Tag Archives: NOAA

GMG Update for Marine Mammal Response From Mendy Garron

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.

October 4, 2014 injured seal

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:

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/stranding.htm–

Mendy Garron, CVT
Marine Mammal Response Coordinator
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office

NOAA Fisheries

MARINE ANIMAL HOTLINE: 866-755-NOAA (6622)

A Wealth of Resources for Sure!

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!

Sea Station

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!

Nahant Marine Science Center

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.

Cape Ann Whale Watch

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!

Maritime Gloucester

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.

Angry Ocean Project

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!

Seacoast Science Center

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.

Cape Ann Harbor Tours

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!

NOAA Gloucester

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 :)

 

Change and Conflict in the Gloucester Fishing Industry Featuring Wicked Tuna’s Dave Marciano, Lady Jane Skipper Russell Sherman

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.

Art Show Featuring Recycled Beach Finds

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.

Tomorrow Night "Dan Rather Reports" Investigates Fisheries

From Bore Head-

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.

Beeman Students Plant Dune Grass

From the Beacon

Wicked Local Staff Photo by Ian Hurley Beeman School fourth graders Joshua Gibbs and Juleika Rodriguez, l to r, plant dune grass at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester alongside their classmates, representatives from the Gloucester Conservation Division as well as Gortons on Wednesday, April 6. Over 100 students worked to plant over 7000 strands of grass to repair the damaged and depleted dunes.

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.”

Read more: Students put in grass roots effort to replant dunes – Gloucester, MA – Wicked Local 

Underwater Photographer and Author Andrew Martinez Talks About Sea Life Off The Waters Of Cape Ann

Local underwater photographer Andrew Martinez. Andy is from Wenham and has been diving in New England waters for more than 40 years. He has compiled one of the most extensive collections of high quality images of marine life behavior from New England to Eastern Canada. His book, Marine Life of the North Atlantic, is considered the best guide to this region and is now in its 4th edition with more than 200 new photographs. The presentation will be held Monday, November 15, 7-8:30 pm at NOAA Fisheries Service’s Northeast Regional Office at 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester.

Something tells me our girl Alicia Pensarosa won’t be missing this one.

Things To Do – Underwater Photographer Andrew Martinez Presentation Nov 15th

Olivia Rugo Writes-

Hi Joey,
I work for NOAA Fisheries Service and am starting up a free evening lecture series for the general public. Our first lecture is coming up and is local underwater photographer Andrew Martinez. Andy is from Wenham and has been diving in New England waters for more than 40 years. He has compiled one of the most extensive collections of high quality images of marine life behavior from New England to Eastern Canada. His book, Marine Life of the North Atlantic, is considered the best guide to this region and is now in its 4th edition with more than 200 new photographs. The presentation will be held Monday, November 15, 7-8:30 pm at NOAA Fisheries Service’s Northeast Regional Office at 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester.

image

For More information about Andrew Martinez click the link-

http://www.andrewjmartinez.com/about.html

Cod Academy Opens Doors in Maine

Thanks to The Two Palaverers for the heads up on this story

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Apparently NOAA awarded $183,000 for the initial coursework phase of the project in which commercial fishermen will be setting up their own fish farms.

From The Working Waterfront-

Cod Academy opens doors

by Muriel L. Hendrix

 

After more than a year of planning and lengthy application procedures, the Maine Aquaculture Association has received federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aquaculture program and the agency’s northeast regional office for a new program, Cod Farming for Maine’s Commercial Fishermen.  The "Cod Academy", as it has been dubbed by Sebastian Belle, director of Maine Aquaculture Association, will provide a unique opportunity for fishermen of Hancock and Washington Counties to develop an alternative business which utilizes their existing skills as fishermen.

To read the rest of this story click the title link