The firm hired by the Pebble Partnership to review the company's substantial environmental baseline studies will hold a second set of independent science panels starting May 6. The panels will be held in Anchorage, and will be filmed and broadcast via web-stream live. Remote participants can submit questions and comments by email during the event.
The Keystone Center, which was commissioned to complete the review, is now accepting registrations for the science panels, which will be broken up by topic over two days. On May 6, the panel will focus on vegetation and wetlands, while the May 7 panel will focus on wildlife, habitat and threatened or endangered species.
Independent scientists have been asked to review Pebble Partnership's studies, and panelists and committee members serve without compensation other than travel and lodging expenses. Recommendations that are issued from the panels will be incorporated into a forthcoming report.
The scientific peer review panel, convened and moderated by the Keystone Center, a Colorado-based nonprofit hired to facilitate a dialogue regarding the proposed mine, convened last October amid controversy and anti-Pebble protests. Opponents say the review panel process is biased because it is paid for by the Pebble Partnership. Keystone organizers contend, however, that the scientists reviewing the data are unpaid and unbiased. At last fall's meetings, questions were raised about the methodology used to evaluate certain features of the region, which is being researched in conjunction with a hotly controversial proposed large-scale gold, copper and molybdenum mine in the Bristol Bay watershed.
The Keystone Center said last fall that it hoped to hold the next panel in Bristol Bay.
Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>
After the spill: Gulf oysters at ground zero
From Texas to Florida, this year's oyster harvest in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the smallest on record. Three years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, oyster industry experts have no answers on the cause of the steep decline, especially on public grounds relied upon by commercial fishermen.
Oystermen and processors indicate that gulf oysters are tough to come by. Various gulf state fisheries are conducting studies on oyster reproduction and growth, but answers have been elusive.
Scientists are studying the spill’s impact on gulf oysters. Information is being compiled as part of a restoration plan aimed at bringing the gulf back to prespill conditions; the Natural Resources Damage Assessment Act better known as the Restore Act.
Commercial oystermen from across the gulf fear they are beginning to see the full extent of the 2010 oil spill damage.
Oysters take approximately three years to reach maturity, so the spill’s damage could just now be affecting the industry. Before the spill, oyster landings were in a cyclical lull and currently should be trending upward; but they’re not.
Read the full story at Gulf Seafood Institute>>
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Eric Haynes’ Cod Cakes
Man Plans, God Laughs
By Nat Goodale
Bowditch Press, 2013
Softcover, 242 pp., $14.99
When I think of Donny Coombs, a fifth generation Maine lobsterman who's the hero of "Vacationland," the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor Man, pop into my head — "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more!"
It will take him awhile to get to that point, though. Coombs is pretty much an independent live-and-let-live kind of guy. He's largely content to go lobstering, accompanied by his ornery, territorial, yet faithful and loyal dog, Tut.
However, Coombs' placid life is about to become more stressful on several fronts.
First there are his new neighbors, Delano and Eliza Nelson. The Nelsons are, as Mainers say, From Away. And the missus in particular is hell-bent on, as Goodale puts it on his website, "saving Maine from the Mainers."
Job one in this quest is getting Coombs to remove some items they deem unsightly from his yard. Thus begins what will blossom into an increasingly ugly battle between the two neighbors.
Then there's Shelly Payson, an attractive junior at Harvard, where she's an outstanding member of the crew team. Shelly's impetuous, and like her well-to-do father, Chase, used to getting her way. She's attracted to Coombs, which displeases daddy greatly. His mission is to kill the growing relationship between Coombs and his daughter.
And last, but certainly not least, there's lobsterman Stanley Maven, who covets Coombs' territory. He ignores signs to back off and becomes increasingly bold about setting traps where Coombs fishes.
All of these battles get ratcheted up to a fever pitch. And when Coombs reaches his Popeye-esque breaking point, things get very ugly indeed.
Goodale's crafted a fast-paced page-turner, filled with strongly drawn characters. At first, I was disappointed in the ending. I suspect I'm too used to watching movies where Hollywood wraps everything up neatly to send us smiling out of the theater.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it really rang true. When it's all said and done, "Vacationland" proves to be a highly entertaining story that's well-worth reading.
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National Fisherman Live: 4/22/14
Brian Rothschild of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries on revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.
The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.