Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For the Love of Birds

Fascinated by the rare and beautiful Puffin? Learn more at an article by by Suki Casanave '86G(UNH) and at Project Puffin

For the Love of Birds: "For years afterwards, Schubel spent every summer working on one of Audubon's seven Maine island sanctuaries, sometimes alone, sometimes with a couple of other scientists. Her world was a rocky, treeless outpost, surrounded by sea. And birds. She didn't mind the constant calling of the gulls, the severe weather, the isolation. She didn't even mind the fact that most of the time she was covered with bird poop. Or the oily, fishy vomit that came up when an adult bird she was handling was nervous. It was all part of being Seabird Sue, the name she's earned through the years for her passionate love of her work."

Do Lobsters Travel from NH to Maine or MA?

Caption: UNH Ph.D. candidate Jason Goldstein holds a lobster with a temperature logger, an ultrasonic transmitter and a return tag. These items are secured to the lobster like a lightweight backpack to help UNH researchers learn about their migration patterns.
Credit: Rebecca Zeiber, NH Sea Grant

Traveling Lobsters?
Questions: How far can a lobster travel?
Answer: about 10 miles in a couple of days...or so say researchers at my alma mater: University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Below you'll find and excerpt of an article on research on the subject of migration of lobsters. Why might the Maine traveling public care? Why not - I don't eat lobster myself, but I find them fascinating and know that my neighbors rely on them and many savor lobsters. To learn more and why it matters check out this link: UNH Researchers Track Lobster Migrations to Improve Population Estimates: "UNH Researchers Track Lobster Migrations to Improve Population Estimates
Media Contact: Rebecca Zeiber
NH Sea Grant
December 9, 2008

DURHAM, N.H. - Jason Goldstein checks his lobster traps in New Hampshire's Great Bay Estuary once a week, but not for tasty crustaceans to sell. Instead, the University of New Hampshire Ph.D. candidate is fitting these lobsters with transmitters and tracking their migrations year-round.

Goldstein has tracked lobsters along the New Hampshire coastline and into Great Bay throughout the past two years. This research, funded by N.H. Sea Grant, will provide more accurate information about the sources of juvenile lobsters and interactions between the population stocks in New England. The information could improve the management of this economically valuable fishery, thus allowing lobster to remain front-and-center among the New England menu choices.

Goldstein and UNH professor of zoology Win Watson are particularly interested in the movements of 'berried' females, those carrying eggs. This year, they are comparing the berried females' movements with those of the large- and small-sized males and females without eggs. Where the berried females go, so go their eggs, and those movements likely have implications for New England lobster populations.

'We often go diving one day and there are a lot of lobsters"

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

TRAPPED: Maine lobster towns try to weather a global economic storm | Portland Press Herald

Lobstering isn't as fun as it sometimes looks to summer tourists. Take a few moments and learn more about the current plight of Maine fishermen - these are our friends and neighbors in Georgetown - same story.

TRAPPED: Maine lobster towns try to weather a global economic storm | Portland Press Herald: "The cold November winds have Mike Floyd wondering if it's time to surrender to the stock-market plunges, bank collapses and credit freezes.

Someday soon, Floyd knows, the costs of steaming from home on Long Island and hauling his lobster traps will exceed the income he and his helper can earn selling their catch in a market scuttled by the global economic crisis.

'What it's going to come down to is how long we're going to keep doing this at this price,' he said.

There are still lobsters to catch, but lobstermen up and down the Maine coast have been hauling their traps back to shore as much as two months earlier than usual. Many in southern and midcoast Maine are now fishing for other jobs to pay the bills, while those in more isolated parts of the state are simply hunkering down for a long, lean winter.

The plunge of prices since early October has lobstering families and communities closing ranks and buying time. And what worries lobstermen even more than the approaching winter, they said, is the chance that the market won't recover by next spring or summer."