By Sheila Dassatt

How many things do we take for “face value” these days?  I try to write about what the going trend is such as whales, windmills, climate change or simply a good ole time story about how it was years ago. The last thing that I want to do is bore you to death with the same old stories.  So I actually have been observing a lot of what is going on around me lately, and I know that I don’t always appear that I’m paying attention, but I am! It has proved very interesting and not always the way that things seem.

We can’t always have what we want, on both ends of the spectrum.  The big attention right now is all of the talk about windmills.  A promise has been made by the government to lower the carbon footprint by the year 2030 or else, I assume.  So this takes in whales and windmills, again.  As it appears, the objective is to save the earth, or the endangered creatures of the earth, correct?

If you really pay attention around you, all of this hype about saving the earth includes wind power.  Locally, in Penobscot Bay, one sight for the terminal for shipping the turbine blades is Sears Island.  Yes, the proposal for this reality is there, but we have folks that are now upset that they found their serenity and family recreation on this Island and don’t want it disturbed or disrupted.  Yes, can’t agree more, but now what?  Can we make amends to allow the space that is needed to accommodate the construction or the shipping of these turbine blades?  Let’s think about this…

A lot of things don’t come without some sort of sacrifice, such as giving up something very important to us, in order to make room for the new proposals.  This is exactly what the fishing industry is trying to say about sacrifice.  We are not in favor of these “big boys” not to just be against the “save the earth and whales” folks.  We are trying to say that once these wind farms are under way and in production, there is no turning back.

What we, as a fishing industry are trying to say, the science for the windmill power is not complete and it is definitely going to displace not just the fishermen, but the property that everyone so treasures and want to keep in place simply for the beauty of the sea and land.  We can’t have it both ways……So what do we want?

It is already being studied that the lobsters are starting to grow deformed and the whales are drifting to shore apparently dying from the after affects of sonar testing.

So, with this being said, how can we save the whales and have wind power as well?

We haven’t heard much from the whale folks during this experimental time.  Again, how do we do both, save the marine mammals and the earth without some sort of sacrifice?

Thinking of sacrifice, I’m sure that there’s some folks out there that still can remember the Hindenburg.  This was the big German zeppelin during that craze in the 1930s, that literally went up in smoke in New Jersey.  There was a very big sacrifice there, and the rich folks thought it was the answer to glorified travel, much like the Unsinkable Titanic.  Each one of these new and better plans involved a lot of money and investment.  Just saying….of course, after that many lives were lost, they went back to the drawing board and perfected these vessels.  As you know, this is how the Goodyear blimp was fine tuned and in use now, but much safer than it was. This was the same with passenger ships. They probably perfected their science and engineering on them since the early years of development.  I’ve always been told that we learn from out mistakes, which has been proven true more often than not.  By the way, how many realize that the new cruise ships have balancing wings under them that when extended, can wipe out a large amount of lobster gear?  Now they want to come into more coastal ports than ever before.

As I stated in my D.E.L.A. report, we have joined together as a fishing industry, not just lobsters, but the entire fishing industry, to reach out to the Atlantic States stating that we are not in favor of the windmills.  This comes from the feeling that there is a lot more to learn about them and the long range effects that they have on our environment.  Please read my report if you’d like to see the associations that have pulled together to fight these wind farms and ask for better science before even starting any of these projects.

This is all right up there with ropeless fishing practices to save the whales.  I would like to say that with all that the fishermen have been doing to cooperate with these causes, it’s the fishermen that have been making the sacrifice.  I am on the boat and I can see the dangers and hazards that the whale knots and breakaways have on the safety of the captain and crew of the boat.  They can explode upon contact and go into the eyes as well as fetch up in the hauler or when the traps go over the rail.  They are downright dangerous and we have the sacrifices and injuries to prove it.  You’d be surprised!  Please stop and think about what we are asking for before the damage has been done and it’s too late to change it.  It’s the fishermen that are “Endangered” just trying to please everyone else.  We are stewards of the ocean and are working hard to preserve what we have in place.