Squid Fingers

While out on the Damariscotta River this morning in search of wild oysters at low tide (more on that story later), we came across this giant, gelatinous mass on the shore of Goose Ledge. None of us, not even the one who is on the water every day, had ever seen anything like it. The fingery protrusions were all connected, the whole mass jiggled when prodded. Was it alive? Did it sting? 

On Jellyfish

News media and Sea Grant’s coastal correspondents (a.k.a. the Marine Extension Team) have been reporting jellyfish sightings along the coast, from Casco Bay to Penobscot Bay to Frenchman Bay.

I saw them, too—a parade of moon jellies moving up the Damariscotta River.
The tide was going out and the jellies were coming in, one after another pulsating toward head of tide.

Learning about river herring in Downeast Maine

 I had the pleasure of assisting the town of Pembroke, Maine with monitoring alewife and blueback herring this spring. These two fish species are jointly known as river herring. They migrate from the ocean to spawn in Maine’s freshwater lakes and rivers during the months of May and June. Alewife and bluebacks are primarily harvested for lobster bait as well as for human consumption and currently sell for $25 per bushel.

Summer's Here

I found this little guy (right: American Toad Anaxyrus americanus) on a hike in Camden Hills last summer. It was a thrilling experience and a rare occurrence for me. I remembered my mom telling me as a child that I would get warts from handling them—which is not the case. The American toad does produce a toxin in glands behind its eyes that can be harmful to our pets and us; yet for the toad, the toxin provides protection.

Maine and The Mortal Sea

Multiple departments from the University of Maine came together on Saturday to discuss Jeffrey Bolster’s book, The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail. Hosted by the History Department, Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the Senator George J.

National Working Waterfront Network Receive Grant to Support Cultural Heritage of Working Waterfront Communities

National Working Waterfront Network steering Committee members Kenneth Walker, Stephanie Otts, Natalie Springuel, and Kristen Grant have received a $9,000 grant from the NOAA Preserve America Initiative. The project, which is intended to build on the Outreach and Education Committee's case study work, will capture both oral historie

The Maine Oyster Trail - Spring Update, 2014

The Maine Oyster Trail - Spring Update, 2014

Kayakers visiting Nonesuch Oysters, on the Scarborough River

Photo: Abigail Carroll, Nonesuch Oysters


The Miracle of Teamwork

Maine Sea Grant partners with the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast to host design workshops or “charrettes” that help coastal communities envision how to provide homes for people who work in town – people who earn an average income, like entry level teachers, fire fighters, police, as well as hospital and retail workers. These are people who are often priced out of homes in coastal communities due to the high real estate costs there.

First Day of Winter

A look back at the first day of winter as we approach the first day of spring.

How the Two Nation Vacation is All About the Fish

Recently, about 20 tourism industry leaders from Downeast Maine and Southwest New Brunswick piled into a bus and went on a tour of the region.  For nearly four days, we traveled from Saint John New Brunswick to Bucksport Maine, on a world wind tour of the target area of the Two Nation Vacation. 

Catchy moniker, isn’t it? 

The Future of the Salarius Blog

Salarius means "of salt" in Latin. Because salt once constituted a form of currency, Salarius also refers to salt money, an allowance, pay. The ocean pays back, sustains us; it provides food, oxygen, and a livelihood for the people of Maine pas, present, and (hopefully) future. For the authors of this blog, Salarius encompasses all things related to the ocean, the Maine Coast, and the people who live, work, and play here.

Our Sacred Seasons

The Salarius blog has been running for nearly three years. In that time, I’ve covered the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; the Boston Seafood Show; restaurants and festivals that serve Maine seafood; Sea Grant-funded research on seafood; lobster, oysters, shrimp, scallops, alewives, smelt, sardines, crab, eel, salmon, and sea vegetables; and the ever-elusive notion of “sustainable seafood.”

Maine Seafood Guide Updates

As saltwater fishing season gets underway, anglers may want to check on any changes to the rules about size and catch limits, and gear restrictions.

The National Marine Fisheries Service made no changes to Gulf of Maine species in their latest update on the status of federally-managed fisheries

Smelt: It's What's for Breakfast

Today's post comes from marine extension associate Chris Bartlett. Chris is based in Eastport, and for the past few years he helped monitor populations of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), which is considered a species of special concern. As a result, Chris has learned a lot about these little fish. --CS

The Arrival of the Alewives

What does "sustainable" mean to you?

Just as I anticipated, sustainability messaging was ubiquitous on the trade show floor at the 2013 Boston Seafood Show. Repeated exposure to the word felt less like an illusion and more like dilution.

Top Ten Reasons Why Seafood Fraud Hurts Us All

10. We can't trust our food. An estimated 10% of seafood is not the species it is sold or marketed as, and certain species are more likely to be false than others.

9. People are paying for more than they get - maybe 40% of the time.

8. Faking it is easy. Most of the seafood most of us buy and eat is in skinless, boneless, sometimes coated or breaded or otherwise concealed pieces, rather than whole. Processed fish is harder to evaluate "organoleptically." 

Seafood Choices and the Sustainability Illusion

As I prepare to head south to the Boston Seafood Show, where I'll be reporting for The Working Waterfront, I’ve been catching up on the latest national media stories on “sustainable seafood.” I don’t want to take an incredible bite only to find out that the fish I just sampled is not caught or raised “sustainably.”

Real "Maine scallops"

Feeling the scallop season get a way from me, I’ve been in pursuit of fresh Placopectin magellenicus harvested from Maine waters by dayboat draggers and divers. But fresh, local seafood can be hard to find where I live in Bangor, within reach of the tide but 30+ miles from saltwater. Since I had a meeting Tuesday in South Portland, I knew I’d have the opportunity. But where to go? 

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