So, we're pretty excited about the Patriots' Super Bowl victory parade tomorrow. We've been gearing up since the big game and just hope the weather is as nice as last Tuesday. That would have been the day for the parade.
Hold on a second, someone is speaking to us.
"What? Are they sure?"
OK, let's talk about lobsters.
Last week, there was much ado in the lobster industry, particularly in Maine where fishermen, regulators and legislators are discussing the possibility of loosening some of the permitting constraints to accelerate the pace of issuing new licenses in a classic old guard vs. new guard tableau.
On a more macro level, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said its American lobster management board is considering new measures to reduce the amount of vertical fishing lines in the water as a further protection for right whales.
The goal, they said, is to remove as much as 40 percent of the existing lines and gear through a combination of gear changes, trap limits, area closures and other actions to make the waters safer for the highly imperiled right whales that probably are starting their migration north as we speak.
Lobstermen say they understand the urgency, but want to make sure that any new conservation measures are consistent with the level of present danger in U.S. waters as opposed to Canadian waters, where more right whale mortalities have occurred.
"What we do need is to be right sized for what's going on with whales," said Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen's Association. "We want to do our part and have that solution meet the risk we actually have."
The final measures are still months in the making, but the momentum for right whale conservation actions continues to run apace, fueled by conservation groups and spearheaded by the federal and interstate regulators. New regulations are coming. No stopping that train.
Astro of the Jetsons would call it a "wise wrasse."
It turns out that some fish might be as vain as humans, the poor critters. According to a paper released last Thursday by PLOS Biology, researchers found that some fish seem to recognize their own image reflected in a mirror.
Some scientists suggest passing the mirror test means the fish had "become the object of its own attention," which is exactly what the nuns warned us about at Star of the Sea.
Anyway, according to the Associated Press, the researchers subjected up to 10 fish to various elements of the test. Four were injected with a tag that left a brown spot on their throats. Upon seeing it in the mirror, three tried to rub it off against rocks or the bottom of the tank. The fourth had cosmetic surgery (kidding, kidding).
The star of the self-aware set clearly was the cleaner wrasse, which got so excited by its own image that it went hit Kardashian on the self-adoration meter. It did everything but moonwalk. It even swam upside-down in front of the mirror.
Could its own clothing line be far off? Hosting the ESPYs? Dating a Laker?
The conversation thankfully continues
You might have cast your orbs over a story we penned last week in the pages of the Gloucester Daily Times and online at gloucestertimes.com about a unique new lecture series unfolding over at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum.
The series focuses on discussions about varied and nuanced subjects of a nautical or shipbuilding nature. The twist, according to organizers, is that the discussions are designed to go wherever the audience members and their questions take it. They call it a conversational lecture series.
The first lecture, on the history of the Gloucester fishing schooner, basically drew friends and family. But with a little publicity, the second event Wednesday night, on the provisioning of fishing vessels, attracted an audience of about 25, giving organizers confidence going forward that they may have come across a nifty off-season mechanism for keeping the conversations flowing.
"We had a real nice crowd," said Justin Demetri, the visitors service director at the shipbuilding museum. "We had some new faces and some old faces and some people that we had just seen recently at the museum. Everyone seemed to enjoy it."
The organizers are working on third installment and envision possibly doing one more after that. So, stay tuned to our little bat channel here and we'll keep you posted.
We were most saddened last week at the passing of Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first black manager in the history of the major leagues and the only major league player to win the MVP in both American and National circuits.
Robinson won his MVPs in 1961 while with the Cincinnati Reds and in 1966 when he was the fire that lit a really good Baltimore Orioles team that swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series and had Red Sox front office great, Lou Gorman, as its farm director.
Robinson, who played high school basketball with Celtics great Bill Russell, ravaged the Red Sox, especially at Fenway. In 62 career games at the Fens, he hit .350, with 22 home runs and 57 RBI, with a slugging percentage of .724 and an OPS of 1.188 – his best numbers in any of the 37 Major League ballparks in which he played.
Robinson, an uncompromising competitor, became the first black skipper as player-manager for the Indians in 1975, homering on Opening Day. If you don't remember those uniforms, Google them. They are something. Eck really burns some oil.
Our favorite Robinson story: In 2006, while managing the Nationals, Robinson fired bullpen coach John Wetteland without even consulting General Manager Jim Bowden, sort of a no-no.
Robinson brooked no foolishness and Wetteland was all foolishness, leading an endless stream of pranks and practical jokes in the bullpen during games.
Robinson spoke with him, but Wetteland continued. Robinson finally pulled the plug in June after a bad loss to the Rockies.
"I just couldn't put up with it anymore," Robinson told the Washington Post at the time. "I talked to John on a number of occasions and told him flat-out what I needed and how I wanted things done. He just didn't understand."
Robinson then made it clear he wasn't the least bit worried his relievers might be angry about Wetteland's dismissal.
"Maybe they'll get mad enough to get somebody out," Robinson said.
As always, no fish were harmed in the making of this column.
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.