In the News: June 2012

First published in the MLA Newsletter, June, 2012

Statoil seeks public input on offshore Gulf of Maine wind project

Statoil North America, Inc. will be holding introductory public information sessions for the Hywind Maine pilot offshore wind project during June. All sessions will be in Open House format so individuals can speak to our team members, gather information, and learn how to stay informed throughout the regulatory process. The pilot project will include four floating wind turbines in federal waters and is scheduled for construction in 2016.

The meetings will be held:
June 25, 4 – 7 p.m., Boothbay Firehouse, 911 Wiscasset Road, Boothbay;
June 26, 5:30-8 p.m., Rockland Public Library, 80 Union Street, Rockland;
June 27, 4 – 7 p.m., Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 350 Commercial Street, Portland.

 

Lobster shipments to China blossom

Atlantic Canada is selling 30 times as much lobster to China as it was just two years ago, suddenly making it one of the east coast’s most important lobster export customers. In 2010, China bought just $1 million worth of lobster. In 2011, that amount increased to $30 million last year. Exporters credit Canadian trade missions and industry food shows as an important factor in those sales. In addition, a trade dispute in 2010 led to a ban on Australian lobsters, forcing buyers to turn to other sources. Lobster brokers believe that China’s economy will support continued and increased imports of Canadian lobster in coming years. Currently Belgium is the second largest buyer of Canadian lobster; the country acts as the gateway for lobster sales in Europe. The United States remains the largest importer.

 

New face at DMR

Photo courtesy of Meredith Mendelson

Meredith Mendelson has been named the new deputy commissioner of Department of Marine Resources. She began her job on June 4. Mendelson returns to Maine from Washington D.C. where she worked for Senator Olympia Snowe as a staff attorney focusing on national fisheries legislation and policy.

Mendelson attended Bates College and went to University of Maine School of Law in Portland before obtaining a fellowship at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources. She worked for the Community Program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute for three years, then served as groundfish sector manager in Pt. Judith, Rhode Island. Her responsibilities at DMR will focus on federal policy issues, legislation, and budget items as well as emerging issues such as offshore wind.

 

Drone dives into the deep

An ocean-going drone known as a Wave Glider was launched in early May launched in the Gulf of Maine. Unmanned and remotely operated, the Wave Glider will collect data on ocean conditions in the Gulf of Maine for six to eight weeks. While making its way through the Gulf at one to two m.p.h., the 7-foot robot will be monitored and controlled from shore. It requires no fuel because it uses waves for propulsion.

The surfboard-shaped glider will record data on wind, waves, water temperature and salinity as it travels across the Gulf. A sensor designed by the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences will listen for fish like salmon and sturgeon that carry a special radio tag. All data are transmitted from the Wave Glider to shore using satellite radio transmission. This is the first time an oceanographic drone has been deployed on the east coast.