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In The News: June 2013

Fishermen asked for input on Statoil siteStatoil is asking fishermen to provide their thoughts on the location of the final lease area for its Hywind Maine pilot project. The project will demonstrate the commercial feasibility of floating wind turbine technology. A lease application has been filed with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Although an area of 22.2 square miles is included in the lease application, the final site will be approximately four square miles, based on input from fishermen and other interested parties. Statoil is asking fishermen to tell them by early June how that area is currently being used. The project will comprise four floating wind turbines, each about 230 feet tall with a rotor diameter of about 330 feet. The blade will be roughly 65 feet off the water. The foundation for each turbine will reach about 250 feet below the water surface. The foundation will be anchored to the bottom with three anchor lines. Each anchor line will be no more than 600 meters from the foundation. An underwater 34.5 kilovolt cable will connect the pilot project to the existing regional electric transmission substation in Boothbay. To the extent feasible, the cable will be buried roughly six feet below the sea floor. Alternative methods of protecting the cable are under consideration based on technical analysis and stakeholder input. Fishermen can contact Larry Knapp, at 751-5449, or Laura Taylor Singer, 838-1031, to give input on this project.

Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine expands in RocklandLinda Bean purchased an 11,000-square-foot Rockland building in April from a Canadian company that had planned to convert the facility into a lobster processing plant. Bean plans to use the building for storage, grading and distribution of lobsters. Bean already owns and operates a 23,000-square-foot lobster processing plant in Rockland’s Industrial Park as well as a 12,000-square-foot building used for lobster storage. The property had been purchased in September, 2012, by Frank Benoit, who operates Les Pecheries de Chez-Nous Ltd in New Brunswick. He stated at the time that he planned to convert the vacant building into a lobster holding and processing facility.

Robots to monitor red tide in the Gulf of Maine Robotic sensors deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Gulf of Maine coastal waters may transform the way red tides (also known as harmful algal blooms (HABs)) are monitored and managed in New England. The results will add critical data to weekly real-time forecasts of New England red tide this year distributed to more than 150 coastal resource and fisheries managers in six states as well as federal agencies such as NOAA, the FDA and the EPA. The two sensors, known as Environmental Sample Processors (ESPs), are molecular biology labs packed inside canisters the size of kitchen garbage cans. The ESPs are mounted to ocean buoys in the Gulf and will detect and estimate concentrations of two types of algae that cause red tide. The first, Alexandrium fundyense, produces toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The second organism, Pseudo-nitzschia, is a diatom responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning. Data from the ESPs will be transmitted to the shore in real time allowing managers to track potential outbreaks of red tide in shellfish beds. Bloom toxicity waxes and wanes based a multitude of factors, so having the ability to monitor the algae in real time provides resource managers with a better tool for protecting the public from shellfish poisoning.

Lobster Prices Investigated in Canada The fisheries ministers in the Maritime provinces agreed today to create an independent panel to examine the factors affecting lobster prices in Atlantic Canada and to work collectively on marketing initiatives. Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp and his counterparts in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island agreed on this course of action during a meeting in Amherst, N.S. "It was a productive meeting," said Olscamp. "We agreed it is neither a New Brunswick issue nor a Nova Scotia issue nor a Prince Edward Island issue. It is an eastern Canadian issue. It is only by working together that we can move forward." The panel will consider ways to ensure the best return for all stakeholders and communities involved, recognizing the uniqueness of the various fishing areas in the region and of the products produced, whether live or processed. Senior officials will report back to the ministers in two weeks about the terms of reference and membership of the panel. The ministers will reach out to other jurisdictions, including Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Maine. They agreed that the federal government has a key role to play in the management of the fishery and the development of international markets.

Atlantic Herring The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Atlantic Herring Section members from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts set a ‘days out’ effort control measure that will allow seven landing days each week from June 1 to September 30 for Area 1A. The total allowable catch for this period is 20,378 metric tons, 72.8% of the 31,200 metric ton annual catch limit for Area 1A (after accounting for the 1,425 metric ton overage in 2011, 295 metric ton set-aside for fixed gear, and 5% bycatch allowance). With seven landings days per week during this period, the entire 20,378 metric tons is projected to be caught close to the end of September.

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