small tidal energy projects is designed to encourage community-based, tidal power producers to sell the energy to Nova Scotia Power.

In addition, the Nova Scotia government is making $750,000 available to support site assessment efforts of small tidal project developments such as that proposed by ORPC and FTI.

Headquartered in Portland and established in 2004, ORPC is a privately held company, working on tidal, river and deep-water ocean current power generation technology and projects.

Animal Planet features Maine toxicologist

NEW YORK CITY — On Thursday, July 28 at 9 p.m., Animal Planet TV cable channel debuted “Black Tide: Voices From the Gulf,” a two-hour documentary on the impact of the Gulf oil spill on the people of Louisiana.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010 was the largest offshore oil spill in American history. Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Institute, and a marine toxicologist, was among the first scientists to dive into the Gulf of Mexico oil slick right after the explosion. Shaw was invited by the documentary’s producers Radical Media to contribute her toxicology expertise to the production.

Shaw is the lead scientist on Gulf EcoTox, a region-wide investigation on the effects of oil and chemical dispersants in the Gulf ecosystem.  Her latest trips confirmed some of her dire predictions about the oil spill and the chemicals dispersants.  As she had forecast in May 2010, the high-volume use of dispersants would create a huge reservoir of toxic oil in the Gulf that would permeate the food web from larval crabs to fish.

The dispersants break up the oil and keep it suspended in the sea. This increases exposure and also increases toxicity. Dispersants contain solvents that allow oil to enter the body more readily and once there, it can damage every organ, every system in the body.

“When the mainstream media packed up and moved to the next disaster, it gave the world the false impression that everything was back to normal,” Executive Producer Joe Berlinger said in a press release. “As this special shows, the people of the Gulf still face enormous consequences from the spill.”

Hancock Lobster wins awards

CUNDY’S HARBOR — Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. was awarded top industry honors at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Maine company received an unprecedented three gold Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation or sofi awards from the specialty food industry. No other company has ever won three sofi awards in a given year.

The company picked up the Best in Show award for best product line. The Orr’s Island Oyster Stew won a gold award in the Outstanding Soup, Stew, Bean or Chili category and Lobster Risotto on the Half Shell won a gold award in the Outstanding Perishable Foodservice Product category.

Foodservice products are packaged especially for institutional use such as restaurants, hotels, resorts, etc. The Lobster Risotto is also available in retail packaging.

Gold sofi award winners were selected from more than 2200 gourmet product entries in 33 categories by a national panel of specialty food buyers. Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. received its first gold award in 2003 and was honored with its seventh, eighth and ninth gold awards at the Washington Convention Center, July 11.

U.S. to list vessels engaged in illegal fishing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States joined more than 50 countries, July 14, in a recommendation to regional fishery management organizations to better track vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing for tuna, swordfish, sharks and other highly migratory species. Annual global economic losses due to illegal ffishing are estimated to be as high as $23 billion.

According to a press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this action is a first step toward procedures for sharing information about vessels engaged in illegal fishing. Global cooperation to prevent IUU fishing coupled with sound science and effective management are essential to the sustainability of these wide-ranging species that are highly valued in commercial and recreational fisheries.

The nations that make up the five regional fishery management organizations managing highly migratory species in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans and adjacent seas will share information about vessels that are fishing illegally.

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.