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The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.

8/8/09

Saturday August 8

HADDOCK RECOVER

Charles Walsh, Connecticut Post -
The litany of disheartening news for New England fisherman is. . . as long as your arm. The winter flounder have all but disappeared. The menhaden (bunker) are nowhere to be found. The bluefin tuna is on the edge of extinction. Even the bluefish seem to be getting smaller by the year.

Perhaps the worst of the bad news is that according to The New England Fisheries Management Council, ground fish stocks, including halibut, hake, pollock, pout, and yellowtail, are over-fished and continue to be in a major state of decline. . .

Haddock, one of the ground fish that was in steep decline, have made an amazing recovery.. . . The numbers of Atlantic haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) now exceed the levels recorded before the declining years.

Scientists have yet to come up with a firm explanation for the haddock's rebound when other ground fish numbers continue to fall, but there is little debate that the two major U.S. haddock stocks on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine are both considered "recovered. . .

One popular theory on the haddock comeback holds that with cod stocks plummeting for 40 years, the haddock, which forage for the same food resources (clams and other bottom-dwelling crustaceans) as cod, have taken advantage of the lack of competition. Others biologists attribute the rebound to normal cyclical population variations, while still other researchers say changes in oceanic currents have kept haddock eggs in shallow waters instead of being washed out to sea in massive numbers. . .

THE MAINE STREAM

Lance Tapley, Phoenix -
"Things are as tough at the prison right now as I've seen them in a long time," state Corrections commissioner Martin Magnusson told the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. He spoke about the consequences of the staff cuts that the 915-inmate, 410-employee Maine State Prison in Warren has had to endure. . . The budget cut of 16 guards that Governor John Baldacci and the Legislature forced on the prison in the last legislative session required a move to 12-hour shifts, Magnusson noted. . . In the last year and a half, 85 positions were slashed from the prison system as a whole, and 65 vacancies went unfilled. Under the latest two-year budget, 65 more will have to remain unfilled

WHAT'S HAPPENING


The Poland Spring Preservation Society
has a new book, "Poland Spring: Images of America," with more than 200 vintage images.

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