Urban Sprawl in the Ocean

John on Press Herald Post   Have you ever attended a planning board meeting? There has been considerable discussion of “urban sprawl” in southern Maine. Town planning departments and planning boards are where citizens confront these questions of sprawl and manage the effects of development. But imagine, for a moment, a planning board where all [...]

I Hate Balloons

 John on Press Herald Post    You have to love those clear hot July days on the water.  The boat leaves harbor at sun-up and runs straight out to sea for two hours to a favorite offshore fishing ground.  As the morning wears on the sun beats down, the air becomes still and the surface [...]

Butts on the Beach

John on Press Herald Post   The International Coastal Cleanup has become a big event worldwide (  Volunteers not only collect tons and tons and tons of trash from beaches and shore lands; they actually inventory the items they pick up.  Understanding where the trash comes from is the first step to stopping it at [...]

The Big Sink

John on Press Herald Post   All life on Earth depends on the ocean.   Even yours. I’m often struck that when policy makers worry about Climate Change they don’t also talk about Ocean Change.   Ocean IS climate – the two are in an inseparable dance that creates the conditions for life on Earth. We have [...]

Message from a Lapel Pin

John on Press Herald Post   Barak Obama seemed a bit bewildered.  I’m sure he hadn’t given it much thought.  But suddenly people were asking him “Why don’t you wear a flag on your lapel?  Don’t you love your Country?”  Of course he loves his Country – it’s a given that anyone who serves in an [...]

Recreational Fishermen Revolt!

John on Press Herald Post   Recreational fishermen are up in arms!  Soon they’ll be protesting in the streets of Augusta, pounding on the doors of the Legislature.  Liberté! Equalité! Fraternité! Unite against bureaucracy! So what’s the fuss?  Because a recent federal law now requires NOAA Fisheries to establish a registry of recreational saltwater anglers [...]

Fountainhead of Life in the Gulf of Maine

John on Press Herald Post   From the deck of a boat it all just looks like water.  But from a fish eye view, this is a wonderful place. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is at the ecological heart of the Gulf of Maine.  This is where cold nutrient-rich water, pushed south by the Maine Coastal [...]

Amateur Hour in Fishery Management

John on Press Herald Post Marine fisheries are a multi-billion dollar industry.  The New England Fishery Management Council serves, in effect, as the board of trustees for the production line and operations of this industry. Individually, Council appointees are responsible citizens with civic pride in the fishing industry and desire to help the community thrive, or [...]

Who Owns the Fish

John on Press Herald Post   Who owns the fish in the sea? Who owns the whales?  Who owns the habitat they live in? You do.  We all do.  Fisheries and the marine environment are a public resource trust. The United States has jurisdiction over 3.4 million square nautical miles of ocean – this exclusive economic [...]

Blood in the Water

John on Press Herald Post   Hey!  Breaking news bulletin!  “16 out of the 21 oceanic shark and ray species that are caught in high seas fisheries are at heightened risk of extinction due primarily to targeted fishing.” Well, actually this shouldn’t be news to anyone interested in ocean ecosystems.  Despite their reputation for ferocity, [...]