Maritime Shorts

Island sailing program  

SOUTHWEST HARBORThe MDI Community Sailing Center still has some spaces open in its youth summer day camp programs and a new scholarship has been created for a beginners sailing class this season.  

The new scholarship comes from the generosity of the Nemo Fund and will go to offer an afternoon intro to sailing program for ages 12 and up.  

All yearround MDI youth who enroll in the program will only pay 25 percent of the weekly fee.  

For more information on registration and the Nemo Scholarship, contact the MDI Community Sailing center at [email protected] or (207244-7905. 

Spaces are also still available for intermediate and advanced sailing classes as well. 


Halibut season opens  

STONINGTONMaine’s Atlantic Halibut season officially kicked off last week, opening on May 18. Halibut are the largest of all flat fishes and can grow up to 700 pounds, though in Maine waters lately, they’ve rarely topped out more than 100 pounds, according the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries in Stonington.  

The fish are usually caught on baited longlines or “tub trawls” but can also be caught on a rod and reel.  

The 2021 season for the fishery runs until June 13. The season is short to avoid overfishing.  

Any commercial harvesters with a halibut endorsement are required to maintain a log of trip level catch and effort to submit to the DMR.  

Fishermen have also been asked to keep their eyes out for various types of research tags, which can come with a reward for reporting.  


Beware cold water 

BOSTON — With five recreational boating fatalities within the first two weeks of May, the Coast Guard is warning boaters about the hazards of cold water.  

“While the weather may be heating up, the water temperatures are dangerously low in the 50s and don’t typically get warmer until mid-summer around July and August,” the Coast Guard wrote in a statement last week. “Water this cold can physically incapacitate someone in less than 10 minutes, leaving them physically helpless in the water unable to use their arm, legs, feet, and hands.” 

The Northeast had 30 recreational boating fatalities in 2019 and 50 last year.  

Water temperatures below 70 degrees will quickly lower body temperature resulting in hypothermia.  

Boaters, kayakers, surfers and stand-up paddlers should dress appropriately for the weather, not the air temperature, wear a life jacket, and have a way to call for help. 


NOAA grants 

GLOUCETER, MASS.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recommended granting more than $11 million for 43 projects across the country, including three involving the state of Maine. 

Through the Salston-Kennedy grant program, NOAA fisheries has recommended the Gulf of Maine Research Institute receive $247,161 for a study that looks at the implications of a mismatch in the scale of the Atlantic cod fishery management and the University of Maine received $296,879 to look at improving the marketability, quality and value of US caught Atlantic bluefin tuna. 

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute was recommended to receive $151,806 for a project that would determine if sugar kelp can be effectively grown in the Gulf of Maine and Cape Cod Bay near the ocean floor using ropeless/stiff line systems compatible with protected species management, fisheries and navigation. 

The recommendations were announced last week though final approval is subject to funding availability and a final review by NOAA. 

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