During November, young scallops, which have drifted in the sea and along ocean currents since their parents’ late-summer spawning, are settling down on patches of sand and gravel seafloor along the Maine coast. No one knows where they have come from, or where exactly they will go, but some will land in a sheltered area
Most days, the ocean can seem deceptively calm, with no signs of the breeding, feeding and migrating mayhem below the surface. The Gulf of Maine is home to an diversity of animals that live on and under the waves, that crawl along the seafloor, or burrow deep into the mud. Some live in the Gulf
Some surprising numbers: of the seafood Americans currently eat, more than 50 percent is farm-raised, and nearly 84 percent is imported. But compared to other nations, we don’t eat that much seafood, and the most recent federal dietary guidelines recommend that Americans more than double their current average seafood consumption because of the health benefits.
Maine lobsters—they just keep a’ coming. And no one can quite point to the reason why the lobster fishery over the last two decades has brought an unexplained bounty to the Maine coast. For the 40 years between 1950 and 1990, the commercial lobster landings in the state hovered between 16 and 24 million pounds,
“Body elongate, eel-like. Jaws absent, mouth forming broad, elliptical hood armed with horny, hooked teeth arranged in 11 or 12 rows, innermost teeth largest.” This is not a detail from some alien encounter, but the opening lines of Henry Bigelow’s description of the sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, an ancient fish with a lineage that extends
Although less visible to us than the freezing and thawing that transform our local lakes from swimming holes to ice-fishing haunts, the waters off the coast of Maine undergo similarly dramatic seasonal cycles. And the physical transformations in the water trigger changes that create a sea of plenty-phytoplankton feeding zooplankton feeding tiny fish, larval lobsters,
Dr. Moira Brown has spent the last 27 years following whales-our mammalian kin that long ago returned to the sea-as they travel throughout the North Atlantic Ocean. But the whale’s carefully evolved adaptation to ocean life makes them difficult for humans to comprehend. What we do know is that many of the less than 475
A pathogen that has long plagued oysters in the Mid-Atlantic states caused an outbreak of disease in Maine oyster farms for the first time this summer, threatening a $3 million industry renowned for high quality and taste. MSX, shorthand for the spore-forming protozoan Haplosporidium nelson, is not harmful to humans, and can be present in
The oceans cover 70 percent of Earth. At the surface, the ocean and the overlying air continually exchange energy and chemicals. Anything humans put into the atmosphere eventually ends up in the ocean, including carbon dioxide. Ocean uptake or “storage” accounts for approximately one-third of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere in modern times.
Why does our local cold-water shrimp fishery undergo such huge ups and downs? Part of the variability in harvest from year to year is due to the shrimp’s life cycle. Pandalus borealis or northern shrimp are hermaphroditic: typically, they first mature as males at about 2 1/2 years of age, and then transform to females