Megraptor t1_j9kh6xo wrote

Hey there, I do not live in Maine BUT I do have a degree in environmental science.

Unfortunately, a degree is NOT a degree in environmental science. There is so much variation inbetween schools, and some schools are more rigorous than others.

If you end up in state or federal government work, they will usually check your classes and GPA, even 5+ years into your career. There are some unfortunate cases of this, where people with PhDs are missing undergrad classes for the job they want and they have to go take an undergrad class to qualify. I have seen this with wildlife biology PhD holders who are applying for entry level wildlife biology positions at the federal level with botany classes, because you need 9 (or 6, I can't remember) credit hours of botany to qualify for a federal wildlife biology position, and many undergrad programs don't require botany classes.

Take a look at the schools in question, and look at their curriculum. Take note of a couple things- do they have a good stats class? Do they teach GIS (geographic information systems)? Do they have topics you are interested in?

Also, sit down and think about what you want to do with this degree, because it's a very broad topic of study! Do you want to do soil science? Then make sure the schools have soil science classes! Water quality? Then look for water quality and aquatic ecology classes. Ocean? Waste management and recycling? Energy? Climate? Wildlife?

A note about wildlife- if you want to work in ecology/wildlife biology/zoology, do that major instead. All of these fields are very competitive, so having the right major is key.

Also, networking is VERY important in this field. Unfortunately, you often don't know how a school is about that until you get there or if you're lucky, you run into someone from those schools. I didn't go to them, so I can't answer that, I'm sorry. But! You can PM me with other questions, and I encourage you to check out r/environmental_science as a start, and potentially other places that relate to your interests within the field. There's a subreddit for everything these days!


Megraptor t1_j55m60s wrote

Point is, gear today is still getting stuck on NARWs, marks or not. It's just old gear can't be traced to anywhere, and the data that many people are citing that says it's not US lobster pots is from before the pots were marked.

There are other solutions than to just shut it down completely. Ropeless pots are a thing.


Megraptor t1_j55lpcq wrote

"Just because a cat has her kittens in the oven don't make them biscuits."

They say that in Maine, and it means just because people moved there and had kids doesn't make the kids Mainers. Sometimes it's a joke or a razz, but some people take it very seriously there.


Megraptor t1_j4x3kak wrote

Shipping industry was called out back when this all started, that's why. Back in the 2000s and early 2010s. Shipping collisions aren't unique to the NARWs either, so the government and environmental groups have been on shipping in general since... The 80s? I think that's about when talk about ships and whale collisions started happening.

Monterey Bay Seafood Watch is only for seafood, that's why. They do lobbying for speed restrictions and reroutes too, along with other aquariums, like New England Aquarium.

This is a continuous process of data gathering and finding out what the issues are. Entanglement deaths also outnumber vessel strikes in the last few years. We aren't seeing a decline in entanglements yet- note the data for 2019-2023 is not done being complied on this page.

The old gear is in the ocean, not being used. Lobster rope can last for years when submerged in water. Lost gear happens, and with it, lost rope. I don't think I need a citation for ghost gear, it's a widely known thing. But just because you asked-

My post implied that the argument that "it's Canadian gear" didn't work because gear wasn't marked when data was collected. On top of that, the marks only go so far- all they do is ID thing rope, they don't stop anything. And that's assuming that the rope isn't fouled up and you can actually see the marks.

And about your shipping assumption- shipping is a whole different beast with trade offs- it's less carbon intensive to ship by boat than by plane. Buying local when one can is always good. But even then, shipping is subject to restrictions, and we are seeing declines in mortality due to shipping vessels. I know for a fact that one of the deaths last year that is a vessel strike was not shipping, but a fishing yacht- which I do without just fine. And I do fine without lobster too, since there are alternatives in other, more sustainable crustaceans, or other proteins both plant and animal based.

There's a lot of restrictions on vessels too.

Regardless of marks or not though, it doesn't matter. Gear is getting stuck on these whales and killing them. Monterey Bay is saying err on the side of caution because there's 350 of these whales left. Until we can prove that


Megraptor t1_j4x0fbv wrote

They are vicious! Disney characters make them seem so dopey, but they basically are on omnivorous and aquatic gremlins with claws. from having crayfish as pets, I think they are smarter than a lot of people think too, and often will rove about their tank looking for trouble.


Megraptor t1_j4wuno0 wrote

I'm from Northern Pennsylvania, the area that has like no one and no one ever thinks about. It's no where near Philadelphia, it's closer to Pittsburgh but still hours through forest, mountains and farmland to get to the Burgh.

I was interested in Maine cause it's like where I'm from without the oil and gas politics, and a coast near by. Pretty much same critters too, outside of moose, but I'm used to driving like a granny due to overpopulated deer though. I thought the state was more environmentally minded than Pennsylvania too, but uh... Nope. They are protectionist against their chose economic drivers, it's just they don't have oil and gas resources to exploit like Pennsylvania does- and they never will, the geology ain't right for it there.

What gets me about Maine though is that it has the oldest population, and young people aren't staying... Yet they chase out young adults? My home area is like that- though the Mainers don't like hearing how Maine is like another place.

So... How are they ever going to keep a economy going if they don't let people move there? They complain about no jobs, yet shoot down anything that would make new jobs too. They hate remote workers.

I've seen a lot of Mainers say "At least we aren't West Virginia." Ironically, I live pretty close to West Virginia now, and hike there a ton. The people there are actually pretty nice, and take pride in their culture, unlike Maine where it seems like it's pride in family heritage and genetics.

WV is really trying to promote tourism and people moving there too, cause surprise, they have the same issue that Maine has. I think the big difference I've seen is that Maine has a history of tourism while West Virginia has a history of natural resource exploitation... Which has created both similar and different issues over the years.


Megraptor t1_j4wrx5o wrote

The thing about boat/ship collisions is that those are already being addressed with reroutes and speed restrictions. Yes, it's not completely mitigated, but you don't hear the shipping industry complaining and getting politicians involved.

Old gear is still out there, and the data they are arguing with is from before 2020. It's from 2012. This is the paper I see cited a lot-

Author put out a newer paper in 2022 too, but even then the data is only until 2011.

So while yes, lines have to be marked now, the data is all before this change and that's what the state and lobster fishermen are using to argue that it isn't US fisheries. It also doesn't change that there still are unmarked or unidentifiable lines out there- but these mean that if anything, we should err on the side of caution until we can actually get good data on where gear is coming from, not continue to let Maine fish in protected areas while blaming other states/countries/industries.


Megraptor t1_j4wppve wrote

Nah, blanket statements like this aren't helpful when there's good alternatives out there.

There's some crabs and lobster that are sustainable. Florida/Caribbean Spiny Lobsters from the US warm waters are fine and so are Californian ones from birth the US and Mexico. Squat Lobsters/Langostinos are fine.

Chesapeake Blue Crabs are fine, but in the Atlantic there's some fishery issues with Diamondback Terrapins bycatch. Asian Green Crabs are invasive in the US and probably should be eaten anyways. Alaskan crabs in general are sustainable and have no problems too- but the fisheries are currently closed for their Snow Crabs ans both Red, Golden and Blue King Crabs. Dungess Crabs on the Pacific Coast are fine too.

European Lobsters are fine too, and are the same genus as American ones too. There's also an accidentally introduced and invasive population of American Lobsters in Norway that you can sometimes find on the market.

Confusingly, Norway Lobster are a prawn, and are a mixed bag. Oh and Rock Lobsters are fine too. Yes it's an actual animal, not just a song. They are a type of Spiny Lobster.

Tldr- just don't buy crab/lobster from New England and Canada if you're concerned about the North Atlantic Right Whales. If you want more info on overall seafood sustainability, just look at Monterey Bay Seafood Watch


Megraptor t1_j4wlvdi wrote

Crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp and other crunchy aquatic "bug") don't take well to farming because they eat anything.

Including each other.

Even keeping a pet crayfish is a major pain in the butt. They dig up all the plants, eat all the fish that they can get their claws on, and then fight each other till death. They will munch on each other when they shed their shells and are soft (seriously, they get weirdly squishy.)

That, combined with slow growth rates just makes it not viable. They take so long to get to marketable size and they just eat each other before that.

And if we were to figure it out somehow, Maine would be very against it. Look at the PNW and salmon farming, they are EXTREMELY against it because they are worried it will impact their wild caught stocks and economy. There are some issues with salmon farming, like how they use Atlantic Salmon in the Pacific mostly while Coho Salmon are perfectly farmable. But you'd see this somehow with lobsters too I bet...


Megraptor t1_j4wk0qx wrote

It's much harder to that then you'd think. Large whales are dangerous to be in the water around, especially if they are thrashing. They also can dive deep which makes them very hard to track.

For as much as the public thinks we know about whales and dolphins, we actually know pretty much nothing about them because they are so difficult to track. Most of our toothed whale (dolphins/porpoises/orcas) knowledge comes from aquariums, and our baleen whale knowledge is basically nothing. We only know so much about North Atlantic Right Whales cause there are so few and they are tracked heavily by conservation researchers. They have Endangered Species Act funding too, unlike a lot of other cetaceans...

If you ever want to look up a very mysterious group of whales (cetaceans if you want to be scientific) look up the beaked whales. We know like nothing about them, and some species have only been ID'd once 100 years from a single stranding/wash ashore.


Megraptor t1_j4wj494 wrote

The comments over at the Maine sub about this issue are real gross. That whole sub really shows how Maine is closed off though. Don't mention you want to visit or move there, they will start complaining about people from away and biscuits and kittens. There's a saying...

Anyways, it's funny to me how much finger pointing there is about this issue. "No it's Canada!" "No it's the high speed boats!" "No it's the cargo ships!" "Stop trying to blame honest lobster fishermen!"

What is even more frustrating is that there's a solution, ropeless lobster pots. They use GPS to find them and then to collect them they inflate the buoy and it rises to the surface. The two problems is that one they are more expensive, and two, there's a long tradition of using buoy colors and patterns to determine who's pots are who- they keep that online or anything, you need to look at local boards. They don't want to move away from that.

Worse though, using colors by communities means that other communities may use the same color and pattern, so there is no way to actually tie ropes with buoys back to the US... Or Canada. And that's how they are technically correct when they say "American gear hadn't killed any North Atlantic Right Whales." It's not been tied back to American gear because it can't be.


Megraptor t1_j30oxe6 wrote

Actually on their way to being trapped in a lobster pot rope.

I know Japan is known for hunting whales, but it's a case of "blame them over there" when really they pose no threat to North Atlantic Right Whales, but American and Canadians actually do. Cause well... Japan is on the Pacific, and even then was regulated on what whales they hunt by an international organization. Meanwhile here in the US and Canada, lobster areas are fighting tooth and nail to not have more protections for North Atlantic Right Whales.

So... Yeah I know this was a joke, it just doesn't land well when you know the details of the issue...


Megraptor OP t1_j25o2e8 wrote

A deer antler and some rocks are the heaviest thing I'm thinking about putting on it. I'm kind of a nature person...

The rocks are mostly less than 100 grams or 3.5 ounces, but two are around 300 grams or 10.5 ounces. The antler is 325 grams/ 11.5 ounces or so. If they fall, I'll just be picking up rocks I guess.


Megraptor OP t1_j25n9ma wrote

Yeah this is just for knick knacks! Heaviest thing might be a couple of rocks that weigh... At most a couple of rocks less than 100 grams each/3.5 ounces. There's some other things that are lighter than that too.

Oh and a deer antler, forgot about that. That weighs 11.5 ounces/325 grams. So maybe 10/4.5 kilos pounds tops?