First Blue, Now Orange! What’s Up With New England Lobsters?

Earlier this week we posted a Public Service Announcement about the dangers of swimming in Massachusetts waters where blue lobsters lurk.

AP Photo/Julia Cumes - Nathan Nickerson, owner of Arnold's Lobster and Clam Bar, holds up a rare "yellow lobster," right, and a normally pigmented lobster, left, at Arnold's Lobster and Clam Bar in Eastham, Mass., on Cape Cod Wednesday, June 10, 2009. The female lobster, named "Fiona" by owner Nathan Nickerson, was recently caught off the coast of Prince Edward Island in Canada and given to Nickerson by a friend.

Yesterday, the Bangor Daily News reported that orange lobsters are turning up in Maine shops. (Rare orange lobsters show up at Maine shops)

The odds of a lobsterman catching a bright-orange lobster are estimated at 2 million or more to one. But at least three lobster retailers in Maine have found themselves with the rarity this week.

Bill Denley of Free Range Fish and Lobster in Portland says a lobsterman brought him an orange lobster this week that he’s offering to the New England Aquarium to put on display. Coincidentally, the nearby Portland Lobster seafood shop also has an orange lobster on display. And in Lewiston, George Gendron of Gendron’s Seafood says he came across an orange lobster when going through a crate of the crustaceans this week. He’s offering it to the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor.

Lobsters are typically a mottled greenish-brown, turning red when they are cooked.

Better to eat orange than be eaten by blue.

Report via Sea-Fever Twittersphere Correspondent Mia Chambers.

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FotoFriday: Keith Loutit’s Magical Maritime Moving Images

We’ve featured Keith Loutit’s amazing tilt-shift videography before (here and here). Here’s his latest work. Man, this guy makes maritime magic!

[Vimeo 5137183]

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Make Waves for Whales with My Body Glove SocialVibe Widget!

Whaleman Foundation Hopefully have noticed that I added a new widget to the sidebar in support of the Whaleman Foundation. (Look left < and down v)

Please click the yellow “Help Now – It’s Free” button and watch the Body Glove video. When you do, Body Glove will donate dollars to the Whaleman Foundation.

Why should you? Because it doesn’t cost you anything more than a minute of your time but more importantly watch the below video of Hayden Panettiere and that should help explain things.

YouTube – Hayden Panettiere PSA for

Need another reason? Well, how about because I’m asking nicely. :)

While you’re at it, please sign the petition.

This widget was created by a company called Social Vibe and not only can you attach it to your blog but you can connect it to your Facebook profile which I’ve also done. SocialVibeIt’s really pretty cool what Social Vibe has done with this. There are currently about 30 causes and 25 companies that you can mix and match to suit your interests. It’s kind of like orchestrating your our corporate social responsibility program. Your actions tell companies where you’d like to see them put their philanthropic dollars. Finally you can participate in a cause related marketing program without actually being a consumer of anything more than media. Cool!

Saving whales and dolphins and the latest Body Glove swimwear seemed like a good fit for Sea-Fever. What do you think?

One more time: Please watch for the Body Glove video dolphins’ and whales’ sake!


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Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies report on the Great Lakes Region Primary and Secondary Maritime Education Conferenc

The Great Lakes Region Primary and Secondary Maritime Education Conference at the Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies held Monday and Tuesday May 11th, 12th at BCMS brought together 57 Maritime Education representatives from New York City to San Francisco.

The Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies (BCMS) hosted the first ever Great Lakes Region Primary and Secondary Maritime Education Conference. The conference was held at the BCMS waterfront campus on May 11th and 12th, 2009, in Erie, Pennsylvania. There has been a growing movement nationally to encourage the development of maritime career opportunity awareness and K-12 maritime education. BCMS specializes in creating hands-on programs that provide maritime access and training ranging from elementary school student educational activities to United States Coast Guard Masters License Certification courses and includes Pennsylvania’s only adaptive sailing program.

Conference attendees discussed creating partnerships with businesses, agencies, and organizations that can further the development of schools, career awareness programs, curriculum development, grant writing, student recruitment strategies, and developing collaborations that will create additional opportunities for students and careers in the maritime trades. These efforts are aided by the Maritime Primary and Secondary Education Coalition, headed up by Captain Art Sulzer of the Ship Operations Cooperative Program.

This initiative has received national attention. Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, United States House of Representatives, addressed the group of 57 on Monday, and was presented a canoe to decorate her Washington, DC office from students of the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center that was built by young people from Pennsylvania’s 3rd District. Other participants included Anne Dougherty, the Maritime Administration Director of the Office of Maritime Workforce Development, Kathy Sommers, D.Ed., Ohio Department of Education, Captain Art Sulzer representing the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) and the Maritime Academy School in Philadelphia, Renee Marazon, Superintendent of the Maritime Academy of Toledo, Mark D’Arcy, Lead Instructor and Chief Engineer from the Calhoon Marine Engineers Beneficial Association School of Marine Engineering, Sharon Jacker, Community Coordinator from the Harbor School in New York City, Carol Wolosz, Assistant Director of The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute at the University of Minnesota, Marc Deglinnocenti, National Sea Scout representative to the Maritime Administration, Kevin McMonagle, Vice President of the American Steamship Company, representing the Lake Carriers Association, Mr. Ray Schreckengost, Executive Director of the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority representing the American Great Lakes Ports Association, Walter Rybka, Captain of US Brig Niagara representing the American Sail Training Association, Jesse Fendya, Buffalo State College Maritime Center Technical Education Curriculum Specialist, and representatives from Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, Buffalo Computer Graphics, the Western New York Maritime Academy, the Imani II Foundation, Sea Scout Troop Ship II, and the Northwest Tri-county Intermediate Unit.

Thank you to: Ship Operations Cooperative Program, Maritime Primary and Secondary Education Coalition, The Maritime Academy of Toledo, The Maritime Academy Charter High School in Philadelphia, and the Erie Western Pennsylvania Port Authority, who are all working together to support this important maritime education initiative.

NOAA’s Arc

Nice video that explains just what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does.

YouTube – One NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Thanks to my former classmate/shipmate Jamie Hutton, my son Luke and I had an opportunity to tour NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow, the Quietest Ship in the World, a couple years ago.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the United States government’s oldest scientific agency, with roots stretching back to the early 1800s. In 1970 many smaller government agencies came together to form NOAA and today, NOAA’s work reaches from the bottom of the sea to the surface of the sun, and it touches every aspect of our daily lives. Among the many responsibilities of NOAA are the mandates to protect our coasts, forecast our weather, monitor our atmosphere, manage our fisheries, explore our ocean, chart our waterways, understand our climate, and conserve our maritime heritage.

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Moby-Monday: Massive white whale beached in Philly high-rise

Mocha DickTristin Lowe’s latest artwork could have saved Herman Melville a lot of time. In Moby-Dick, Melville devotes chapter upon chapter to the shape and bulk of the sperm whale, painting a mental picture of this elusive underwater beast for his 19th-century readers—and for generations of irritated students to come.

Today’s students have YouTube to help them understand the shape of these creatures, but it’s still hard to conceive of their size unless you’ve gone eye-to-eye with one, as Melville had.

Lowe’s “Mocha Dick” fixes that. Sewn in quarter-inch white felt, this 52-foot inflatable sculpture is a life-size depiction of the rogue white sperm whale for which Moby Dick is thought to have been named. The work is on display through summer’s end on the eighth floor of Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum.

Standing next to this scarred, barnacle-encrusted felt leviathan, you can begin to understand the awe common to people who have seen whales in the flesh. Looking placid and slightly put-upon, the whale seems to be waiting patiently for humans to evolve to the point where they can get over their need to gawk at him. Given our enduring fascination with sea monsters, though, that may be a long time coming.

Lowe—a fan of Melville, Hawthorne, and other scribes of the dawn of the industrial age—says the idea for the whale came to him while he was sewing “empties” out of white felt. Feeling depleted after the completion of his last large-scale piece, a humongous folding deck chair, Lowe had been depicting throwaway vessels, including “six packs, trash cans, 40-ouncers,” while waiting for his next big inspiration. “Felt is the oldest fabric in the world, and it’s almost made out of dust, in a weird way,” he says. Contained in that dust is both destruction—”an ash, emptiness”—but also possibility for a new beginning, he adds: “It’s waiting to be filled up.”

Thoughts of the industries that create trash like his “empties” turned Lowe’s mind to Moby-Dick, Melville’s 1851 paean to the then-dwindling whale-oil industry, which was soon to be done in by the rise of petroleum as a fuel source.

While hanging out with some friends who were playing psychedelic rock music—and having been invited to collaborate with the Fabric Workshop’s sewers on a piece—Lowe decided to create a felt sculpture that represented both “the birth of this petroleum industry” and also a sort of magnificent, timeless knowledge, “like some crazy, big grandfather to bestow some sort of wisdom to you.

“With all these little empty bottles,” he says, “I somehow caught a whale.”

“Mocha Dick” is showing at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, through summer 2009.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

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