Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sustainable Ancient Aquaculture

Sustainable Ancient Aquaculture – National Geographic Society (blogs)

Sustainable Ancient Aquaculture

Written by: Mark J. Spalding, Kathryn Peyton and Ashley Milton
 Lessons We Can Learn from Ancient Aquaculture Technology
  1. Use plant-based feeds instead of wild fish;
  2. Use integrated polyculture practices such as IMTA;
  3. Reduce nitrogen and chemical pollution through multi-trophic aquaculture;
  4. Reduce escapes of farmed fish to the wild;
  5. Protect local habitats;
  6. Tighten regulations and increase transparency;
  7. Re-introduce time-honored shifting and rotating aquaculture/agriculture practices (Egyptian Model).

Phrases like “lessons from the past” or “learning from ancient history” are apt to make our eyes glaze over, and we flash to memories of boring history classes or droning TV documentaries.  But in the case of aquaculture, a little historical knowledge can be both entertaining and enlightening.
Fish farming is not new; it has been practiced for centuries in many cultures.  Ancient Chinese societies fed silkworm feces and nymphs to carp raised in ponds on silkworm farms, Egyptians farmed tilapia as part of their elaborate irrigation technology, and Hawaiians were able to farm a multitude of species such as milkfish, mullet, prawns, and crab. Archaeologists have also found evidence for aquaculture in Mayan society and in the traditions of some North American native communities.
The award for oldest records about fish farming goes to China, where we know it was happening as early as 3500 BCE, and by 1400 BCE we can find records of criminal prosecutions of fish thieves.  In 475 BCE, a self-taught fish entrepreneur (and government bureaucrat) named Fan-Li wrote the first known textbook on fish farming, including coverage of pond construction, broodstock selection and pond maintenance. Given their long experience with aquaculture, it’s no surprise that China continues to be, by far, the

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Eelgrass experiment takes root in Aquinnah - The Martha's Vineyard Times

Local and state biologists team up to bring eelgrass back to Island ponds.

By Barry Stringfellow -September 27, 2017

Eelgrass shoots in mid-transplant, woven into burlap. — Courtesy Bret Stearns

Eelgrass is shown growing through the burlap.

Beckie Finn, environmental programs coordinator, with a terra cotta disk that will help eelgrass take root, and then dissolve. — Courtesy Bret Stearns

Eelgrass plays a critical role in the estuarine ecosystem, which makes it particularly crucial to the overall health of the ecosystem on Martha’s Vineyard. Many species of fish and shellfish, including the prized bay scallop, depend on eelgrass to propagate the species. Eelgrass creates oxygen, which is essential for all forms of aquatic life, and eelgrass beds stabilize sediment and filter toxic metals and nutrient pollution.

Eelgrass is also an aquatic canary in a coal mine, and it’s been dying off in Island ponds at an alarming rate.

Aerial photos from 1996 and 2001 by the Massachusetts Geographic Information System (MassGIS) showed eelgrass declined over 17 percent in Menemsha Pond, which one of the healthier ponds on the Island. A 2013 Army Corps underwater study showed further decline in eelgrass density.

Down-Island, the situation is much worse. Oak Bluffs shellfish constable David Grunden describes

Why Seafood Is on the Cusp of Transformation

Monica Jain
Monica Jain leads Fish 2.0 and Manta Consulting Inc. She is passionate about oceans, impact investing, fisheries and building networks around these themes.
Oct 17, Medium.com

Why Seafood Is on the Cusp of Transformation

5 global trends are opening huge market opportunities for innovation in the seafood sector

Photo Courtesy Blue Ocean Gear

If you’re a talented young data scientist scouting the next frontier, where do you go? If you’re a biotech pioneer hunting for new ways to apply cutting-edge concepts, where do you look? If you’re a global powerhouse that doesn’t want to miss the next big market opportunity, what’s on your radar?

Sustainable seafood.

Seriously. That answer may be an outlier now, but soon it will be on everyone’s lips. Change in the

There Could Be a Real Solution to Our Broken Economy. It’s Called Universal Basic Assets.

There Could Be a Real Solution to Our Broken Economy. It’s Called Universal Basic Assets.

By Marina Gorbis, originally published by Medium.com\

“The marketplace in which most commerce takes place today is not a pre-existing condition of the universe,” says author and Institute for the Future fellow Douglas Rushkoff. “It’s not nature. It’s a game, with very particular rules, set in motion by real people with real purposes.”

Over the past 100 years such rules have fostered unprecedented economic growth. However, today they are also producing deeply damaging social and ecological outcomes.

The numbers are striking. In 2010, 288 of the richest people in the world collectively owned as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people. Last year, according to a recent study by Oxfam International, just eight people owned as much wealth as half of the world’s population.

In this moment of massive wealth inequality​,​ we urgently need to develop a new model for society to deliver both social and economic equity.

The answer may be in the concept of Universal Basic Assets (UBA),​ which​ in my definition​ is​ a core, basic set of resources that every person is entitled to, from housing and healthcare to education and financial security.

It Can Get Worse. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

GRAND MANAN: Tuna, sharks and whales ... fishing in 1934

Southern Weirs Hold the Record
Ten tuna fish were taken from the "Dock" weir at Flagg's Cove one day recently, and several more on other occasions, it is said. The first tuna caught were shipped to Portland but the venture did not prove remunerative enough to the shippers due to excessive transportation charges. The tuna more recently taken were given away to neighbors of the weir owners, and those who liked the flesh enjoyed a feast indeed. North Head weirs are noted for their catching of big fish, and recently another large shark was taken in the same weir which produced a monstrous shark some time ago, the liver from which filled a dory. These weirs, however, are just a whit behind those of the southern part of the parish. A good sized whale was taken in the "Big Weir'' located at Inner Wood Island not long ago. The mammal was killed and towed from the weir by Captain Harry Harvey and crew of the Wood Island Life Saving Station. Whales or sharks, however, it's all in the day's work for the weir fishermen who rarely express surprise at anything they find inside the enclosures. (St. Croix Courier 1934)

GEOLOGY: Old 1872 Grand Manan Copper Mine reopened in 1964

A Toronto group who have been diamond drilling and prospecting on the Island since early spring recently opened the entrance to the old copper mine at Sloop Cove on the Western side of Grand Manan. This mine opened in 1872 by British interests actually operated for a short time with the ore shipped by sailing vessel to England where it was processed. It was said at the time that the ore was of a very high copper content. After a few ship loads operations ceased, no one seems to know why, probably due to dwindling demand at that time. The mine shaft entered the face of the high clifts on Grand Manan's western shore from the beach and it is reported that after removal of the fallen rock blocking the entrance the tunnel was found to be in good condition. Some years ago a number of tools were found on the beach and the older residents remember when the shaft entrance was plainly visible. ( Courier. Oct.8 1964)


More information on Grand Manan Geology:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crew of the Schooner Madagasca Saw a Great Snake

 The Schooner Madagasca arrived at Lubec last week with a cargo of coal. The crew of the schooner in a casual way mentioned a strange animal seen off the coast of Cutler, Me. When questioned they related in a straightforward manner the incident.

Two of the crew who saw the animal vouchsafe the truth of the following: During the morning watch, at about 6 0'clock, July 28th, while standing along under easy sail, ma king about four miles an hour, an object was seen on the starboard bow, which at first was thought by the man on lookout to be a large log. As the vessel drew nearer, the sailor, Edward Ray, formerly of Ellsworth, called the mate's attention to the object, saying he thought he saw the thing move. The mate, Len Armstrong, formerly a resident of and well known in Lubec, glanced in the direction pointed out and saw what he supposed to be a log floating upon the surface. As the course they were steering would bring them close alongside the floating mass the men gave little heed to it, but when within a few fathoms and near enough for a biscuit to have been tossed upon it, great was the astonishment of the two sailors to see the supposed log raise a snake-like head, give them one glance from a pair of glassy-eyes and glide with a sinuous, serpent-like movement away from the vessel. So close had they approached the reptiIe that every detail could be minutely noted. In shape the creature resembled a monstrous snake and was at least 30 feet long. Its body, covered with scales, was of a brownish green hue, and glistened in the rays of the sun. Extending along its back, from head to tail, was a spinal protuberance, consisting of innumerable points, seemingly formed of an extension of the back bone. Near the head and growing above the spine, was a thick, dark fin about the size of a man's hand. As nearly as could be estimated the creature's body was two feet in diameter, tapering slightly at the head and very noticeably at the tail. Apparently the body was of a uniformly greenish brown color both above and below. The two men had ample time to examine all these details, as, after moving off a short distance, the serpent lay quiet upon the water for some minutes, only lifting its head to gaze at the schooner. For half an hour or more the men watched the strange monster, which occasionally made a quick movement through the water, but going only a short distance each time. It appeared to be quite fearless, evincing little alarm at the sight of the vessel, and remained upon the surface of the water. St. Croix Courier, August 8, 1901