Daily Archives: July 8, 2018

Blackjack – Oldest Friendship Sloop re-launched in Rockland

Over the past three years, the folks at the Sail, Power, and Steam Museum have been restoring a 118 year old vessel, Blackjack. Museum Founder, Captain Jim Sharp helped bring Blackjack back to life. The vessel was originally built by Wilbur Morse in Friendship, Maine. Sharp says sloops are symbolic of Maine’s fishery. “Everybody owned a Friendship Sloop. Wilbur Morse built more than 500 of them right here in Muscongus Bay, so they were used for everything at that time; all the fishing, it carried a man’s supplies out to the islands, and it would come to shore to attend church on Sunday’s,” explained Sharp. Video >click to read<14:55

A fishing life

It was a laugh when we started. Mike and I really didn’t know what we were doing. When you’re going for flounders you’ve got to set the net pretty low, and every now and again you get five tons of muck instead of any fish, or you might find some fish but you’ve got to hose them out. Neither of us could mend the net, not in a hurry anyhow. We blundered on like this for three months. One night, it was about 11 o’clock, we were still out in the bay there, with the lights on, hosing mud out of a trawl.,, We saw some lights coming towards the boat. This boat pulls up. It pulls up pretty close to us, a voice comes across from the wheelhouse: “I can’t bear watching you two stupid bastards going broke any longer!” It was Jack Flowers. >click to read<11:53

Exploding Salish Sea seal population sparks call for a cull

Tens of thousands of seals in the Salish Sea are devouring millions of adult and juvenile salmon, sparking renewed debate about culling the furry predators. Recent studies have linked high seal-population density to troubled chinook runs and the decline of southern resident killer whales that feed on chinook in the summer.,, A tenfold increase in the population of harbour seals in B.C. waters since then is linked to a massive drop in marine survival of chinook salmon in 14 of 20 wild populations in a new study from the University of British Columbia. By contrast, hatchery fish — another potential explanation — had little impact. “Changes in numbers of seals since the 1970s were associated with a 74-per-cent decrease in maximum sustainable yield in chinook stocks,” it reads. >click to read<10:27

The feast-or-famine life of lobstering in Maine

The lobster industry has always been a rollercoaster of a profession — with lobstermen (and women) risking their lives to bring in the biggest catches. In recent years, though, global warming has heightened the rhythm of this already delicate dance: Warmer ocean temperatures lead to a glut of lobsters flooding the market, but water that is too warm can lead to dead lobsters at the bottom of the sea.,,, The consensus from fishermen and scientists alike was that the boom was caused by one of three theories,,, The subject of global warming draws a mixed reaction — just as it does among the American public — among those in the lobster industry, >click to read<09:27

Bristol Bay sockeye harvest breaking records as other districts suffer

The Nushugak District in Bristol Bay is experiencing an all-time record harvest of sockeye salmon as other districts across Alaska suffer poor returns. “Last year the Nushagak set an all-time record of 12.3 million fish for the year, I just got off the phone [on Friday] with the manager and he expects that record to be broken today,” said Art Nelson, a spokesperson for commercial fisheries at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “And there are more fish to come.” Other districts across Alaska have been struggling with poor sockeye harvests. >click to read<08:44