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>>
Western Pacific Council Advisory Panel applications now available
Fishermen, members of fishery-related industries and individuals from fishery- or marine-related organizations are invited to apply for membership to the Advisory Panel for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.
The advisory panel includes three panels that focus on the fishery ecosystem plans for the American Samoa Archipelago, the Hawai'i Archipelago and Pacific Remote Island Area and the Marianas Archipelago. Each of these panels will also deal with the pelagic fishery ecosystem plan. The fishery ecosystem plan subpanels include representatives from commercial, recreational, subsistence and indigenous fisheries, and ecosystems and habitat.
Advisory panel members provide advice to the council on all aspects of the region's fisheries and suggest management strategies. The advisory panel includes representatives from American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and Hawai'i who meet the following selection criteria:
The advisory panel terms last four years and will commence Jan. 1, 2015. Positions are voluntary (not paid). However, members are reimbursed for expenses related to their participation in meetings.
Applications are being accepted electronically and can be found at https://wpcouncil.wufoo.com/forms/20152018-advisory-panel-application/.
For those who may need other arrangements, please call the council office at (808) 522-8220 for assistance. The council must receive completed applications before Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.
For more information, contact Joshua DeMello at Joshua.DeMello@noaa.gov or (808) 522-7493.
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Eric Haynes’ Cod Cakes
Of Sea and Clouds
By Jon Keller
Tyrus Books, 2014
Hardcover, 336 pp., $24.99
Maine's lobster fishery is apparently fertile ground for novelists. Not so long ago, I reviewed "Vacationland" by Nat Goodale, which was an enjoyable read. "Of Sea and Cloud" by Jon Keller, also set in the Pine Tree State's most profitable fishery, is a darker ride, but no less of a page-turner.
Things get ugly in a hurry. Nicholas Graves has raised his sons, Bill and Joshua (known as Jonah) to be lobstermen. But when Nicholas is lost at sea, the mystery of his death sparks a chain of events resulting in a war between the Graves boys and Osmond Randolph, a lobsterman and former Calvinist minister, as well as their father's business partner for more than 20 years.
With Nicholas out of the picture, the powerful and unsettling Osmond, aided by his grandson and heir, Julius (a deeply unsettling guy in his own right), moves to push the Graves family out of the lobster pound Nicholas and Osmond ran at any cost. A trap war develops as Osmond sets lobster traps on the Graves family grounds mere days after Nicholas is lost at sea.
Jonah cuts about $5,000-worth of Osmond's traps. In retaliation, Julius sets his gear directly on top of the Graves' traps. And as the Graves try to what happened to their father the war escalates from there.
But the story isn't solely about an ugly trap war. Keller worked aboard a Down-East Maine lobster boat for several years after graduate school, and during that time, he said in a Tyrus Books interview, he "began to see within the land and people something nearing on the epic."
"When I started writing 'Of Sea and Cloud,' I fell immediately into a voice that felt to me to echo this epic starkness — and more importantly than echoing, I hoped that the voice would resonate in and through the novel in the way the coastal landscape resonates in and through the Down-East world," he explained.
Keller said he he's lived in enough small towns to be aware of when a place is undergoing a serious shift.
"I'd call it a cultural unraveling, perhaps, and it results in loneliness and desperation that I hoped to capture in the book," he said. "It's the confusion that results when a sub-culture doesn't evolve as quickly as the culture that surrounds it. The technology has changed, the standards of living have changed, the world has changed... yet the way of life has not, and the result is a cultural tailspin, a potential breakdown."
Furthermore, Keller said the region's isolation doesn't protect it from a changing world as much as it exposes it to it. In the book, Osmond sees that global markets are going to affect the lobster industry and the aging lobsterman is desperate to protect his family and ensure that they will survive those changes.
Keller says "Of Sea and Cloud" is "a book that asks something of the reader, just as the coast of Maine asks something of those who inhabit it." It's a story that should be food for thought for 21st century fishermen, be they veteran harvesters or young bucks trying to make their mark on this historic industry.
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National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14
In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.
National Fisherman Live: 8/14/14
In this episode: