Monday, August 29, 2011

Inka Milewski on Aquaculture and the Blue Revolution

Blue Revolution Revisited

by Inka Milewski
Heather & Issac and vying for first followed by Dawn Marie at Friendship. There were a lot of big boats doing some fast dancing at the races this season. Winter harbor attracted boats and a crowd. Good racing prizes and the annual lobster festival helped. ©Photo by Sam Murfitt
It’s not clear when the term ‘Blue Revolution’ was coined to describe the industrialization of aquaculture. By the late 1990s, in the wake of declining wild fish stocks, policy analysts, scientists, economists and government agencies around the world began touting the Blue Revolution as the “next frontier for humankind’s food.” Traditional fisheries were being described as “Stone Age” and their technology as primitive as those of “hunter-gatherer” societies.
While hailed as the world’s next major source of protein, farmed fish represents a very small portion (6 percent) of per capita global protein consumption. According to the most recent data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, plants and animals still represent about 80 percent of the primary source of protein for most of the world’s population. Globally aquaculture is dominated (89.1 percent) by seaweeds, crustaceans and freshwater fish production. Farmed salmon represents only 2.8 percent of global aquaculture production. 

Thanks to Joyce M.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

PASSAMAQUODDY BAY: Downeast LNG — where does it stand?

(Aug 18) — Calais Advertiser, Calais, ME

[Note: As presented at]

At one time there were three liquid (sic) natural gas [LNG] proposals for this area. Over time two of those proposals have fallen by the wayside for one reason or another. Downeast LNG, the second one on the scene, is the only one remaining.

Girdis said one of the current holdups deals with permits relating to vapor-gas exclusion zone (sic). "FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] had stipulated that no project, Downeast and all the others that are export oriented, can proceed forward to permit approval or construction, depending where they are in the permitting process until the new vapor models are developed," he said.

[FERC External Affairs spokesperson Tamara Young Allen said,] "We're basically saying the project is still pending before FERC." "But, until DOT completes its process the project here will continue to be pending. Our staff will prepare a revised draft Environmental Impact Statement [EIS] (sic) to include the new information from DOT."

Girdis said he anticipates finalization of the GIS (sic; EIS) early in 2012 with work to begin in the fall of that year. [Red, yellow, & bold emphasis added.]

Webmaster’s Comments: It is interesting that the Calais Advertiser considers Calais LNG to be dead. Even though that project has no money and no project site, it remains in the FERC permitting process.

It is also interesting that Dean Girdis stated that the vapor-gas dispersion model issue is just one of the current holdups to Downeast LNG.

Downeast LNG anticipates EIS (Draft EIS, or Final EIS?) completion in 2012; however, Dean Girdis is overlooking another gorilla staring at him from the corner — the US DOT has not yet addressed the flawed thermal radiation exclusion zone model that FERC failed to notify DOT of way back in 2009.

Just as the vapor-gas dispersion model required reconstruction, so does the thermal radiation model. And, from independent research submitted to FERC demonstrating critical false assumptions in the current model, it appears that the current model's shortcomings indicate Downeast LNG's terminal site is severely undersized, with no way to expand it to accommodate the required exclusion zone.

The thermal radiation model flaws (and FERC's 2009 violation of responsibility to inform the DOT of those flaws) is now on the US DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) docket (PHMSA-2011-0159) for consideration.

As far back as 2006, or earlier, the Government of Canada warned Downeast LNG and the other local terminal proposals to relocate outside of Passamaquoddy Bay; that LNG ship transits through Head Harbour Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay are banned. Instead of taking the responsible approach and heeding Canada's warnings, all three LNG projects decided they would rather fight with Canada than succeed. Despite Downeast LNG's claims to have the right of innocent passage through Canadian waters, in actuality, the US does not have that right according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and according to traditional maritime law (since the coastal state — Canada, in this case — determines what qualifies as "innocent" under traditional law).

If Downeast LNG had heeded Canada's warnings, it could have found a new location of sufficient size to fulfill the DOT-FERC exclusion zone requirements — as well as made sure their project could actually receive LNG by ship. Now, however, Downeast LNG has two immutable obstacles:
Canada's prohibition of LNG ship transits to the proposed Downeast LNG terminal, and
A project site that cannot accommodate the required exclusion zones.

Not only that, but the US Coast Guard, in its Letter of Recommendation and Waterway Assessment, requires thatDowneast LNG…
Obtain a letter of consent from Native American tribes whose waterway rights would be impacted by the project — a requirement that Downeast LNG is defying; Downeast LNG has essentially claimed that Native Americans have no rights in Passamaquoddy Bay (see FERC docket filing by Maine Historic Preservation Commission regarding this concern); and
Obtain cooperation and coordination from the Government of Canada for safe and secure LNG transits in both US and Canadian waters — something Canada has steadfastly indicated will not be forthcoming.

The Coast Guard makes no idle requirements. What it requires of Downeast LNG — is impossible for Downeast LNG to fulfill.

One wonders what the venture capital firm Yorktown Partners, Downeast LNG's financial backer, could possibly be thinking.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

LNG: Quick status report from Passamaquoddy Bay

Tanker LNG Rivers, LNG capacity of 135 000 cub...Image via Wikipedia

The Latest Update to the Save Passamaquoddy Bay website:

LNG Developers in Passamaquoddy Bay
Updated status of LNG projects.
Downeast LNG — Over 2 Years Late answering technical questions, still in FERC permitting process.
Calais LNG — No money, no terminal site, no office, still inactively present in the FERC permitting process.
Quoddy Bay LNG — This project is still permanently dead.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SHARKS: Great white shark caught in Bay of Fundy

CBC News
Posted: Aug 17, 2011 6:51 AM AT
Last Updated: Aug 17, 2011 6:51 AM AT Read 2comments2

Related LinksShark sighting not uncommon, says researcher

This great white shark was caught in a fishing weir near Economy, N.S. submitted

A great white shark was caught this week in the Bay of Fundy, the first confirmed great white shark sighting in Atlantic Canada in more than six years.

The three-metre, 272-kilogram shark was caught in a fishing weir by fisherman Wayne Linkletter, near Economy, N.S.

Steve Campana, head of the Canadian Shark Research Laboratory, said the shark was likely looking for fish when it got trapped.

"They're interested in fish and perhaps small seals and dolphins. It's very unusual for a great white to attack a person and usually when they do, it's because they look up and see a surfer on a surfboard and it resembles a seal, which is one of their favourite prey," said Campana.

Campana added that great white sharks are often more threatened by humans, rather than the other way around.

"Canada is within the range of great white habitat, so they've undoubtedly been coming up here since time immemorial," he said. "It's just that the population of great whites used to be much larger, at least 10 times larger, just 30 years ago than it is now."

Campana said the sharks are sometimes seen around Sable Island.

"The great whites will go up there and have a buffet meal of tasty young seal," he said.

The shark was caught alive but later died.

The head was sent to Halifax's Museum of Natural History for further study.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

EVENTS: Cobscook Bay Music, support our Bay of Fundy Neighbo/urs

You are invited to the following event: 

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location: 

Aug 20, 2011 
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM 

Crow Town Gallery
406 South Lubec Road
Lubec, ME 04652

Western Swing Hall of Fame inductee Maryann Price has an illustrious career, to say the least. Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, Asleep at the Wheel, the Kinks, Trio Del Rio - Maryann Price is well-known for her vocals with them all. Her solo career...

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter

We hope you can make it!

Cobscook Bay Music 

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MYSTERIES: Is the Eastern Cougar like the Sasquatch?

The mystery has always been why, in the face of incontrovertible evidence, do the smirking "official" biologists claim the Eastern Cougar to be extinct, non-existent, gone? Well it seems that the infamous sasquatch suffers from the same fate.

I just ran across this interesting article about Jason Erickson and his Dad Adrian. Adrian has seen sasquatch and his life experience in that regard seems to vastly outweigh the knowledge and experience of any biologist I have met ... keeping in mind that I "are one" and have met a bunch.

Well read the following. It will sound mighty familiar to anyone who has reported seeing the Eastern Cougar.

People ..."were dismissed as kooks, ridiculed, folks ... lost their jobs after revealing they believed in a beast that shared the same plane as fairies and the Loch Ness monster.

"It made Erickson wonder: why is the sasquatch shunned by science? 'If scientists put 10 per cent of the effort into proving this exists, rather than trying to prove it didn’t exist, this would have been recognized decades ago as a species,' says Erickson.

"By 2005, Erickson had talked to hundreds of witnesses who were relieved to speak about sasquatches to someone who took them seriously – who had seen them himself.
"Tired of the wayward stares and sneers, he started the Erickson Project that year, the first multi-site field study of the sasquatch in Canada and the U.S. with the goal to have it recognized as a species." Get the whole story here.

Hmm. Perhaps our scientists need to examine their motivations too? Unfortunately some think their motives may be more sinister than we think.

You be the judge.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Cooke's bid for Clearwater dead in the water

Cooke fails to grab bigger stake in Clearwater
Founders: N.B. firm's bid to buy all outstanding fund units is dead in the water
By JOANN ALBERSTAT Business Reporter
Sat, Aug 13 - 6:27 AM

Clearwater Seafoods said Friday that Clearwater Fine Foods Inc., which has a 48.2 per cent interest in the Seafoods Income Fund, has indicated it’s not interested in selling. It killed an effort by New Brunswick’s Cooke Aquaculture to purchase all outstanding fund units.

THE LATEST BID by New Brunswick’s Cooke Aquacul­ture to increase its stake in Clear­water Seafoods Income Fund is dead in the water, say the Nova Scotia seafood firm’s founders.

Cooke made an offer July 26 to purchase all outstanding fund units for $3.50 each, making the proposal worth $159 million.

The fund has more than 51 million units, including 5.6 million owned by Cooke. That represents 20.2 per cent of the fund and 10.9 per cent of total outstanding voting rights.

Clearwater Seafoods issued a news release Friday saying Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. , which has a 48.2 per cent interest in the fund, has indicated it’s not interested in selling.

Clearwater Fine Foods is owned by fund co-founders Colin MacDonald and John Risley. The company holds almost 1.3 mil­lion units of the fund and is the sole owner of 23 million special trust units.

Clearwater Fine Foods says in the release that at least 50 per cent of fund investors agree with its stance.

MacDonald, who is chairman of Clear­water Seafoods, said Friday his company made its position known because Cooke’s bid is too low.

“It doesn’t represent fair value for our unit holders, at the end of the day," he said in an interview.

MacDonald also said he won’t be selling at any price.

OIL SPILLS: Extreme Spill Technology to locate in Penobsquis, NB

A beach after an oil spill.Image via WikipediaThe Bay of Fundy is wide open to an oil spill catastrophe because of the ship traffic, in particular the oil tankers entering Saint John. Since oil spills are almost always the result of human error they cannot be eliminated even by building the safest facilities. Turbulent weather, fog and fast currents increase the risk.

The whole world for the past forty years has been using the same oil spill mitigation technology that was largely developed in the 1970's. Most people don't realize that these techniques and equipment have never worked on any ocean, much less a dangerous body water like the Bay of Fundy. The worldwide average for successful oil spill recovery is 0-5%. In fact, the oil spill technology is so inadequate that the Canadian Coast Guard only requires that it function in Force 4 conditions (Raises dust and loose paper; small branches are moved). This is called a perfect day on the Bay of Fundy.

The BP spill last year demonstrated the world's experts giving it their best shot, backed by unlimited funding. BP spent $8 billion on skimming and cleaning with over 1,000 skimmer vessels and 48,000 workers. They recovered 3% of the oil. In-situ burning (polluting) processed 5% of the oil and created havoc with marine life destroyed in the fires. Dispersants "processed" about 8% and created a toxic sludge that coated the bottom. In-situ burning and dispersants are acts of desperation, not solutions. The industry has no idea how to remove the oil from the sea so they do things that would land them in jail in any other situation. What happened last year in the Gulf of Mexico is what's in store for the Bay of Fundy, only far worse because our northern waters are fierce in comparison.

The current situation of equipping a large tug or escort ship with conventional equipment is unworkable. This video shows what happened in Norway in July, 2009 when a small, empty cargo ship spilled its fuel oil. 200 km of coastline was wrecked . The ship could handle a hurricane but the oil spill equipment costing over $1 million could only handle a millpond. Another excellent video can be seen here .

There is one way we can now improve the situation. Extreme Spill Technology (EST) has developed oil skimming ships suitable for rough seas and fast currents. The Canadian Coast Guard considers it the first truly innovative approach in forty years. Escort tugs in Saint John based on the EST 70m skimmer ship could react immediately to an oil spill even in bad weather. Details can be seen here . EST will soon be manufacturing at a new facility in Penobsquis, NB.
David Prior
CEO, Extreme Spill Technology
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Beijing, China
Mobile: (902) 441-8284 / China 136 6135 9474 <>

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Friday, August 12, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Cooke Aquaculture after Clearwater Seafoods fund units

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Cooke Aquaculture makes offer to buy up Clearwater Seafoods fund units

By: The Canadian Press

Posted: 08/12/2011 8:22 AM |

HALIFAX - New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture Inc. has made a bid to buy up units of Clearwater Seafoods Income Fund (TSX:CLR.UN) not already owned by major stakeholder Clearwater Fine Foods Inc.

Cooke, which currently holds 20.2 per cent of the fund's units and 10.9 per cent of voting rights, has offered $3.50 for the units and intends to also buy up the fund's convertible debentures and convert them to stock, the Clearwater fund said Friday. The bid would value the fund at about $97.1 million.

The fund's units nearly doubled in value in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, rising $1.50 to $3.05.

However, the fund said its major unitholder Clearwater Fine Foods (CFFI), which holds 48.2 per cent of voting rights, has not only refused to sell any of its 4.6 per cent equity stake but also told the fund's board it does not believe the Cooke bid is a fair one.

"Additionally, CFFI have told the Trustees it believes there are other unitholders which together with CFFI would hold over 50 per cent of the fully diluted units who would share CFFI's views in this respect," the fund said in a statement.

The Clearwater fund said its trustees will review the proposal, which would have no effect on Clearwater's plans to convert to a corporate structure from an income fund by the end of the year.

In its second-quarter financial results released Friday, the fund said its operating division Clearwater Seafoods LP saw a net loss of $332,000, down from a loss of $5 million in the same period a year earlier. Earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization rose to $12 million from $8.3 million.

"Management are encouraged by the second quarter and year-to-date 2011 results and the increasing global consumer and customer demand for our premium, wild, sustainably harvested seafood," said chief executive Ian Smith.

"Market demand for our products is strong across all major segments and we have every expectation that our business momentum will continue in 2011."

Sales rose to $78.8 million from $70.8 million on improved prices and a shift to higher margin species despite lower volumes due to refit work on its fleet.

Clearwater has 1,600 employees, about 20 vessels, seven plants and offices in Toronto, Europe, China, Japan, Europe and the United States.

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Sperm Whales back in Bay of Fundy

From NatureNB Listserv.

Sperm whale and Bottlenose whaleImage via Wikipedia
The New England Aquarium right whale research vessel heard sperm whales in the Grand Manan Basin August 4 on a hydrophone and confirmed their presence today with one sighted. They also saw 2 sei whales and about 25 right whales today on their surveys.

We had 3 humpbacks near the Wolves and two fin whales off the northern end of Grand Manan as well as about six or more minke whales, many harbour porpoises, and four basking sharks. We also had two sunfish last Friday. 

Laurie Murison, Grand Manan, NB

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

CONSERVATION: Wolf Fish deserve protection in the Bay of Fundy too!

The following concerns being expressed for the lower Gulf of Maine apply equally here in the Bay of Fundy.

New research on the Atlantic wolffish, a depleted species that needs our help

By Talking Fish on August 11, 2011

In the deep ocean waters off New England’s coast lives one of our region’s most unique fish species: the Atlantic wolffish. While these fish may look threatening, and indeed they use their canine-like teeth (hence the name “wolffish”) to crush whole clams, scallops, sea urchins and crabs, Atlantic wolffish are themselves under threat from commercial fishing practices and modern fishing gear, which have decimated wolffish populations and destroyed the underwater habitat they call home.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), over 1,200 metric tons of wolffish were caught in 1983. In 2009, the last year for which data is available, U.S. landings declined 97 percent to only 31.6 metric tons. Although wolffish are not targeted commercially, they are caught unintentionally in nets as bycatch, and they are also threatened by destructive modern fishing practices, such as trawling and dredging, that destroy the seafloor. Because wolffish live on the rocky seafloor and depend on its diverse features to hunt for prey and protect their young, the impact of trawling and dredging on these habitats can significantly limit the fish’s reproductive success and survival.

U.S. Landings of the Atlantic woflfish have declined dramatically over the past 25 years.

In 2008, concerned about the decline in Atlantic wolffish populations, the Conservation Law Foundation petitioned NMFS to list the fish under the Endangered Species Act. Although in 2004 the federal government designated the Atlantic wolffish as a Species of Concern, in 2009, NMFS declined CLF’s petition to list the wolffish as endangered, claiming that such protection was not warranted at this time. The New England Fishery Management Council has implemented a total ban on the

SPOOFS?: Keep your eyes peeled for Red-winged Vultures

This showed up on Nature NB today.
For the evidence, see and click on 
the photo for a larger view.

Christopher Clunas
Sackville, NB
The rare Red-Winged Vulture Bird

The rare Red-Winged Vulture Bird is a cross between a vulture and a red-winged blackbird. It is known to strike fear into the hearts of sunflower seeds everywhere.

This one happened to be beneath my feeder with a contingent of other blackbirds.

This on one of NB's best bird photography blogs. Check for more at:

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OIL SPILLS: Experts in handling spills question preparedness in the Bay of Fundy.

David Prior has returned to the Maritimes to push development of oil spill technology on the east coast. He recently returned from involvement in the Gulf of Mexico and China.

Links Provided by David Prior
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