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,

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\

“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:

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

FUNDY TREASURES: Pirate Ned Low, Captain Kidd and the Treasure of Isle Haute

FUNDY TREASURES: Pirate Ned Low, Captain Kidd and the Treasure of Isle Haute

by Art MacKay, 3/15/2017

Image taken at low tide at Harbourville, Nova Scotia
Isle Haute is a remote island in the middle of upper Bay of Fundy near the entrance to the Minas Basin, 16 kilometers from the coast of Harbourville and 8 kilometers south-southwest of Cape Chignecto, Nova Scotia. The island is part of Cumberland County, Nova Scotia and is 3 km long and 0.4 km wide. The Mi'kmaq used the island to make stone tools before Europeans arrived and called the island "Maskusetik", meaning place of wild potatoes. Samuel de Champlain gave the present name to the island, meaning in French "High Island", in 1604 when he observed the towering bluffs, timber and fresh-water springs. The steep 100 m (328 ft) basalt cliffs of the island are the result from volcanic eruptions in the Jurassic period and may have been connected to the North Mountain volcanic ridge on the mainland 200 million years ago, before the Bay of Fundy was formed.
In 1878, a lighthouse was built and was manned until 1956, when fire collapsed the lighthouse and home of the lighthouse keeper. The lighthouse was replaced by a steel tower and is unmanned. Federally owned, the island is being transferred from the Canadian Coast Guard to the Canadian Wildlife Service to protect its unique ecosystem. The island is also protected under Nova Scotia's Special Places Act to protect early Mi'kmaw archaeological sites. Digging without an archaeological permit or removal of artifacts is prohibited. (Modified from Wikipedia)


Many of us believe that a mystery unexplained remains a mystery and this seems to be true for Isle Haute, a particularly isolated and rugged island lying off Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy. While the professionals that study and oversee the island believe that there is no evidence that pirates ever buried treasure there and go so far as to state that “no one has ever discovered any genuine pirate treasure in Nova Scotia”, people still continue the search for treasure left by vicious pirate Edward “Ned” Low or perhaps it was the ubiquitous Captain Kidd as some stories suggest. Whatever the truth, stories abound and treasure hunters have, apparently, pockmarked the island with holes in their quest to discover the treasure. One story places the treasure in a unique pond at one end of the island and it is claimed that there was even an attempt to drain the pond. Islands seem to attract attention as great places to buy and hide ill­-gotten booty and Isle Haute is one of the best.


Early stories suggest the Acadians hid their valuables there during the expulsion and then there is Captain Kidd who seems to have buried his treasure everywhere.

But the established history of Captain  Ned Low places him in the Fundy area. “Outrunning his pursuers following a raid on the New England coast, Pirate Ned and his crew arrived in the Minas Channel in 1722. Supposedly, Ned not only buried his booty on Isle Haute, he also sacrificed one of his crew, whose ghost would guard the treasure until Ned’s return. Ned never made it back, however, as he was captured, imprisoned and ended his career at the gallows, taking the secret location with him.” (

In 1929 B.C. treasure hunter Douglas Carmichael made several trips to the island and reported his discovery of “jewels and coins”. His claims were never supported however and the truth of his discover remains unproven. While many years have passed and the individual is long past away, Edward Rowe Snow, an American adventurer and writer learned about the treasure of Isle Haute. He researched the subject and somehow, somewhere, obtained a map that was reputed to have been created by Ned Low himself. The map image clearly resembled Isle Haute and, equipped with his research and a professional metal detector, Snow arrived on the island in 1952 as a guest of the lighthouse keeper, John Fullerton and began his search.   It apparently wasn’t long before he unearthed a human skeleton and in the same area a cache of silver and gold coins some dating back to 1710. His discovery was quickly seized by the authorities but a later application to the appropriate authorities resulted in the return of his coins. The world press picked up the story and he and Isle Haute became famous for a brief time. He published photos of his find in Life magazine, although it is open to question whether what he claimed to have found was treasure, shipwreck gold or merely a plant. Snow was candid in admitting that the real money in treasure hunting came not from finding anything but rather from writing about it and selling books.(see McLellan, 1955; Trueman, 1970; Snow, 1952). Unfortunately, Snow’s efforts and those of other treasure hunters have led to the pointless and frenzied digging on Isle Haute, which hold tragic consequences for the island’s history. The spot most favoured by Snow and other treasure hunters at one end of the pond also happens to be one of the more important archeological sites on the island.


Amherst to Advocate harbour.PNG


Beautiful, rugged, remote and inaccessible aptly describe Isle Haute. Originally managed by the Canadian Coast Guard, the lighthouse is long gone and only a tower serviced by a helicopter, guide the ships at night. Today, there is some confusion about who manages the island and Provincial professionals seem to think a permit is required. But at this time, it is uncertain how you apply. That said, a boat tour can be arranged and there are many, many other interesting places to explore, making the trip worthwhile and one that should be on your list.

Isle Haute has all of the elements of a great place to visit and based on all the comments I have seen, it is well worth the effort.  There is only one way really and that is by boat. We recommend you contact Advocate Boat Tours to book you visit. Isle Haute is one of their favourite tours. Here’s part of what they have to say:

all 1-902-670-8314 or email
Remote Isle Haute is home to a large seal and seagull colony. Copyright:
Remote Isle Haute is home to a large seal and bird colony. Copyright:
Take an off-shore tour to the mysterious Isle Haute in the middle of the Bay of Fundy where numerous seals frolic in the clear water, and bald eagles, seagulls and peregrine falcons ride the updrafts along the cliffs. This destination is the highlight of any trip to Nova Scotia if you like wild, unspoiled nature and amazing geology. Our most popular tour, this is always a hit with the kids as well due to the awesome wildlife viewing opportunities.


Edwardlowepicture.jpg Ned_Low_at_PTOC.jpg


1936_Low_card.jpg The_Cruelties_practised_by_Captain_Low.jpg

The Reference Files: These are the media and document files we use in preparing this guide provided as a single Zip File. It includes general information as well as information on the lighthouse, pirates, shipwrecks of the island, studies carried out and tourist services in the area. We save references as PDFs since we discovered that links tend to disappear taking important information with them. Please note the copyrights remain with the owners and apart from our guide all other media and documents are for references and fair use only. $7.99 Buy this on Selz


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 -->