The Harbor Plan Draft ~ Esplanade?

From the new Harbor Plan

2014 Harbor Plan Draft

“Bustling maritime commerce requires hotels,restaurants, and retail shops for the workers and the many visitors who seek the experiential connection to a vibrant working waterfront and visitor amenities.

Along the waterfront an esplanade weaves in and along and through the myriad industries and commerce. Artists open galleries in nooks and crannies on Main Street and along the esplanade when they can afford it. Shops fill in the gaps along Rogers Street as businesses look to grow and the waterfront has become the logical edge of the downtown. Many of these visitors come by boat, rather than automobile. The port welcomes those who arrive by boat.
The downtown is busy and engaging. Gloucester residents shop downtown because they work downtown. Others come to shop because they also want to sit for a few minutes at one of the cafes on Main Street, visit the library, the YMCA or City Hall, or go down to see the activity on the waterfront.
Fishermen mingle with researchers and business people on the dock or over a coffee or sandwich. At night, the city is alive with restaurants, music, and city or merchant sponsored events, whether they are block parties on Main Street or concerts and markets on Harbor Loop.  As activity increases along Main Street and the waterfront, the links between the event locations strengthen with both the esplanade and the shops and businesses that surround it.”

Link to Harbor Plan ~ From the City of Gloucester Website ~ Click ~

What do YOU think?  Comment or email

Top 10 Problems of Offshore Fish Farming aka Ocean Aquaculture

From Food & Water Watch


Top 10 Problems

Offshore fish farming, also known as open ocean aquaculture, involves giant cages located about 30 feet under water anywhere from three to 200 miles off the coast.

Here are 10 reasons why this is so problematic.

  1. Competing/Conflicting Interests

    Open water aquaculture facilities could cause conflict of interest. Areas of current significant competing economic use or public value must be eliminated for consideration for open ocean aquaculture. These areas include 1) fishing grounds and routes to those fishing grounds; 2) vessel traffic lanes; 3) military sites and areas of concern regarding national security; 4) marine reserves and otherwise protected areas; and, 5) areas of significant multiple use.

  2. Escapement

    Offshore aquaculture of finfish uses cages or pens. These containers, even if well engineeredway out sign and built, will allow some fish escapes into the open ocean, due to various complications like severe weather, equipment failure or human error. In the case of net pens, predators may tear the enclosures. Escapement can affect native populations through disease and dilution of locally adaptive gene complexes, disrupt natural ecosystems and jeopardize the recovery of depleted or endangered species. Consequences could be widespread and devastating.

  3. Growing Exotic / Mutated Species

    Several problems are associated with aquaculture production of non-native species. While the use of local species in aquaculture presents less harmful impacts should escapement occur, often when cultured species reproduce in captivity, they or their offspring are different behaviorally or even genetically. These ‚new” species may invade local areas, breed with or overtake natural populations, through escapement, causing widespread environmental concerns.

  4. Growing Genetically Modified /Transgenic Organisms (GMOs)

    Farm raised fish are bred for profit, thus, those that have certain marketable traits are the most desirable. Selecting and only breeding fish with advantageous characteristics (e.g. largest and fastest growers) is one means to alter genetic composition over time. In some instances, direct genetic manipulation occurs in a lab, to change, for example, appearance and breeding abilities. In either of these circumstances, the outcome produces a genetically different fish than those found in the wild. Similar to problems associated with culture of exotic and mutated species, proposed farming of GMOs raises concerns that through escapement, the constitution of the ecosystem may be altered, not to mention unknown health concerns to the consumer.

  5. Habitat Impacts

    Use of the U.S. EEZ for aquaculture requires construction of appropriate facilities and in some areas could include severe habitat impacts. Dredging, drilling and other sediment and bottom habitat disturbances, can cause displacement of ocean wildlife and other potentially significant ecological changes.

  6. Inefficiency

    Cultured species are fed wild species. This is an inefficient use of wild fish. There are particular concerns that aquaculture operations may increasingly rely on natural food sources, such as krill, squid and other small coastal pelagic fish. These lower trophic level species are a crucial part of the marine ecosystem, serving as prey for marine mammals, birds and fish. Many commercially and recreationally important fish species depend directly on the availability and abundance of such prey species for their survival and recovery. Wild fish populations can only recover if the ecosystem upon which they depend is intact.

  7. Mitigation Plans for Hazards

    A number of threats to wildlife and the environment can come from open water aquaculture. A facility should be prepared to address emergency situations, especially where immediate containment or clean-up are necessary. Permits should only be provided once the applicant develops and submits a plan to mitigate potential harms due to unexpected circumstances, including escapement of fish, chemical pollution, illness and others.

  8. Human Health Concerns

    Studies indicate that farm-raised fish contain higher levels of chemical pollutants than wild fish, including PCBs, which are known carcinogens. This is due to higher concentrations in the fish feed. Antibiotics are also a problem with farm-raised fish, effecting consumers directly as well as by developing super strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, making diseases less treatable, and perpetuates the cycle of increased antibiotic use.

  9. Unexpected Environmental Harm and Abandoned/Bankrupt Facilities

    Open-ocean aquaculture depends on various factors, including weather, currents, disease control and human precision. Some of these are not controllable. It is possible that a facility is damaged by any number of unplanned events, causing a major escape or significant chemical pollution. Remedying such situations requires significant monetary resources that might not be available from the company at the time of the occurrence.

  10. Water Pollution

    Water pollution concerns include the following:

    • excess food;
    • feces;
    • cage materials; and,
    • antibiotics/other cleaning/algal growth prohibiting chemicals.

    Water flowing out of an aquaculture facility can carry excessive nutrients, particulates,rusted drain pipe bacteria, other diseased organisms and polluting chemicals. These may harm surrounding habitats, cause algal blooms, poison ocean wildlife and other severe disturbances. Feed and fecal matter from aquaculture facilities can deplete the dissolved oxygen concentrations within and around the site. Since different fish have varying tolerances to dissolved oxygen levels, the wastewater being discharged from an aquaculture operation may have large impacts outside the facility long before a problem is detected within. Anti-fouling agents used to keep cages/pens clean are highly toxic. For example, the common anti-fouling agent butyltin (specifically tributyltin) has been linked to reproductive problems in gastropod mollusks (i.e. whelks and abalone) and is suspected to cause immune suppression in marine mammals including dolphins, seals and sea otters.


Yet the Mayor of America’s Oldest and Most Historic Fishing Port wants to bring it here.  Just Say NO!


Screenshot 2014-06-19 13.49.20 Screenshot 2014-06-19 13.49.33 Photos from GMG

Harbor Planning Meeting Tonight

Monday, June 9, 2014


Please be invited to the public meeting regarding the final recommendations from the 2014 Harbor Plan. The meeting will be held in the Kyrouz Auditorium from 7 – 9 pm.

The City consultants, Kevin Hively of Ninigret Partners, and Tom Skinner of Durand & Anastas will present a summary of the economic data and opportunities, and then lay out the regulatory framework and economic implementation needs for the city moving forward.

Harbor planning is one of the most important meetings Gloucester will have. Currently there is nothing on the City of Gloucester website to confirm that this meeting is happening (see pics below), I hope you will participate.

Screenshot 2014-06-09 08.38.19

Screenshot 2014-06-09 08.37.53

Screenshot 2014-06-09 08.37.16

For all interested in “Ocean Planning” ~ Event on June 25, 26, 2014


A reminder that the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) is holding a Natural Resources Public Workshop on June 25, 2014, and its fourth Regional Planning Body meeting on June 25, 2014, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both events will be held at The Charles Hotel, located at 1 Bennett Street in Cambridge.

On June 25th, please join the Northeast RPB, scientists, managers, and other interested parties for a workshop on natural resource assessments for ocean planning that will inform ocean planning work in the months to come. We need your input as the RPB proceeds with specific actions to characterize the region’s ecosystem, its species, and habitats under the ocean planning goal of “Healthy Ocean and Coastal Ecosystems.” The draft agenda for this workshop is attached, as is a draft “Marine Life Assessment Summary” which will be discussed at the workshop. A reception will follow from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm.

On June 26th, please join the Northeast Regional Planning Body for its fourth meeting. The agenda for this meeting is attached. At this meeting, the RPB will consider options for technical and stakeholder input into ocean planning decisions as outlined in the attached Options document. If you wish to provide comments on this draft prior to the RPB meeting, please do so through the online comment form at or by emailing comments directly to Public participants will also be given opportunities at the meeting to comment on RPB proceedings and discussion.

Please register here to indicate your attendance at both the June 25 Natural Resources Workshop and the June 26 NE RPB meeting.

Please contact me with any questions about either event.

John Weber

On behalf of:

Betsy Nicholson, RPB Federal Co-lead
Grover Fugate, RPB State Co-lead
Richard Getchell, RPB Tribal Co-lead

Ocean Planning Documents