Ocean Is Our Muse

I grew up on the beach. My mom had summer rental cottages at the shore, where we worked and lived.  Accommodations were spare but from the front door step the vista was limitless.  The sound of surf was always in the background. My dad was a scuba diver at a time when the sport was [...]

Where the Wild Things Are

As the turtle said, “Dude, you’ve got serious thrill issues.”  There aren’t many places in the world where bluefin tuna venture so close to shore that a person can paddle out to cast for them from a kayak.  But Race Point off the tip of Cape Cod is one of those places.  On the outgoing [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

Breaking the Rule

John on  Press Herald Post   My wife has a rule in our house – no talking about fish or boats after 6pm. Good luck, honey.  Most evenings that prohibition lasts until about 6:20 and then, somehow, the conversation wanders back onto the latest boat project, or fishing, or fishery management, or some esoteric related subject.  [...]