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  • MLCA

Coastal Outlook - January 2018

Welcome to 2018! Here we are at the beginning of an empty calendar stretching forward into the next twelve months. Who knows what stories we will be covering during this brand new year? To start with, Landings tackles the topic of ocean wind power in New England. The Gulf of Maine has been called the “Saudia Arabia of wind energy” because of the strength and reliability of its powerful winds. Yet proposals to construct offshore wind turbines have provoked concern among Maine lobstermen and coastal communities, most recently aimed at the Maine Aqua Ventus proposal for off Monhegan Island. Landings begins a new series looking at ocean wind development by examining the Block Island Wind Farm, which successfully began producing electricity for that island in May, 2017. We also hear this month from retiring Greater Atlantic Region Fisheries Office director John Bullard on what’s next in terms of right whale protection. We all know that 2017 was a terrible year for North Atlantic right whales. Seventeen of the endangered whales were found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in New England waters. Five more live whales were found entangled in lines. Researchers believe that the right whale birth rate has dropped significantly beginning in 2010, so each death resonates negatively throughout the population. Bullard explains activities that the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team, a large coalition of public and private organizations and agencies, will be examining in 2018 to attempt to reverse this tragic turn of events.


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