Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sustainable Ancient Aquaculture

Sustainable Ancient Aquaculture – National Geographic Society (blogs)

Sustainable Ancient Aquaculture

Written by: Mark J. Spalding, Kathryn Peyton and Ashley Milton
 Lessons We Can Learn from Ancient Aquaculture Technology
  1. Use plant-based feeds instead of wild fish;
  2. Use integrated polyculture practices such as IMTA;
  3. Reduce nitrogen and chemical pollution through multi-trophic aquaculture;
  4. Reduce escapes of farmed fish to the wild;
  5. Protect local habitats;
  6. Tighten regulations and increase transparency;
  7. Re-introduce time-honored shifting and rotating aquaculture/agriculture practices (Egyptian Model).

Phrases like “lessons from the past” or “learning from ancient history” are apt to make our eyes glaze over, and we flash to memories of boring history classes or droning TV documentaries.  But in the case of aquaculture, a little historical knowledge can be both entertaining and enlightening.
Fish farming is not new; it has been practiced for centuries in many cultures.  Ancient Chinese societies fed silkworm feces and nymphs to carp raised in ponds on silkworm farms, Egyptians farmed tilapia as part of their elaborate irrigation technology, and Hawaiians were able to farm a multitude of species such as milkfish, mullet, prawns, and crab. Archaeologists have also found evidence for aquaculture in Mayan society and in the traditions of some North American native communities.
The award for oldest records about fish farming goes to China, where we know it was happening as early as 3500 BCE, and by 1400 BCE we can find records of criminal prosecutions of fish thieves.  In 475 BCE, a self-taught fish entrepreneur (and government bureaucrat) named Fan-Li wrote the first known textbook on fish farming, including coverage of pond construction, broodstock selection and pond maintenance. Given their long experience with aquaculture, it’s no surprise that China continues to be, by far, the

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Eelgrass experiment takes root in Aquinnah - The Martha's Vineyard Times

Local and state biologists team up to bring eelgrass back to Island ponds.

By Barry Stringfellow -September 27, 2017

Eelgrass shoots in mid-transplant, woven into burlap. — Courtesy Bret Stearns

Eelgrass is shown growing through the burlap.

Beckie Finn, environmental programs coordinator, with a terra cotta disk that will help eelgrass take root, and then dissolve. — Courtesy Bret Stearns

Eelgrass plays a critical role in the estuarine ecosystem, which makes it particularly crucial to the overall health of the ecosystem on Martha’s Vineyard. Many species of fish and shellfish, including the prized bay scallop, depend on eelgrass to propagate the species. Eelgrass creates oxygen, which is essential for all forms of aquatic life, and eelgrass beds stabilize sediment and filter toxic metals and nutrient pollution.

Eelgrass is also an aquatic canary in a coal mine, and it’s been dying off in Island ponds at an alarming rate.

Aerial photos from 1996 and 2001 by the Massachusetts Geographic Information System (MassGIS) showed eelgrass declined over 17 percent in Menemsha Pond, which one of the healthier ponds on the Island. A 2013 Army Corps underwater study showed further decline in eelgrass density.

Down-Island, the situation is much worse. Oak Bluffs shellfish constable David Grunden describes

Why Seafood Is on the Cusp of Transformation

Monica Jain
Monica Jain leads Fish 2.0 and Manta Consulting Inc. She is passionate about oceans, impact investing, fisheries and building networks around these themes.
Oct 17, Medium.com

Why Seafood Is on the Cusp of Transformation

5 global trends are opening huge market opportunities for innovation in the seafood sector

Photo Courtesy Blue Ocean Gear

If you’re a talented young data scientist scouting the next frontier, where do you go? If you’re a biotech pioneer hunting for new ways to apply cutting-edge concepts, where do you look? If you’re a global powerhouse that doesn’t want to miss the next big market opportunity, what’s on your radar?

Sustainable seafood.

Seriously. That answer may be an outlier now, but soon it will be on everyone’s lips. Change in the

There Could Be a Real Solution to Our Broken Economy. It’s Called Universal Basic Assets.

There Could Be a Real Solution to Our Broken Economy. It’s Called Universal Basic Assets.

By Marina Gorbis, originally published by Medium.com\

“The marketplace in which most commerce takes place today is not a pre-existing condition of the universe,” says author and Institute for the Future fellow Douglas Rushkoff. “It’s not nature. It’s a game, with very particular rules, set in motion by real people with real purposes.”

Over the past 100 years such rules have fostered unprecedented economic growth. However, today they are also producing deeply damaging social and ecological outcomes.

The numbers are striking. In 2010, 288 of the richest people in the world collectively owned as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people. Last year, according to a recent study by Oxfam International, just eight people owned as much wealth as half of the world’s population.

In this moment of massive wealth inequality​,​ we urgently need to develop a new model for society to deliver both social and economic equity.

The answer may be in the concept of Universal Basic Assets (UBA),​ which​ in my definition​ is​ a core, basic set of resources that every person is entitled to, from housing and healthcare to education and financial security.

It Can Get Worse. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

GRAND MANAN: Tuna, sharks and whales ... fishing in 1934

Southern Weirs Hold the Record
Ten tuna fish were taken from the "Dock" weir at Flagg's Cove one day recently, and several more on other occasions, it is said. The first tuna caught were shipped to Portland but the venture did not prove remunerative enough to the shippers due to excessive transportation charges. The tuna more recently taken were given away to neighbors of the weir owners, and those who liked the flesh enjoyed a feast indeed. North Head weirs are noted for their catching of big fish, and recently another large shark was taken in the same weir which produced a monstrous shark some time ago, the liver from which filled a dory. These weirs, however, are just a whit behind those of the southern part of the parish. A good sized whale was taken in the "Big Weir'' located at Inner Wood Island not long ago. The mammal was killed and towed from the weir by Captain Harry Harvey and crew of the Wood Island Life Saving Station. Whales or sharks, however, it's all in the day's work for the weir fishermen who rarely express surprise at anything they find inside the enclosures. (St. Croix Courier 1934)

GEOLOGY: Old 1872 Grand Manan Copper Mine reopened in 1964

A Toronto group who have been diamond drilling and prospecting on the Island since early spring recently opened the entrance to the old copper mine at Sloop Cove on the Western side of Grand Manan. This mine opened in 1872 by British interests actually operated for a short time with the ore shipped by sailing vessel to England where it was processed. It was said at the time that the ore was of a very high copper content. After a few ship loads operations ceased, no one seems to know why, probably due to dwindling demand at that time. The mine shaft entered the face of the high clifts on Grand Manan's western shore from the beach and it is reported that after removal of the fallen rock blocking the entrance the tunnel was found to be in good condition. Some years ago a number of tools were found on the beach and the older residents remember when the shaft entrance was plainly visible. ( Courier. Oct.8 1964)


More information on Grand Manan Geology:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crew of the Schooner Madagasca Saw a Great Snake

 The Schooner Madagasca arrived at Lubec last week with a cargo of coal. The crew of the schooner in a casual way mentioned a strange animal seen off the coast of Cutler, Me. When questioned they related in a straightforward manner the incident.

Two of the crew who saw the animal vouchsafe the truth of the following: During the morning watch, at about 6 0'clock, July 28th, while standing along under easy sail, ma king about four miles an hour, an object was seen on the starboard bow, which at first was thought by the man on lookout to be a large log. As the vessel drew nearer, the sailor, Edward Ray, formerly of Ellsworth, called the mate's attention to the object, saying he thought he saw the thing move. The mate, Len Armstrong, formerly a resident of and well known in Lubec, glanced in the direction pointed out and saw what he supposed to be a log floating upon the surface. As the course they were steering would bring them close alongside the floating mass the men gave little heed to it, but when within a few fathoms and near enough for a biscuit to have been tossed upon it, great was the astonishment of the two sailors to see the supposed log raise a snake-like head, give them one glance from a pair of glassy-eyes and glide with a sinuous, serpent-like movement away from the vessel. So close had they approached the reptiIe that every detail could be minutely noted. In shape the creature resembled a monstrous snake and was at least 30 feet long. Its body, covered with scales, was of a brownish green hue, and glistened in the rays of the sun. Extending along its back, from head to tail, was a spinal protuberance, consisting of innumerable points, seemingly formed of an extension of the back bone. Near the head and growing above the spine, was a thick, dark fin about the size of a man's hand. As nearly as could be estimated the creature's body was two feet in diameter, tapering slightly at the head and very noticeably at the tail. Apparently the body was of a uniformly greenish brown color both above and below. The two men had ample time to examine all these details, as, after moving off a short distance, the serpent lay quiet upon the water for some minutes, only lifting its head to gaze at the schooner. For half an hour or more the men watched the strange monster, which occasionally made a quick movement through the water, but going only a short distance each time. It appeared to be quite fearless, evincing little alarm at the sight of the vessel, and remained upon the surface of the water. St. Croix Courier, August 8, 1901

Friday, March 17, 2017

POSTER Abandoned on Campobello

Abandoned Campobello
ART PRINTS: Abandoned Campobello
Abandoned and wrecked boats are common around our shores. This simple lobster boat began its journey on Campobello Island

POSTERS: Fishing Boats on the Bay of Fundy. William Bradford, 1860

Enjoy art at reasonable poster prices. This delightful painting is by William Bradford, circa 1860.

Fishing Boats on the Bay of Fundy
2 pages, published 3/17/2017
William Bradford was a famous marine artist. this scene shows fishing activity in the Bay of Fundy during the sailing era.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

EXPLORE: Pirate Ed Lowe and the Treasures of Isle haute

Pirate Ed Lowe and the Treasures on Isle Haute
8 pages, published 3/17/2017
Isle Haute is a wild isolated island at the mouth of Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy. Documents suggest that Pirate Edward Lowe visited the island and buried treasure there.

EXPLORE: Planning a trip? Don't miss our Downeast lighthouses online guide

Planning a trip?

Here's most of the lighthouses from Massachusetts to Newfoundland courtesy of Google My Maps and the many contributors to this effort. Enlarge the map and click on each for more details about individual lighthouses. 

Need this information on the road?

Download Google's "My Map" app on your phone or tablet and search for "Downeast Lighthouses". Presto, you can access all of this information. Click through to the weblink where you will find detailed information about most lighthouses.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WHAT DO YOU THINK NOW? Bay of Fundy Tidal Turbines will Kill Marine Life and Impact Our Eco-economics 2009

What do you think about this now?


Turbines perilous to marine animals
SeaGen - world's first commercial tidal genera...Image via Wikipedia
Wed. Sep 23 - 4:46 AM

There are misconceptions concerning the turbines that will be used to extract energy from the Bay of Fundy tides and these need addressing. Tidal power from free-running, propeller driven generators is not a free energy gift. There will be environmental costs extracted from the fisheries and tourism of Nova Scotia, which your readers should know.
I have been studying the effects of tidal power on fish and fisheries since 1980 when it became apparent a tidal power plant would be installed at Annapolis Royal. Yes, I am a biologist, but I have consulted with many physical scientists and engineers over the last 29 years during my studies on hydraulic turbines. These include George Baker, an engineer and the former vice president of the Nova Scotia Tidal Power Corporation, who was primarily responsible for the design and construction of the Annapolis Royal tidal power plant. In fact, Mr. Baker funded our work over a period of 10 years because he also wished to know effects of these turbines on fish. What we found was not pretty!

During our studies at Annapolis Royal, we found there was a dramatic impact on the fishes using the Annapolis River estuary. Impacts, which continue today (see blog of the Annapolis Royal Heritage Society Sept. 8, 2009 concerning dead sturgeon found below the generator), were spread across the entire community of fishes.

Francis Jordan asked for the numbers, so here they are. We found that 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the small, out-migrating juvenile fishes (shad, gaspereau, herring, 10 cm long) were killed by turbine passage. Death was mainly by pressure flux and shear around the turbine blades.
Large fishes were mainly injured or killed by turbine blade strike. Experiments with acoustic-tagged adult shad (50 cm long) found that 20 per cent to 25 per cent were killed from a single pass. Larger fishes such as striped bass and sturgeon (one to two metres long) were often found cut in half and many gaspereau, mackerel, flounders, eels and other species were killed or maimed.

Our findings were published in peer-reviewed, scientific journals. If Mr. Jordan does not believe me, then contact the graduate students who worked on the project, many of whom are now university professors or fisheries scientists with the government.

All turbines proposed for the Bay of Fundy and discussed in the environmental assessment released by tidal power proponents in July are generically similar to the Annapolis Royal turbine. They are hydraulic lift turbines that work by Bernoulli’s Principle (which allows airplanes to fly).
Blade design generates lift from the flow of water over them, making the turbine turn and similar physical effects (pressure flux, shear, strike) will occur in these units and harm marine organisms. The problem is there are many more fishes passing through the Minas Channel. They will encounter the turbines more often because the planned turbines will generate in both directions of the tide (Annapolis only generates on ebbing tide), and the open Bay of Fundy contains many marine mammals, including seals and whales with larger body sizes, (two to 20 metres), making probability of blade strike high.

There is little difference between ship propellers and tidal turbines: both work because of Bernoulli’s Principle. The saving grace of ships’ propellers is that most are much smaller than the turbines. If you do the math, a 15-metre diameter tidal turbine turning at the RPMs outlined in proponent’s environment assessment actually have blade tip velocities of 34 to 62 km/h. Few fish or whales can swim that fast and avoid the blades, especially smaller species.
Having said that, every year fish and whales turn up dead on beaches around the Maritimes having been killed by ships’ propellers. Ships may not leave a trail of fish carcasses behind them, but they do kill some of the marine fauna. Ask whale biologists what they think.
My contention is that the large-scale development of tidal power in the Bay of Fundy will do immense damage to the fisheries and whale-watching businesses in the Maritimes. Please remember fisheries and tourism are two of our larger economic engines. Why replace one renewable resource with another when we can obtain it from other sources (wind, solar)? Hydroelectric turbines have done immense damage already to the fisheries resources and tourism of the Maritimes. Remember all the Atlantic salmon rivers we have lost to hydroelectric power generation.

Michael Dadswell is a biology professor at Acadia University

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

MARINE ART: The Ship Paintings of James Edward Buttersworth

The Ship Paintings of James Edward Buttersworth

(Based on wikipedia)

James Edward Buttersworth (1817–1894) was an English painter who specialized in maritime art and is considered among the foremost American ship portraitists of the nineteenth century.[1] His paintings are particularly known for their meticulous detail, dramatic settings, and grace in movement.

Early life and education

Buttersworth was born in London, England in 1817 to a family of maritime artists. He studied painting with his father Thomas Buttersworth Jr., who was also noted for the genre.


He moved to the United States around 1845 and settled in West Hoboken, New Jersey (now Union City, New Jersey),[2] and also maintained a Brooklyn studio in 1854. He returned to England in 1851 for the Race for the Hundred Pound Cup that took place on 22 August 1851. His sketches and paintings of that yachting competition provide the definitive record of events in that benchmark season of sailing.
Buttersworth’s paintings of the 1893 Vigilant vs. Valkyrie II Cup match were done one year before his death, completing the chronicling of America's Cup races by oil painting just before the advent of successful photographic imagery. He was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1999. About 600 of his pieces survive today, which are found in private collections and museums all over the United States, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Virginia, and have also been featured on the television series Antiques Roadshow.[3]


Magic and Gracie off Castle Garden (c. 1871), in the collection at The Mariners' Museum

Steamboat Escort off the battery (1863) in the collection at The Mariners' Museum



Seems I had the wrong button pushed and it wasn't possible for anyone to comment. I think that is fixed ... so ... give it a try to see if it is working. Be nice! ;-)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Another great Google map showing some of the sea glass sites in Nova Scotia

Another great Google map showing some of the sea glass sites in Nova Scotia. It’s a personal map that can’t be shared … so follow this link to get the details: BEST PLACES FOR SEAGLASS IN NOVA SCOTIA

Friday, March 3, 2017

No Marine Protected Area for Quoddy-Cobscook Area. Why is that?

As shown in the attached slide show, the Quoddy - Cobscook Region of the Bay of Fundy is unique.

In fact researchers have identified the area as having the richest biodiversity on the northern coast of the Atlantic and an area that is vital to a large list of threatened and endangered species.

Numerous attempts have been made to industrialize the area stretching back to earliest settlers and developers.  In each and every case, local fishing, tourism and environmental interests have successfully fought to retain the area. Losses still occur through pollution and near-local activities and the future is far from secure.

A recent opportunity to design and create a Marine Protected Area was introduced by the new Federal Government. Meetings were held and pitches were made, but it was clear early on that this area was not up for consideration in spite of the fact that it was mentioned in early press releases.

Why is that? Who or what prevents the protection of this vital area shared by Canada and the United States?

What do you think?


Rockweed: Lawsuit news alert

Rockweed News alert
28 FEB 2017

Legal case update!
DMR Commissioner speaks!
Rockweed legal case: oral arguments scheduled

Ross et al. vs Acadian Seaplants

Members of the public may attend.

- March 2, 9:00 to 9:40 am -

Washington County Superior Court, 85 Court St., Machias
Commissioner Keliher, Maine DMR, on what DMR will do if a landowner contacts DMR about unwanted rockweed harvesting: click photo for VIDEO.

1. Landowner
complaints about a very old and loud rockweed machine. Aug. 11, 2016; Harpswell, ME.

Rockweed harvester machine, August 2016, Harpswell, ME -->