Gulf Of Maine News

At the stakeholder meeting in Maine: Mark Kontio, Maine staff assistant for Congressman Bruce Poliquin; Lt. David Vejar, northeast navigation manager; Chris Rector, regional representative for Senator Angus King; Rear Adm. Shep Smith, director of Office of Coast Survey. (Photo: NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey)

Penobscot Bay Survey in Focus at NOAA Stakeholder Meetings

. Dean Moyles, of Fugro, a NOAA hydrographic contractor, presented a summary of the hydrographic survey work being performed in Penobscot Bay. Lt. David Vejar, NOAA northeast navigation manager, highlighted various products and services, including how to access NOAA charts and data, the upcoming Gulf of Maine Operation Forecast System, nowCOAST, and various planning tools such as SeaSketch and Northeast Data Portal. Allison Wittrock, from Marine Charts Division, presented the National Charting Plan with a focus on how it will provide great benefit to stakeholders.   Various groups attended

(Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Deaths of North Atlantic Right Whales Puzzle Scientists

a backhoe to get inside the animals to perform necropsies.   The whales, designated a species at risk, have been sighted in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in higher-than-normal numbers this summer, Davies said, possibly because their zooplankton food source is scarcer in other habitats such as the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy.   Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed some snow crab fisheries early in response to the deaths, and has asked ships in the high-traffic Gulf of St. Lawrence to voluntarily keep their speed to 10 knots or less.   But longer-term solutions such

Photo of what seaweed community looks like after introduction of invasive seaweed (Dasysiphonia japonica) (Photo: Kristen Mello/UNH)

Sea Habitats Altered by More Invasive Seaweed-Study

large amounts of a fine red seaweed clogging the coastline, the result of sweeping changes in the marine environment occurring beneath the water.   To further investigate, researchers at the University of New Hampshire looked at seaweed populations over the last 30 years in the Southwestern Gulf of Maine and found the once predominant and towering kelp seaweed beds are declining and more invasive, shrub-like species have taken their place, altering the look of the ocean floor and the base of the marine food chain.   In the study, recently published in the Journal of Ecology, researchers

Scientists think that American eels spawn somewhere in the southwest corner of the Sargasso Sea, which is surrounded by circulating ocean currents. The eels migrate as tiny larvae to fresh waters along the coast, where they spend their adult lives. Where the adults spawn and how the larvae migrate to the coast both remain mysteries. (Illustration by Eric S. Taylor, WHOI Graphic Services)

A Slithery Ocean Mystery

Scientists gain grasp on the epic migration of eels   One sentence in a New York Times article caught Larry Pratt’s eye and set the scientific investigation in motion.   The story was about fishermen harvesting juvenile eels in coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine and selling them for more than $2,500 a pound, mostly for unagi in Asian fish markets. The eels, the article claimed, “are believed to spawn in the Sargasso Sea and drift on currents to Maine, where they make their way to fresh water.”   “It seemed far-fetched,” Pratt said.   Pratt

North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. Credit Christin Khan NOAA

Critical Habitat for Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale

Using new information not previously available, NOAA Fisheries is expanding critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales to cover its northeast feeding areas in the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank region and southeast calving grounds from North Carolina to Florida. This final rule, which was initially proposed in February 2015 and received 261 general comments over a 60-day comment period, does not include any new restrictions or management measures for commercial fishing operations. This rule is based on 35 years of aircraft and ship borne surveys of right whale distribution, and

The extent of the Lake Erie algal bloom at its height in 2013 (top) and 2014 (bottom). Orange and red show concentrations that may cause scums and other issues. Different areas are affected in the two years because of wind patterns. The data came from NASA's Aqua satellite and was analyzed by NOAA's Center for Coastal Ocean Science. (Credit: NOAA)

Severe Algal Bloom Predicted for Lake Erie

initiative that aims to deliver ecological forecasts directly to coastal resource managers and the public as part of its stewardship and scientific mandates for coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources. Additionally, NOAA currently provides, or is developing, HABs and hypoxia forecasts for the Gulf of Maine, Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Northwest   NOAA, NASA, EPA, and the U.S. Geological Survey announced, in April, a $3.6 million multiagency research effort designed to be an early warning system for freshwater nuisance and toxic algal blooms by using satellites that

Blake (Photo courtesy of David Evans and Associates)

DEA’s New 82-foot Survey Vessel Commissioned

and Geodetic Survey Steamer Blake, an oceanographic and hydrographic vessel renowned for testing innovative technologies such as the Pilsbury current meter which was the first deep sea current meter and the Sigbee deep sea sounding machine. The original Blake was commissioned in 1874, operated in the Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. The Blake’s accomplishments are documented in Three Cruises of the BLAKE by Alexander Agassiz. The vessel has numerous seafloor features named after her, including the Blake Abyssal Plain, Blake Plateau, Blake Canyon and Blake Ridge, all of which

New England

the shore side services. There is a downward spiral once you begin to loose the specific infrastructure of a working port. Are you seeing some momentum in this area?     Ms. Kirk:  I think there is momentum around the science piece of it. We are situated so favorably to the Gulf of Maine and Stellwagon bank. From a research standpoint we are seeing that for sure. Also part of that is making the connections and the partnerships. As with Endicott college, and the non-profits as well as other organizations and institutions we are leveraging those collaborations. In terms of private

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