Trawler passes Portland Head Light

Supertrawlers and Trump: Scraping the Bottom

On June 5, 2020 President Trump unveiled the decision to ease protections for Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England, opening it to commercial fishing. Trump made the announcement in Bangor, Maine at a roundtable discussion with commercial fisheries companies and Maine’s former Republican governor, Paul LePage. Maine's Governor Janet Mills was not invited to the event.

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument comprises nearly 5,000 square miles of protected area that contains endangered right whales and sensitive deep sea corals. It has been closed to most commercial fishing since 2016. Trump called the existing regulations "ridiculous" and "terrible," reported WBUR Earthwhile.

Continue reading

An aggressive approach to defeating illegal fishing vessels

Catch Me If You Can: The Global Pursuit of a Fugitive Ship

The Indonesian government takes an aggressive approach to defeating illegal fishing vessels, claiming to have sunk hundreds of such ships in its waters. One official’s comment: “They’re very … efficient … with law enforcement.” Photo by Januar/AFP via Getty Images

Summarized from an article by Sarah Tory. Published in Hakai Magazine online, March 3, 2020. Read the full story here.

In a chase that rivals a James Bond adventure, a notorious illegal fishing vessel, the STS-50, is pursued by the Ocean Warrior. The Ocean Warrior is a sleek $8 million vessel, custom built by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for running down Japanese whaling ships.

Continue reading

Sea kayaking coaches paddling back from Ram Light in Casco Bay

The Power of Blue

With excerpts from Blue spaces: why time spent near water is the secret of happiness, by Elle Hunt, published in The Guardian, November 3, 2019.

In recent years, stressed-out urbanites have been seeking refuge in green spaces, for which the proven positive impacts on physical and mental health are often cited in arguments for more inner-city parks and accessible woodlands. The benefits of “blue space” – the sea and coastline, but also rivers, lakes, canals, waterfalls, even fountains – are less well publicized, yet the science has been consistent for at least a decade: being by water is good for body and mind.

Continue reading

Dungeness Crabs

Fishermen Sue Big Oil For Its Role In Climate Change

Excerpted from an article by Alastair Bland, published by NPR, The Salt.

Featured photo Michael Melford/Getty Images.

On November 14, fishermen in California and Oregon filed suit against 30 companies, mainly oil producers, contending that the fossil fuel industry must be held accountable for recent warming-related damages to the West Coast’s prized Dungeness crab fishery.

The fishermen’s lawsuit appears to be the first time food producers have sued the fossil fuel industry for allegedly harming the environment.

Continue reading

Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

By Jonathan White

“‘It’s flooding,’ Lukasi, the elder, said.

It was a quiet beach, and to my eye there was no indication whether the tide was flooding or ebbing.

‘How do you know?’ I asked.

‘Fuzz,’ he answered…

‘What fuzz?’

‘When the tide is flooding, it picks up dust and pollen and insect larvae from the beach that sits on top of the water like a blanket. It doesn’t happen when the tide is dropping.’”

Continue reading