The Working Waterfront

Phil, aquaculture, and electric vehicles

Readers weigh in on our stories

Posted 2021-08-30
Last Modified 2021-08-30

Priceless Phil

To the editor:

Being a long-time admirer of Phil Crossman’s, I almost croaked with surprise and, ultimately, uproarious laughter at reading his Observer column in the July issue (“Remembering that first kiss”). This man is priceless. I do hope that he will be able to share other stories of his precious past. He is like a fine bottle of wine.

John K. Cowperthwaite, Jr.
Tenants Harbor


Lease size clarification

To the editor:

Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation wants to respond to an assertion made by Sebastian Belle, director of the Maine Aquaculture Association, in the May issue of The Working Waterfront. In response to a question about opposition to aquaculture by the fishing industry, Belle said: “There’s been a very intentional strategy to scare people to say, ‘One person can own up to 1,000 acres.’ It’s just not true.”

The fact is any individual, business, or corporation can lease up to 1,000 acres for exclusive use. See the Department of Marine Resources website and section 2.12 of the regulations.

Lobstermen have spoken loudly about the threat of losing bottom, potential environmental degradation around farm-raised salmon, the growing number of leases, and the lack of a statewide plan.

Most recently, 26 lobstermen and women submitted a petition to the Bar Harbor Town Council opposing the American Aquafarms project in Frenchman Bay.

Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation does believe in aquaculture in the small owner/operator model that has been successful along the Maine coast. But we also believe there has been a lack of planning that includes all stakeholder groups. Our group will continue to do the work around the 1,000 acres issue as well as siting alternatives, lease terms that can be held for 20 years, and the ability to transfer those leases without a public hearing.

The coast is a public trust and deserves a statewide conversation for the future. Those conversations cannot be in an exclusive setting, with taxpayer dollars paying for it and with only the people who have lobbied for aquaculture at any cost at the expense of small aquaculturists, lobstermen, tourism, and those who have always recreated on the water.

Crystal Canney
Executive Director
Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation


Gas or electric

To the editor:

I enjoyed reading the August issue of The Working Waterfront. The “Leaving gas vehicles in the rear-view mirror” op-ed on gas vs. electric vehicles was eye-opening. The writer, Sarah Miller, conveyed a lot of useful info in few words. Well done.

Our family began vacationing in Scarborough over 30 years ago, driving up to our house each spring. Some years we made the roundtrip drive two, three, or four times. Thankfully, I can get 550 miles on one tank of gas. That means I can arrive from our home in the mid-Atlantic without stopping—for gas or recharging—anywhere.

An easily found refill at a gas station would take me about ten or so minutes, while a charge for an electric car today would take 30-45 minutes, if you can find a convenient station. And if I was going Downeast or to an interior camp, two charges would be needed. Heaven help that guy.

It’s time to sharpen your pencil. This transition from gas to electric bodes poorly for Maine and its top industry, tourism, unless battery technology and infrastructure are improved considerably.

I would task Sarah with focusing an article on what is being done and what needs to be done to accommodate the vision. The infrastructure and technical lifts are huge.

John Hawkins

The Working Waterfront welcomes letters to the editor, which should be about 300 words and sent to editor Tom Groening at Longer opinion pieces of about 650 words also are accepted but should be cleared first with the editor.