Maine Sea Grant This Week - 05.02.16

Volunteers monitor rockweedSigns of the Seasons Phenology Monitoring Training continues this week, with a coastal workshop on methods for monitoring seasonal changes in rockweed on Tuesday, May 3, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Kettle Cove State Park, Cape Elizabeth. To register for this training, please email Signs of the Seasons assistant coordinator, Sasha Breus at  alexandra.s.breus@maine.edu. Visit the website to register for other upcoming Signs of the Seasons training opportunities.

Esperanza Stancioff presents to 35 participants in a NOAA Fisheries and National Sea Grant sponsored workshop, Increasing Resilience of Fishing Communities in a Changing Climate, in Silver Spring, Maryland. The goal of the workshop is to advance the social science information and tools needed to help fishing sectors and fishing communities better understand, prepare for and respond to climate-related impacts on marine resources and the people who depend on them.

Congratulations to Sea Grant Research Coordinator Rachel Lasley-Rasher, who co-authored a paper just released in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Here’s Rachel’s recap: “We fed the red tide dinoflagellate, Alexandium fundyense, to copepods and monitored their behavior. We found that copepods swam straighter and faster after ingesting Alexandrium (even after a long recovery period of feeding on nutritious algae). This was surprising given the fact that this alga causes a paralytic response in vertebrates. Swimming faster and straighter is risky for zooplankton because the currency of their survival and fitness is encounter rates. Swimming faster and straighter leads to a 25-55% increase encounter rates with predators, which could have implications for toxins being preferentially incorporated into marine food webs. Read related stories from UMaine and National Geographic.

Eastport correspondent Chris Bartlett reports that alewives have returned to spawn in the Pennamaquan River in Pembroke. “Volunteers and I are installing an electronic fish counter (Smith-Root 1601) on Wednesday to assess the number of alewife migrating up the fishways. We also will be collecting 25 fish each week and sending biological info and scale samples for aging to DMR in partnership with the Town of Pembroke." Stay tuned to the Salarius blog for more alewife coverage this month!