Getting it right: The Mass. draft ocean management plan

On December 31, Massachusetts will become the first state with a management plan for its roughly 2,100 square miles of ocean and the often-competing interests of conservationists, the fishing industry, recreation and development.

Since June
this plan has been circulating in draft form for the public’s consideration. The nearly two-volume tome is rich in data, but many fear it doesn’t go far enough to protect the Commonwealth’s more delicate marine assets—the so-called “special, sensitive or unique” (SSU) resources the plan identifies.

“The big problem with the plan—it is not really a plan,” said Mason Weinrich, executive director and chief scientist of the Whale Center of New England, based in Gloucester. “What they have done is gather a really valuable series of data sets to understand where these areas may be. But there isn’t really any more protection than what was already there.”

Seafood: If it's not one thing, it's another

Mercury levels. Sustainability. Poaching. Wild. Farmed. It isn't just sashimi anymore--it's a decision with ecological, ethical and health-related consequences. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has published a new list to help consumers determine those fish that are both friendly to your diet, and consider the ocean's health, too. Read More...

Marine Marvels & Mysteries

Each week LFM brings you a new tidbit from the deep.

And you thought Cruella Deville was cold-blooded. The ice fish, less commonly known as "Chaenocephalus aceratus," was officially discovered in the 1930s in Antarctica, confirming stories passed on by whalers of its existence. This two-foot long, ashen-colored fish has a fierce set of jaws. It is also lacking in a certain sticky substance. Read More...

A Herring Quota Debacle

A proposal to cut the herring quota nearly in half for the next three years has the fishing fleet, as well as lobstermen (and women) from Maine to New Jersey, concerned. (Herring, a little too fishy for some palates, is a favorite for baiting lobster traps.) Read More...

Dear Diary

Today's spotlight is dedicated to sea captains everywhere. Consider the story below the next time you take your pen to your logbook. What you note just might play a crucial role hundreds of years from now--and not just in terms of the post-sail rum you like best. Read More...

Poseidon's Wrath

In all of its beauty and wonder, the ocean can also be an awesome, devastating force. This week, the Samoan islands and Tonga experienced the desolation of a tsunami. There was little warning; it came in the middle of the night. At least 149 lives were lost, likely more. And while scientists have warning systems in place this is a reminder that we remain vulnerable to the wrath of the seas. Read More...

Waterfront development: Keeping the balance

Waterfront development is a touchy topic. Period. Environmentalists are concerned for the impact on marine life and water quality, they raise issues of runoff and erosion and place the sanctity of the earth before any commercial interests. Read More...

Maine Diaries: Chesapeake musings

With less than a week to go, we’re all getting to the end of our motivation to do, well, anything at all. Like drinking an ice slushy, or a bottle of Jäger for that matter, cruise at first is wonderful. But then it hits--the indelible pain in the head, the constant throbbing of over-stressed and overworked body parts, and the unmistakable feeling that this in all aspects was a completely stupid idea. That isn’t to say we haven’t all learned. We have all reached a point where we can say we have gotten something out of our experiences here on the boat. Read More...