2010-2011 Speaker Series


Subject:            An Exploration of the World’s Most Amazing & Mysterious Fish
Speaker:            James Prosek, Artist, Author & Activist
When:                        Thursday March 10, 7:00 p.m.
Where:                        Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) on Thursday, March 10, 7pm at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick for the 6th presentation of their 14th annual Winter Speaker Series. This program, “An Exploration of the World’s Most Amazing & Mysterious Fish” features James Prosek, artist, author and activist who follows the incredible, ubiquitous and endangered eel from New Zealand to Maine, Japan and the Sargasso Sea.

Eels are our only catadromous fish species, spawning in the ocean and living in freshwater rivers for 15-50 years before attempting to out-migrate back to their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea. The American eel, ranging from northern South America to Greenland and up the Mississippi is but one of many species worldwide with similar life cycles. Unfortunately, most all are threatened due primarily to over-fishing (the sweet, succulent and caloric eel was in large part responsible for the survival of America’s first settlers) and from turbine mortality caused as they attempt to out-migrate through hydroelectric dams.
James Prosek made his authorial debut at 19 with Trout: an Illustrated History featuring seventy of his watercolor paintings of North American trout. Prosek has written for The New York Times and National Geographic Magazine and won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton. He co-founded a conservation initiative called World Trout in 2004 with Yvon Chouinard, owner of Patagonia clothing company. Prosek’s new book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World's Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, has just been published concurrently with his National Geographic article on the subject in their September 2010 issue. He is now working on a book of paintings of Atlantic fishes for Rizzoli and a project about naming nature. Prosek is a curatorial affiliate of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, and a member of the board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

The FOMB Winter Speaker Series takes place monthly from October-May on the second Wednesday. The series, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay with support and valuable door prizes from Patagonia Outlet in Freeport. The next FOMB presentation at 7 pm on April 13 in the Kresge Auditorium of Bowdoin College will be: “Green Business: Doing Well by Doing Good” featuring Gary Hirschberg, President & CE-YO of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt.
To receive more information on FOMB’s programs call Jim Mason, Executive Coordinator, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, at 619-1945 or fomb@comcast.net. Full speaker schedule and speaker biographies are available on the web at www.friendsofmerrymeetingbay.org <http://www.friendsofmerrymeetingbay.org/> .

Photo: Ed Friedman- A young glass eel asks the question: Why?

Photo: Doug Watts- Turbine mortality-Benton Falls Dam-Too late to wonder why.

Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler
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