The coming weeks will offer a variety of opportunities to those on the coast, from a chance for lobstermen to explore Asian markets to a weekend of open houses at Maine’s boatyards.

Maine Lobster Council offers Asian opportunities

PORTLAND — China has the world’s fastest growing seafood market and a huge appetite for luxury items, according to a Maine Lobster Council press release.

In 2010, the council’s Dane Somers explored these opportunities by showcasing lobster at the first annual Asian Seafood Expo held in Hong Kong and the trade mission to Guangzhou and Shanghai that followed.

There is still space available for companies interested in participating in the U.S. Pavilion at the 2011 Asian Seafood Exposition being held in Hong Kong Sept. 6 through 8 and on the trade mission to China being held in conjunction with the exposition. For more information, contact Somers at info@lobsterfrommaine.com or call 541-9310.

Sea within a sea

BRISTOL — The public is invited to learn about a special “sea within the sea” known as the Gulf of Maine at a Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center workshop from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Aug. 19.

Participants will find out where the gulf is, how it works, why there are so many fish there and why the tides are so big. This is a participatory program for all ages.

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. 17 by calling 563-2196.

Fisheries advisors to meet

HALLOWELL — The next Department of Marine Resources Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. at the Natural Resource Services Center in Hallowell. For more information, visit maine.gov/dmr.

Open Boatyard Days schedule

MOUNT DESERT — Maine Built Boats announced the second annual Open Boatyard Days to be held Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.

During the two-day event, participating boatbuilders, boatyards, and marine-related businesses from Kittery to Eastport will open their doors to the public and offer guided tours (on the hour, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).

From refits of existing yachts to new builds of both power and sail boats, participants will enjoy an opportunity to witness firsthand one of Maine’s signature industries.

Participating companies are listed below.

Midcoast

  • Belfast — Front Street Shipyard
  • Harpswell — Great Island Boatyard
  • Rockport  — Rockport Marine, Artisan Boatworks (Aug. 15 only)
  • Rockland — Back Cove Yachts
  • Thomaston — Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding

Down East

  • Blue Hill — Hewes & Co.
  • Brooklin — Atlantic Boat, Brooklin Boat Yard, D.N. Hylan and WoodenBoat School
  • Cranberry Isles — Cranberry Island Boatyard
  • Eastport — The Boat School – Husson
  • Mount Desert — John Williams Boat Company
  • Southwest Harbor — Wilbur Yachts, Great Harbor Boatworks and Hinckley Yachts
  • Trenton — Hinckley Yachts and Nautilus Marine
  • Steuben — West Bay Boats

Southern Maine

  • Arundel — The Landing School
  • North Yarmouth — Six River Marine
  • Portland — Portland Yacht Services
  • Raymond — Sabre Yachts

An up-to-date listing of participating businesses is available at mainebuiltboats.com.

In Cod We Trust

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pew Environment Group announced Aug. 4 the launch of a news blog intended to help conserve New England fish.

The website at pewenvironment.org features stories about cod fishermen that “remind us how we got to where we are today and how cod populations, although increasing, remain a shadow of their former glory.”

“Overfishing — catching fish faster than they can reproduce — is still occurring on 10 of our dinner-time favorites, such as Atlantic cod,” a press release said. Pew’s Lee Crockett blogs about the former fishermen and suggests ways to restore these species.

Endangered seal lecture at Bigelow Laboratory

WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Bigelow Laboratory Research Technician Dash Masland, winner of the 2011 National Geographic Young Explorers Expedition Granted Competition, will lead a discussion about her research on endangered Hawaiian monk seals at the laboratory’s Café Scientifique on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Boothbay Harbor Opera House, 86 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor.

Masland’s talk, titled Expedition Granted! National Geographic, DNA Dietary Studies, and Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals, will also describe the experience of competing in the nationwide, month-long online election that made her project possible.

Masland is studying the seals’ dietary habits, using DNA analysis to determine the diet of a small population of monk seals in order to help develop more effective conservation strategies.

Café Scientifique talks are free and open to the public, with beer, wine and sodas available for purchase. This is the eighth of 10 Bigelow Laboratory summer science conversations, held every Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. through Aug. 30. The complete 2011 summer Café Scientifique program is posted on the laboratory’s website at bigelow.org.

According to the website 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.”

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