Paul's Blog—Fisheries and Aquaculture


 Bicycle journalism is my favorite way to get a story-- the real story.

                It looks like fish farming is adding to our seafood supply, but don't forget to subtract the two thirds of wild fish that go into the production of farmed fish and shrimp. That changes everything.We are actually getting less net protein from the sea as aquaculture expands. 

 Larch Hanson's poem for the rockweed:

"You know, last spring you had brought some rockweed into the greenhouse

and it was full of copepods, hopping all over the place.

I had a little bucket where I kept some of my tools,

and I noticed it was full of copepods.

I'd empty it out, and the next day, 

it would be full again.

So I took a closer look,

and there was a spider,

way down deep in the recesses of the bucket.

One day I finally saw the spider 

with a copepod in its mouth.

That spider was eating copepods,

sucking the lifeblood out of them."

"Yes," I said, "the committee hasn't considered that yet.

There may be some spiders on the endangered species list.

The committee hasn't considered fish yet, either,

and they probably won't.

It's too much of a stretch for their imaginations.

Birds need fish, and fish need canopy.

Seals need fish, and fish need canopy.

Spiders need copepods, and copepods need canopy.

You see?  It's all connected!"

We had watched a netflix about the Oilman:

There Will Be Blood.

I had read Ugarte, comparing the Nova Scotia experience,

removing 35% of the biomass,

to the New Brunswick experience,

removing 17% of the biomass.

The verb he used to describe the flow 

of biomass toward the factory in Nova Scotiia?


In other words, the ASL oilman, courting investors,

was trying to demonstrate to the bankers that the rockweed wells

in Nova Scotia could deliver a steady flow of biomass,

but the pump "sucked air"

so they reconfigured what biomass number 

they could sell to the public

about the sustainable supply of rockweed resource

that could be pumped to the factory,

and the magic number was "17%".

As for canopy and fish, well, that's their weak spot,

and it should be emphasized.

When will the committee discuss and validate

the primacy of fish in the lives of seals and birds,

and the primacy of canopy in the lives of birds and fish?

I once sat across from Paul Gallant at lunch

and I said to him, "Paul, when you say 17%,

that's an odd number.

Don't you mean that you take 50% of the biomass

and then give it three years to recover?  

50 divided by 3 is 17%."

He agreed with me!

He didn't know I was the opposition at the time,

because I was talking to him 

at a Maine Seaweed Council meeting!

He thought I was one of the good ol' frackin' boys.

Willing to fuck up the world's water for another

run at the gas pumps.

-- Larch Hanson
Maine Seaweed LLC


 About 40 people turned out for last night's meeting with the tools of government and capital, a committee of yes men and women ready to hand over coastal resources to a foreign corporation. For the first time in Maine history access rights to an intertidal resource, rockweed, are being given to processors and buyers who will hire harvesters. 

Coastal communities get nothing. Look for up coming articles in Fishermen's Voice and other publications.