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April 10, 2015     Quoddy Tides
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April 10, 2015
 

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Page 2 THE QUODDY TIDES 10 April, 2015 UNLOADING mussels at the Lubec town wharf is the dragger Life' s Treasures. ( Chessie Crowe Gartmayer photo) Five rockweed harvest plans approved by Edward French Five rockweed harvest plans for Cob- scook Bay have been approved by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) for this year. The plans were sub- mitted by Dennis Bryant, director of Maine Operations for Acadian Seaplants Ltd., based in Nova Scotia; James Young of Eastport; North American Kelp of Wal- doboro; Timothy Sheehan of Gulf of Maine Inc. of Pembroke; and Amanda Lyons of Lubec. The harvesters were allocated sectors in the following areas: North American Kelp -- 11 sectors in South Bay, Bar Har- bor and Whiting Bay, with a projected harvest of 1,378 short tons; James Young -- nine sectors in Bar Harbor, The Falls, Dennys Bay and Whiting Bay, with a pro- jected harvest of 2,241 short tons; Acadi- an Seaplants -- eight sectors in Johnson's Bay, Bar Harbor and East Bay, with a projected harvest of 1,789 short tons; Timothy Sheehan -- two sectors in the Pennamaquan River, with biomass to be determined; Amanda Lyons -- tWO sec- tors in Bar Harbor, with biomass to be determined. All of the harvesters state that they will not remove more than 17% of the biom- ass in the sectors after conservation areas are removed, as required under the state's rockweed law for Cobscook Bay. Both Sheehan and Lyons will not be authorized to harvest rockweed until they provide the DMR with the details of a new biomass assessment for their sectors. In his letter approving each of the plans, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher in- forms the harvesters that "a number of shorefront property owners within Cob- scook bay have signed a voluntary 'no- cut registry' stating that they do not want rockweed harvested in the intertidal area adjacent to their properties." Last year, Cobscook Bay harvest plans from Acadian Seaplants, North American Kelp, Young and Sheehan were approved by the DMR. No-cut areas recommended The R0ckweed Working Group, which was appointed by Keliher to determine the criteria for ecologically sensitive areas where rockweed harvesting should not be allowed on the Maine coast, has received 14 letters concerning potential areas that should be closed. The group was to have presented its report to the legislature in January, in order for legislation concern- ing the harvesting of rockweed along the entire coast to be put forward, but the group is now not expected to finish the report until later this year. The letters are from a number of con- servation and environmental organiza- tions, along with federal agencies. Among the areas that the groups recommend for closure to rockweed harvesting are: the important wildlife areas proposed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; seabird nesting islands; the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge; the Roque Island archipelago; intertidal areas owned or used by field stations and ma- rine labs; Marine Protected Areas, all parks, municipality-owned properties and land trust properties; all reservation and traditional hunting and fishing waters of the Passamaquoddy Tribe; publicly fund- ed conservation lands; Acadia National Park, the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site and the Schoodic Institute's lands; and the Darling Marine Center's lands. In addition, the National Marine Fisher- ies Service (NMFS) wrote about the im- portant role of rockweed as habitat for managed fish species, particularly juve- nile cod: NMFS recommended use of this habitat in establishing criteria for desig- nating no-take areas. Other groups recom- mended that cutting on conservation lands only be allowed by permission of the con- servation organization. The Conservation Law Foundation rec- ommended that the working group seek an advisory opinion from the Maine Su- preme Judicial Court on the question of the ownership of rockweed in the intertid- al areas and whether landowner permis- sion must be obtained. Such an advisory opinion could avoid claims by private landowners that rules implementing the state's rockweed management plan consti- tute an impermissible taking of rockweed. T & G Cedar paneling available now. Call for pickup or delivery.  :i::!::!ii!ii .................  ..... Pembroke Lumber Company (207) 853-4419 5/4 eased edge cedar decking 4 x 4 cedar posts 2x4, 2x6 and 2x8 cedar Cedar shiplap Spruce, pine and hemlock available Raised garden bed material Custom sawing I Sawmill located on Rt. 214, Pembroke [ Building a camp? Try our 5" x 5" natural round Log Cabin material. Call to receive a quote. / Legislative committee sinks scallop bill by Edward French A bill that would seek to make the scal- lop fishery more sustainable while allow- ing greater entry into the fishery was quic.kly killed by a legislative committee on April 1. During the public hearing on the bill, the legislature's Marine Resourc- es Committee heard from a number of fishermen that the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and the state's Scallop Advisory Council (SAC) have been work- ing for the past eight years to rebuild the fishery and that the measures proposed in the bill would not help. Several of the fishermen who spoke in opposition to the measure are members of the SAC. Rep. Robert Alley of Beals, the sponsor of LD 909, An Act to Promote Sustain- ability in the Scallop Fishing Industry, ar- gued that reducing the daily catch limit from 135 pounds to 90 pounds statewide and the maximum drag size from 10 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 6 inches would help conserve the resource. He also maintained that those fishermen who had held a scal- lop license that had expired before the 2009 moratorium on new licenses should be issued a license, as he wanted to en- courage younger fishermen to get into the fishery. Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher explained how the DMR has been v/,brking with the SAC and fish- ermen to rebuild the fishery, through a rotational management plan, a harvest tar- get of 30% of the biomass and a reduction in the daily catch limit and season length. The fishery has increased by 17 times in landings and nearly 27 times in value from 2005 to 2015. The number of active li- censes has increased from 168 in 2009 to 438 in 2014, but there are still 189 latent licenses. He feared that allowing more fishermen into the fishery would place the gains that have been made at risk. He also maintained that the width of drags is not a significant management tool, while in- creasing the minimum ring size of the drags to 4 inches had been a key tool for conserving the smaller scallops. The com- missioner did feel, though, that an owner/ operator requirement would help with al- lowing fishermen to gain entry into the fishery, as it would get some people to give up their licenses. James Ackley of Machias noted that a measure that would allow fishermen to transfer their licenses would help with get- ting younger people into the fishery. Richard Callow of Peaks Island main- tained that his use of an 8-foot drag causes less damage on the bottom than a 5 1/2 foot drag would cause, as it takes fewer tows to get the catch limit. The smaller drag would crush more seed scallops, he said. Billy Moore of Machiasport agreed, stating it can take him just four tows to get his limit of 135 pounds with an 8 1/2 foot drag, while boats using a 5 1/2 foot drag may make 50 tows. Other fishermen said that a lower catCh limit would make it harder for them to make a living, particularly if the current high price for scallops were to drop. Kristan Porter of Cutler stated that if the catch limit were dropped to 90 pounds, which is the limit in Cobscook Bay, then "all the fishermen would go to Cobscook and will wipe it out in three days." The higher catch limit in Zones 1 and 2, along with the larger allowable drag size, helps to spread the boats out along the coast and prevent a derby fishery in Cobscook Bay. Porter also said that proposals to change the fishery should be brought through the SAC instead of the legislature, since changes in law would be "chiseled in stone. That's not the way to adapt." Togue Brawn, owner of Maine Day- boat Scallops who formerly was a re- source management coordinator at the DMR, noted in her written testimony that the DMR's management changes have worked because "they were tailored to match the needs of Maine's diverse scal- lop industry. The scallop resource in west- ern Maine is very different from that in eastern Maine, and Cobscook Bay's re- source is different still." She added, "We must recognize and cultivate diversity in our fisheries, not squash it." Along with opposing the changes in the catch limit and drag size, she questioned the fairness of the bill' proposal to favor those "who had a license in the past and chose not to renew it over those who never had a chance to get one." After killing the bill in a work session, the committee did urge the DMR and SAC to look at the suggestions in the bill and work on them. The SAC will be meeting again on April 16 in Brewer. Calais man sentenced in pesticide case Clyde Eldridge, 65, of Calais was sen- tenced on April 6 in U.S. District Court by Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. to one year of probation and fined $5,000 for making a false statement to federal agents in a case involving a Canadian salmon fann- ing company that used an illegal pesticide that caused the death of lobsters around Deer Island and Grand Manan. According to court records, Eldridge owned C&E Feeds, a feed and pet store in Calais. In 2010 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Canadi- an counterpart, Environment Canada, were investigating the illegal use of the pesticide cypermethrin. On September 23, 2010, when asked by two EPA special agents to identify anyone to whom he had sold cypermethrin and" whether he had kept records of the sales, Eldridge said he sold different amounts of cypermethrin to different people and that he did not keep track of the sales. However, the investiga- tion revealed that Eldridge sold cyper- methrin on 10 or 11 occasions to one regional production manager employed by Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture, and that on each oc- casion Eldridge made a note of the quanti- ty picked up by the manager. In April 2013, Cooke Aquaculture pied guilty in New Brunswick Provincial Court and paid a $500,000 fme for illegally using pesti- cides that killed hundreds of lobsters. Ac- cording to the agreed statement of facts in the case, Kelly Cove Salmon had acquired 144 gallons of cypermethrin and used the pesticide at i5 aquaculture sites near Deer Island, Grand Manan, Campobello, See- ley's Cove, Red Head and Maces Bay. In imposing the sentence, Judge Wood- cock said that Eldridge violated the trust of his fellow citizens in selling the pesti- cide, knowing that it would likely be used in violation of Canadian taw and that vio- lating laws meant to protect the environ- ment is a serious matter. The investigation was conducted by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and Environment Canada. LAND SURVEYOR ROBERT G. COSTA GPS Mapping Boundary Line Surveys Soil Test Environmental Permits Mortgage Surveys Septic Design 953 South Meadow Road Perry, ME 04667 (207) 726-3914 costa@midmaine.com www.surveyandseptics.com