Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shrimp Season Begins
Fishermen will be allowed to catch shrimp in nets and traps for 180 days for the 2008-2009 season, which runs through May 29. The season is 28 days longer than last year and will be the longest season since 1991.

Pat White, chairman of the panel that regulates the shrimp fishery, said scientific surveys show that the resource should be abundant both this season and next. The fishery is jointly regulated by Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. (more)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Potato Harvest Down
"PORTLAND -- Maine's 2008 potato harvest will go down in the books as one of the smallest in decades due to reductions in potato acreage and yield.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says this year's potato production is estimated at about 1.44 billion pounds, down 14 percent below the 2007 harvest.
Harvest estimates will be updated next month.

Farmers harvested an estimated 54,500 acres of potatoes, the smallest amount in decades. As recently as 25 years ago, Maine farmers were harvesting more than 100,000 acres of potatoes.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the average yield this year is estimated at about 26,500 pounds per acre, down from last year's yield of 29,500 pounds."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kennebunk Looking at Wind-Power

The Press Herald reports
on a planned study to determine the potential for wind power generation in Kennebunk.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hinckley Staying

The Ellsworth American:
"The sour economy notwithstanding, The Hinckley Co. intends to continue building luxury powerboats at its facility in Trenton.

At the end of September, the company laid off approximately 50 employees, about one-fifth of the workers at the Trenton boatbuilding plant.

The layoffs affected about 9 percent of the company’s total work force, according to Hinckley Sales and Marketing Vice President Edward A. Rogers. A few more employees have been let go in recent weeks, bringing the total number of layoffs to about 9.5 percent of the total work force, Rogers said." ... more

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Salmon Farming Returning

The Boston Globe reports on the second coming of salmon farming in Maine.
Maine's 2008 salmon harvest is likely to total more than 20 million pounds, the highest since production peaked at 36 million pounds in 2000 and 29 million a year later, said Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association.

Cooke has adopted a number of changes, including writing into state law a requirement that saltwater pens lie fallow for a period of time after fish are harvested. The salmon industry says this prevents the growth of pathogens that can be deadly to fish.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fort Kent Windpower Info Site

This site provides a lot of information on the "Industrial Wind Power Project Proposed for the Town of Fort Kent, Maine."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grants for working waterfronts
"The Land for Maine's Future Board has approved grants to protect two working waterfront facilities in the midcoast.

A total of $526,250 will pay for covenants that prevent the re-development of working waterfronts at the Bremen Lobster Realty Co-op in Bremen and the Ship to Shore Lobster Co. in Owls Head. The covenants restrict any future development of the properties that conflicts with fisheries uses.

The state board uses funds approved by voters to conserve open space and to protect waterfront properties and fishing facilities that are important to the state's economy and to the welfare of the towns. A total of 54 commercial boats and more than 100 fishing families rely on access to the waterfront properties in Bremen and Owls Head, the board said."

U. Maine to install wind turbine
"PRESQUE ISLE -- The University of Maine at Presque Isle has reached an agreement for construction of a wind turbine on campus.

President Don Zillman says the $2 million project underscores the willingness of UMPI to take a leadership role in making campus wind power a reality.

General contractor Lumus Construction will install the 600-killowatt wind turbine, which is expected to be producing clean energy by late spring.

The project will make UMPI the first university in Maine and one of only a handful in New England with a mid-size wind turbine."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fish hatchery may close
"Proposed state budget cuts could claim a historic fish hatchery that has produced salmon for Grand Lake Stream and other top Maine fishing destinations.

The Grand Lake Stream Fish Hatchery, which dates back to the 1870s, has been included on a list of proposed cuts aimed at eliminating an estimated shortfall of $500 million in the upcoming two-year budget that lawmakers will face in January.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Roland 'Danny' Martin says something has to give. Other proposals include eliminating 10 game warden positions and three biologist positions.

Every department throughout the state bureaucracy has prepared similar plans to reduce spending by 10 percent for the two-year budget that begins on July 1."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lobster update
"YORK -- Gov. John Baldacci says the tanking price of lobster underscores how the market is interconnected with the global economy in ways that weren't understood previously.

A combination of consumers' declining appetite along with tight credit that killed demand from Canadian processors caused a drastic reduction in value of Maine's signature seafood.

Baldacci says new figures from the Department of Marine Resources illustrate the severity of the problem: Maine lobstermen received less than $20 million for their catch in October, compared to more than $60 million in the same month in 2005, which was a record year for value."

Monday, November 10, 2008

'Backyard Wind Power' :
"In Maine it can be hard to find spots with enough wind. The coast is good. Hilltops are good. Valleys and wooded areas aren't so good.

Still, Mainers are finding places for them.

According to a report from the Governor's Task Force on Wind Power Development, more than 50 small and residential-scale wind turbines were installed in 2007, including one at the Kennebunkport home of former President George H. W. Bush. The group expects 150 to be installed this year, a three-fold increase." ... more

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sail Inn taking settlement
"The Maine Department of Transportation and the Dyer family have settled a lawsuit involving the former Sail Inn restaurant in Prospect.

Lawyers for the state and Paul and Robert Dyer announced Thursday that the Dyers will receive $725,000.

The dispute began in 2003 when the state took the former restaurant by eminent domain. The property consisted of the restaurant and four acres of riverfront land. The taking was necessary to allow construction of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

Both sides disagreed on the value of the land, which is why the Dyers filed a lawsuit. At one point, the Dyers said they should have received $2 million.

After years of legal wrangling, a judge in September ordered the sides into mediation, which led to the settlement."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Vinalhaven student's sustainability research

Working Waterfront:
"For the past three years, students at the Vinalhaven School have been studying the question of whether the year-round community on Vinalhaven will be able to sustain its existing way of life in the future; and as a subset of that, how the fishing industry and working waterfront access on Vinalhaven have changed over time.

They are using technologies they have learned through CREST-an Island Institute project funded by the National Science Foundation that uses placed-based education to provide opportunities for hands-on technology education -to examine this question."