Celebrate Endangered Species Day (May 17) and the International Year of the Salmon by having your classroom participate in the Greater Atlantic Region’s Marine Endangered Species Art Contest. “We invite Massachusetts schools as well as schools from anywhere in the U.S. and beyond to submit entries!…In addition to school entries, home school and individual entries are welcome.” Submissions are due April 19th and selections will be featured in a group show at Gloucester’s NOAA headquarters. Last year (photos below of 2018 group show) I noticed some Massachusetts schools participated including Manchester and Beverly.
Read more about the contest guidelines and prizes Continue reading “2019 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest | share wonderful NOAA opportunity with young artists!”
Born only twenty minutes prior, the newborn and Mom were captured by a drone operated by the University of Hawai’i’s researchers. It’s beautiful to see the baby Humpback begin to use its blowhole, and gliding alongside, and then riding atop, the mother’s back.
University of Hawaii
By Kelli Trifonovitch
January 31, 2019
The humpback whale calf is so new that its dorsal fin and tail flukes appear soft and flimsy, and its mother is still excreting blood, while sometimes supporting the calf on her back. The rare video minutes after birth was captured by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) in January 2019.
MMRP Director Lars Bejder was using a drone to shoot video of other humpback whales off the coast of Maui (under a permit from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) when he got a call from one of the local tour operators. “They had just seen all this whitewater and commotion in the water and weren’t quite sure what it was and suddenly there was all this blood in the water, which made us go over there and that’s what we discovered—a newborn calf,” Bejder recalled.
It was the closest the marine mammal researcher had been to a live birth in 25 years.
“I think everybody can appreciate these kinds of footages, and it brings us closer to these animals and gives us a really majestic view of these creatures,” he said. “I think it’s pretty spectacular.”
The MMRP studies the effects of climate change, human activities and prey availability on whales and dolphins.
Just received another email from NOAA. Very exciting
Thank you so much Donna, we really appreciate it! We directed an aerial survey over that location today based on your report and we found seven right whales in that vicinity, all of which we were able to photo document for research purposes.
Yesterday I received a survey email from NOAA asking about the whale that I saw off of Shore Road and Rafe’s Chasm. They saw the information of Good Morning Gloucester. Sent NOAA the grainy photos, wish they were better but with the rain and wind it was not easy to get a decent photo. Also sent them the times of the sightings. Today I received the email below. We are lucky to have Ocean Alliance right here in Gloucester and Iain Kerr came over. https://www.whale.org/
Mariners are urged to use caution and proceed at safe speeds in areas used by right whales. Federal law prohibits operating vessels 65 feet or greater in excess of 10 knots in certain areas and times along the US east coast. Approaching right whales closer than 500 yards is a violation of federal and state law.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ACTIVE DMA ZONES AND SHIP STRIKE REDUCTION
DETAILS OF SIGHTINGS CAN BE VIEWED AT:
DETAILS OF ACOUSTIC DETECTIONS FROM CORNELL UNIVERSITY:
***NEW NUMBER TO REPORT RIGHT WHALE SIGHTINGS IS 866.755.NOAA***
Right Whale Sighting Advisory System
ALEWIFE; GASPEREAU; SAWBELLY; KYAK; BRANCH HERRING; FRESH-WATER HERRING; GRAYBACK
The alewife, like the shad and the salmon makes its growth in the sea, but enters fresh water streams to spawn. This “anadromous” habit, as it is called, forced itself on the attention of the early settlers on our coasts. In the words of an eyewitness, “experience hath taught them at New Plymouth that in April there is a fish much like a herring that comes up into the small brooks to spawn, and when the water is not knee deep they will presse up through your hands, yea, thow you beat at them with cudgels, and in such abundance as is incredible.” And they are no less persevering in their struggles upstream today. Numbers of them are to be seen in many streams, any spring, alternately swimming ahead; resting in the eddy behind some irregularity of the bottom; then moving ahead again, between one’s feet if one happens to be standing in midstream. And they are much more successful than the shad in surmounting fishways of suitable design.
From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) online courtesy of MBL/WHOIhttp://www.gma.org/fogm/Pomolobus_pseudoharengus.htm
This Saturday, March 31st , help out with the alewife count right here in Little River.
Thirteen works of art were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum March 18, 1990, one of the highest profile art thefts of the century and listed as #2 on the FBI top 10 art crimes list. There has been an ongoing investigation for recovery ever since including incentive for tips that was raised to ten million dollars. Todd Andrew Desper of West Virginia had the dead stupid and criminal intent to advertise the Gardner Museum’s masterpieces, The Storm of the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt (for 5 million), and The Concert by Vermeer (for 50 million) …wait for it…on Craigslist overseas. FBI posed as potential buyers and arrested Desper May 20, 2017. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on July 20, 2017. Here’s a link to the FBI press release. Last week, Desper plead guilty to wire fraud and attempted wire fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for May 15th.
Meanwhile, the Berkshire Museum case is pending Single Justice decision.
“Carlos Rafael, who ruled New Bedford’s fishing of cod and haddock, was caught lying about his catches. Now the piers have grown quiet.”
“Carlos Rafael, whose initials are emblazoned on boats all over this port city, boasted that his fishing empire was worth even more than official records showed. His trick? When he caught fish that are subject to strict catch limits, like gray sole or cod, he would report that his nets were filled with something far more plentiful, like haddock.
“We call them something else, it’s simple,” Mr. Rafael told visitors who seemed interested in buying his business. “We’ve been doing it for over 30 years.” He showed off a special ledger labeled “cash.” And he described an under-the-table deal he had going with a New York fish buyer, saying at one point, “You’ll never find a better laundromat.”
But Mr. Rafael’s visitors turned out to be Internal Revenue Service agents, and the conversations, caught on tape and described in court documents, began the unraveling of Mr. Rafael, whose reign over a segment of this region’s fishing industry gave him his larger-than-life nickname, “the Codfather…” read the complete article
I didn’t know John Bullard, NOAA Northeast Administrator who worked there from 2012-and retired Jan 5, 2018–was a former Mayor of New Bedford, despite good coverage on his tenure in the Gloucester Daily Times. I missed that detail but it jumped out to me with the sting stories. Maybe more reason to be recused from Gloucester decisions…
I saw them on the way home last night, and this morning the same.
Winter I season commercial fishing includes sea scallops. High winds and dropped temperatures bring the boats back.
2013 Boston Globe John Dyer article Scallops giving New Bedford fishermen a welcome break Eastern Fisheries shipping fleet etc out of New Bedford
NOAA Atlantic Sea Scallop regulations 2016 interactive map
Cold out there!! and so complicated !
Exemption. Vessels permitted by the National Marine Fisheries Service to commercially harvest and land Atlantic sea scallops may possess and land more than the state possession and daily landing limits provided: a. The vessel transits directly through the waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth for the purpose of landing sea scallops; b. The vessel makes no stops unless otherwise directed by the Massachusetts Environmental Police for the purpose of boarding and inspection; c. The dredge gear is out of the water and properly stowed on board; and d. The vessel, crew, gear and catch is otherwise in compliance with the applicable federal regulations.
Sea Scallop Februry 27 2017 state memo
From December through February, gray seals give birth on islands and shoreline areas in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. It’s not uncommon to see a mother and pup or a lone pup on a beach. Gray seal pups are born with a white, fluffy coat, known as lanugo, and nurse from the mother for approximately 16 to 17 days.
“A mother seal may be off feeding when someone comes across a seal pup on the beach,” says Mendy Garron, marine mammal stranding program coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region. “The best thing you can do is keep people and pets away from the seal pup, so the mother has a chance to return.”
Wicked Tuna Captain Bill Muniz of the F/V Lily assists a NOAA Team led by J. Michael Jech. The project involves the tracking of Tuna using a Drone seen below with Capt. Muniz . his first mate and J. Michael Jeck and Jennifer Johnson also from NOAA. The project is part of the Large Pelagic Research Center.
The lobstermen’s greatest concern is safety; safety for their crew, the observer-spy, and for themselves, along with the liability issues and lawsuits that will fall squarely on their shoulders when the accidental injury or drowning invariably occurs. The financial burden will be huge because of the adjusted insurance rates and the fact that the boats will now be forced to carry expensive safety equipment; combined costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. The observer-spies carry sleeping bags, pillows, personal coolers, measuring boards, baskets, and buckets. When asked about her experience on a lobster boat, NOAA representative Sara Weeks admitted that she had never been on a lobster boat. On a small boat, where there is barely enough room for a second crew member, the panelists did not seem to comprehend the dangerous situation they are forcing upon the lobstermen.
The president of the Massachusetts Lobsterman’s Association, Arthur Sawyer, pointed out that although over fifteen years of data has been collected by the state of Massachusetts, this information was not sought by NOAA. The company contracted by NOAA to carry out the gestapo-like spy program is called MRAG Americas. Andrew Rosenberg owns MRAG. He was also the former Deputy Director of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (or the fox evaluating the chicken coop, see below).
Reportedly, MRAG is paid approximately $800.00 – $900.00 for every spy. The spy is paid roughly $125.00 to $150.00. MRAG pockets the rest (this program is huge and there are thousands upon thousands of these observer-spies). Now that there are few to no ground fishing boats on which to position the spies, MRAG and NOAA have suddenly targeted the Massachusetts lobstermen. Afterall, they have to keep the gravy train collecting our tax payer dollars to spy on our fellow citizens.
“Sea days” are the number of days the lobstermen will be forced to allow an observer-spy on their boat. This information, although available to the NOAA representatives, was conveniently and purposefully withheld from the lobstermen at the time of the meeting.
Dear Good Morning Gloucester Community:
We know people were concerned and had questions about the harbor seal that was at Good Harbor Beach over the weekend. I wanted to take this opportunity to remind people of what they should do if they see an animal that may need assistance.
Donna Ardizzoni Injured Seal photo Oct 4, 2014 Good Harbor Beach Taken With Telephoto Lens
Up until this year, the protocol was to call the New England Aquarium. The Aquarium served as the NOAA authorized responder for the Northshore area for many years. On January 1st, the Aquarium refocused their response effort to sea turtle rehabilitation and the study of infectious disease in marine mammals. As a result they had to scale back their response area for stranded marine mammals and now are focusing their efforts on the area from Salem to Plymouth.
Over the last year, NOAA Fisheries has been seeking an alternate organization to help us fill this void on the Northshore, which includes Cape Ann. Until an alternate organization is identified and authorized to help us, we ask that all stranding calls be reported to our offices.
Our program oversees the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program from Maine to Virginia. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to respond to every animal in the field and do not have the legal ability to authorize individual volunteers to respond to these cases. As a result, marine mammal stranding cases in Gloucester will be handled on a case-by-case basis. When needed, we will seek help from other authorized stranding response agencies, but their ability to help will be limited and based on their available resources.
I would like to ask the Gloucester community to spread the word about the current status of response to stranded marine mammals and remind one another to be responsible viewers of wildlife by:
– Staying a safe distance of at least 150 feet from animals on the beach or hauled out;
– Do not let dogs approach seals or other marine wildlife. Marine mammals do carry diseases that can be transmitted to your pets, and vise versa;
– Do not touch or feed the animal.
Remember, seals are wild animals. Medical treatment of these animals is significantly different from domestic and terrestrial animals. We have to consider a variety of factors when making a decision about how best to respond to an animal on the beach including individual animal health and potential risks to humans and pets, the overall health of the species’ population , and how intervening may affect the natural ecosystem. Seals and other marine mammal species are federally protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
I would like to thank the Gloucester Police Department and the Massachusetts Environmental Police for their assistance in maintaining a safe viewing distance for this animal while it was resting on the beach. The seal did go back into the water on its own Saturday evening and no further reports have been received.
More information about the National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program can be found at the following website:
Mendy Garron, CVT
Marine Mammal Response Coordinator
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office
MARINE ANIMAL HOTLINE: 866-755-NOAA (6622)
For the last few summers I have come out of summer retirement to run a two-week summer session at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School. The camp is focused on both Marine Science and Maritime History and the goal is to get the kids out on the water/waterfront as much as possible. I am fortunate that my boys have that opportunity often and that they are naturally drawn to the ocean and all it has to offer. That having been said, I know that isn’t true for all children who are growing up in this area. Most importantly, I wanted to help educate these children on the history of the fishing industry and how important the ocean is to the community’s livelihood and to the creatures that call it home!
This year’s camp was a large success thanks to many local businesses. I’m happy to be able to fire off a quick post to thank some of those places/individuals.
While one day took us into Boston to explore the New England Aquarium and watch a Journey to the South Pacific IMAX movie, all other days were spent outside experiencing the waterfront hands-on.
Our students spent a couple of days aboard the Sea Station vessel, Endeavour, in Salem Harbor. This unreal floating classroom afforded us the opportunity to haul lobster traps, observe ocean life in its giant glass holding tank, sink the underwater camera to observe the ocean floor and eel grass beds + observe our discoveries on the giant flatscreen TV, and preform beach landings on Misery Island to go hiking, swimming, and tidal pooling. If you haven’t explored Misery Island, you’re missing out!
We had a fantastic day at the Nahant Marine Science Center where the children were given the opportunity to become scientists while recording their tide pool findings and the properties of the water in small groups. They also had a wonderful tour of the facilities and the gorgeous property that the science center calls home. The Northeastern graduates/students that took care of our group were fabulous!
One day was spent onboard Cape Ann Whale Watch’s vessel, the Hurricane. We saw several humpback whales and enjoyed a fantastic trip. The naturalists, as always, added a wonderful educational component with small group lessons throughout the trip in addition to the narration while observing the whales.
We greatly enjoyed a morning at Maritime Gloucester and were incredibly pleased with the workshops that Mary Kay had planned for our students…who ranged in age from 1st grade to 8th! Maritime Gloucester was, as always, a must-do on our excursion list!
We enjoyed a visit from a wonderful artist named Kathy Abbott, who helped the children learn about caring for our beaches, waterfronts, and oceans while adding the element of art. Learning about the Angry Ocean Project inspired many of our students to go home and create masterpieces of their own with debris the discovered on local beaches.
We headed North to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH where we did a self-guided tour of the exhibits, participated in a 60 minute Whale presentation (the highlight of which was definitely seeing the entire skeleton system of the Fin Whale that washed ashore on Cape Hedge Beach several years ago) and then explored the rocky shore of Ordione State Park with a naturalist who helped the children learn about all of the amazing things they found in the tide pools. Stunning scenery!
Captain Steve Douglas, from Cape Ann Harbor Tours, agreed to a custom designed trip on his King Eider. I really wanted the students to see the waterfront from the water. I asked Steve to point out the many different types of vessels that call Gloucester Harbor home and to explain the different type of fishing gear that we saw along the way. I wanted the children to get a feel for the history and the diversity of the fleet. They also learned about the Cut Bridge and Annisquam River, Cape Pond Ice, the schooners, the state fish pier, the auction house, Capt. Joe and Sons (of course), Ten Pound Island, and so, so much more.
And a day that exceeded all expectations was the day that we visited the NOAA offices up at Blackburn Circle. I was floored with the presentation and hands-on activities that had been prepared for our visit and the number of staff that was able to make themselves available to work with our students. With several different learning stations, knowledgable staff, a large inflatable whale, an amazing interactive game that helped the children learn about sustainability, and much more, hey truly went above and beyond to help educate our students. Their efforts were a perfect match for what I was hoping to achieve throughout the summer session. I can’t thank them enough!
This summer session served as yet another reminder of the wealth of resources that we have in our area. How lucky we are to be able to take advantage of such a wide array of fun and educational resources. I am well aware, that a longer camp session could have visited so many other amazing destinations and that the places I have included are certainly not the only amazing choices that we have. There’s always next year 🙂
Molly Ferrill came down the dock last May. She also did a time lapse video from our dock which you can see below and went out lobstering for a day with Tommy Burns, the same Tommy Burns who took out Ben Grenon. You can see those videos below her latest.
Molly fared a whole lot better than Ben did aboard Tommy’s boat as you will see comparing the two videos.
Don’t miss a special exhibit beginning with a lecture on Tuesday, November 15th at 7 p.m. in honor of National Recycling Day. The art show will feature the work of Nina Cassel Samoiloff (read more about her work HERE on Good Morning Gloucester) and the pieces she creates using elements she finds washed up on the beaches of Rockport.
From the NOAA:
NOAA Fisheries Service Sponsors Marine Debris Lecture and Art Show
NOAA Fisheries Service is sponsoring two local artists who have focused recent efforts on the impacts of marine debris in our oceans. Gloucester’s Karen Ristuben will present her recent sailing expedition from Honolulu to Vancouver, British Columbia to document marine debris in the Pacific Ocean. Nina Cassel Samoiloff will present art work crafted from marine debris collected from Rockport beaches. Her work will be on display in the NOAA Fisheries lobby weekdays from 8:00am – 4:30pm from November 15th until December 15th. This event will take place at NOAA Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Avenue in Gloucester at 7:00 pm on November 15th. For more information, please contact Eric Hutchins, NOAA Fisheries, at 978-281-9313.
After a six month investigation, Dan Rather Reports will broadcast an in-depth look at the US commercial fishery along the east coast on Tuesday May 17th at 8 p.m. ET.
The report examines charges that NOAA, the agency that oversees the National Marine Fisheries Service, has been over-zealous in its prosecution of those in the fishing community. Fisheries Administrator Eric Schwaab’s responds to the charges.
Included in the report is rarely seen video of a NOAA raid against the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction and details of NOAA’s attempt to shut down the fish warehouse.
Also, the report examines the Asset Forfeiture Fund where fines, many in the hundreds of thousands of dollars against the fishermen, are deposited. The broadcast digs deep into what NOAA used the fund for. For example, it paid for bonuses for NOAA employees. Also, the broadcast documents that hundreds of thousands of fund dollars were spent on NOAA travel. One document shows that the fund paid the expenses of two prosecutors to Kuala Lumpur along with the judge in the case they had just completed. Eric Schwaab responds to these and other uses of the asset forfeiture fund.
Dan Rather Reports has obtained the confidential Inspector General’s report on the shredding of official documents by the head of NOAA’s law enforcement arm during an official investigation. NOAA responds to questions about that and to questions about an audit of the fund.
With much debate happening around the city about just what to do with Gloucester’s waterfront, it might be refreshing for some to know that local youth are learning about the importance of caring for our coastline well before they reach the age that they have to make such decisions.
Students and teachers from Beeman Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-grade classes recently combined with the Gloucester Conservation Commission and Gorton’s Seafood to plant dune grass in the dunes of Good Harbor Beach. The GCC reported that 7,500 culms of American Beach Grass were planted by volunteers from the school and Gorton’s last week, with Gorton’s footing the bill for the dune grass and sending 40 or so volunteers to help the students out.
The project is part of an effort by the school to teach students about the importance of a healthy coastline in a community that is surrounded by the ocean. It is a natural follow up to a similar school project held in 2010, which was funded by a grant from MIT and worked in conjunction with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“It’s something we call ‘Living Blue,’” explains Beeman principal Ellen Sibley. “It focuses on the added responsibility of a coastal community to live green because we are the gatekeepers of the ocean.”