Friday, December 19, 2008

Salmon Recovery Questions

Bangor Daily News:
"The surge of Atlantic salmon that returned to the Penobscot and other Maine rivers to spawn this year appears to be the result of improved fish survival in the ocean rather than any changes to the state’s stocking program, biologists said Thursday.

Exactly why salmon seem to be faring better during the life stage they spend at sea is still open to debate, however.

More than 2,100 Atlantic salmon were counted making their way upriver in the Penobscot earlier this year. That was the largest return since 1992 and more than double the previous year’s figure.

The number of adult sea-run salmon returning to Maine’s other rivers was still tiny by comparison. But in almost every river, biologists observed more salmon returning this year than the five-year average.

In the Saco River, for instance, 62 adult salmon returned in 2008, compared with 24 last year. Figures were also impressive on the Aroostook, where the 44 fish represented a welcome change from the five-year average of eight fish.

Rivers in Canada, Scotland and Ireland also saw larger returns this year, according to Joan Trial, a biologist with Maine’s Bureau of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat.

“This year was an exceptional year. I wish we knew why,” Trial told members of the state’s Atlantic Salmon Commission on Thursday." ... more

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Appeal to Lincoln Lakes Wind Farm Approval

Bangor Daily News:
"The Lincoln Planning Board used “ludicrous” arguments in shoehorning a proposed $130 million wind farm into its regulations, a Bar Harbor lawyer opposing the board’s approval of the proposal contended Tuesday.

Representing a group opposing the project, the Friends of Lincoln Lakes, attorney Lynne A. Williams filed an appeal with the Lincoln Appeals Board on Monday charging that First Wind’s turbines do not belong in residential zones of Rollins Mountain, where the project is slated to go if it is approved by Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies." ...more

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cruise Ship Numbers

Portland Press Herald's report on the income from cruise ships.

A Million Dollar Loan for Working Farms reports on the Maine Community Foundation's $1 million loan to the Maine Farmland Trust to support working farms.

Recycled Material Market Collapses

With the slwed global economy, the value of recycled material has essentially evaporated. Many communities, including ones in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts relied on the income from the collected materials. Until the market recovers, instead of generating income from the discarded material, it will now cost money to dispose of it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

U Maine Presque Isle Wind Power

University of Maine at Presque Isle
"We are the first university in the state to move forward on the installation of a wind turbine on campus. This $2 million project, to install a 600 kW wind turbine that will produce 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, will create more than $100,000 in annual energy savings and keep an estimated 572 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year. We see our project as an incredible educational opportunity, allowing us to share our experiences with you as we work to get our wind turbine up and running."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Certifying Lobster Industry as Sustainable
"An effort to have Maine's lobster industry certified as 'sustainable' is moving forward as a London-based organization begins a formal assessment of the fishery.

The Marine Stewardship Council said Thursday that it has begun a full evaluation of the lobster population, the soundness of the lobster management system and the fishery's impact on the environment. The process is expected to take a year or more.

Members of Maine's lobster industry are seeking the certification label, which assures consumers that the seafood is not overfished or harvested in a way that harms the ocean.

Supporters say that as consumers demand more 'green' food products, the lobster industry stands to lose out if it doesn't get certified."

Blueberry Prices Down

Bangor Daily News:
"The price paid for wild blueberries this year has dropped about 40 percent, according to some growers, and blueberry experts are blaming a bumper crop and a poor economy." ... more

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shortened Scallop Season Begins

The season in state waters runs from Monday to Jan. 4, and again from Feb. 25 to March 31. That's a total of 70 days, which is a nearly 50 percent cutback from last year. Fishermen will also have a daily catch limit of 200 pounds in state waters.

Regulators say the new rules are needed to give the ailing resource a chance to recover.