Editor's Notes
Visionaries: An eye toward the future

New version of ESIP monitoring map available

Gulf Voices
A day on Great Bay: In search of the osprey

Science Insights
Dam removal

Profile: Dale Joachim of MIT’s Project Owl

Visionaries: Protecting the future of the Gulf of Maine

Book Review
Soaring with Fidel

Inside the Gulf of Maine Closure Area

Shipping lanes shifted to protect whales

In the News
- Outside the Gulf
- Sappi Paper to remove dam on Presumpscot River
- MIT builds robotic fin for submersible vehicles
- New Brunswick to restore Petitcodiac River
- New Brunswick, Nova Scotia to jointly study Fundy tides

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Visionaries in the Gulf of Maine
By Susan Llewelyn Leach

For years as a young lad Roger Berle would heed his mother’s request to take out the trash. On Cliff Island that meant dragging the bag from under the kitchen sink and trotting down to the shoreline to toss it in the ocean.

It’s a story he tells with wry irony. As one of the most energetic and effective proponents of conservation in Maine’s Casco Bay, Berle said he’s been making up for that trash misadventure ever since.

In the intervening years, his focus has been as much about preserving island life as it has the natural habitat that makes that life so appealing.

[Read more]

Ambassador for his species: If a whale could speak
By Cathy Coletti

“Do you know you hit a whale?!” shouted my mother from the side of the Atlantic Queen about 20 miles (32 kilometers) offshore in the Gulf of Maine. The upswell of anger ran through this group of about 60 whale watchers like electricity.

It was one of those days you hope will never happen again. Too many circumstances had come together, too many things that are unknowable and unplannable. The seas were calm. The sun was out. Visibility was perfect. The cool ocean air smelled of salt. My mother was meeting my little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters after about a year of trying to get a mutually agreeable date. The three of us were out on Jeffrey’s Ledge in the Gulf of Maine in mid July, seeing whale after whale.

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Ocean Tracking Network to shed light on undersea life
By Stephen Leahy

Imagine a spotlight on the ocean floor just off of Halifax, Nova Scotia, powerful enough to create a tube of light 400 metres or 1,312 feet in diameter and 20 kilometres or 12 miles out to the edge of the Scotian shelf. And imagine what this tube of light might reveal operating continuously.

While no such spotlight exists yet, there soon will be something akin to it. A series of up to 212 acoustic receivers, one every 732 metres (800 yards) or so on the ocean floor, soon will create an “acoustic curtain” 180 kilometres (112 miles) offshore of Halifax to the edge of the continental shelf that will detect fish, seals, whales and other marine animals tagged with tiny ultrasonic transmitters.

“We’ll be able to detect exactly when Atlantic salmon from the Gulf of Maine pass by on their way to Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Ron O’Dor, a researcher at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Sensors also will detect temperature, salinity, pressure and current speeds, offering new insight into when animals move and under what conditions. This could fundamentally alter the management of fisheries. “Marine scientists have never had continuous streams of data from the ocean floor before,” he said.

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On the trail of invasive species
By Peter J. Hanlon

Deep-sea biologists have multi-million dollar submersible vehicles. Physical oceanographers rely on networks of satellites and buoys. And marine invasive species experts use spatulas and nets. Clearly the latter are not the gear-heads of the marine research world.

Despite the lack of high-tech equipment, the search for non-native species has an international appeal. Organisms from literally any point on the globe can be transported to the Gulf of Maine through the ballast of cargo ships, the baitfish industry, the release of aquarium pets into the wild and fouling on the bottom of recreational boats.

[Read more]

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Site contents: © 2007 The Gulf of Maine Times