Nautical News: For the week of December 4th, 2011

CONGRESS TO VOTE WATERFRONT WORKING ACT

Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine has introduced a new bill in Congress called “Keep America’s Waterfront Working Act of 2011.” The bill would continue to give boaters and fishermen access to the waterfront wherever working waterfronts presently exist. It would prevent these properties from being developed into housing or any other use other than a working waterfront such as a boatyard, marina, or other water dependent business. Boaters are urged to ask their Congressmen to sign-on as co-sponsors of the bill.


DNA USED ON SEAFOOD IN RESTAURANTS

Restaurants will soon use new DNA technology to assure diners are being served the genuine fish fillet or caviar they ordered. Last October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved DNA barcoding to prevent the mislabeling of seafood. Expect to see ads for restaurants using DNA tested fish and possibly labels indicating DNA tested seafood on their menus.


NEW BEDFORD CAPTAIN COLLAPSES ON BOAT

The captain of a New Bedford fishing boat Virginia Sands who was rescued by helicopter after he collapsed on the boat has died, according to the Coast Guard First District in Boston. The captain was 62 years old and his name was not released. Crewmates performed CPR on the man after he collapsed and were able to get him breathing again with a weak pulse before the Coast Guard rescue helicopter arrived. The 1st Coast Guard District’s public affairs officer said, “For this to happen during the holiday season is especially tragic. These cases are never easy for anyone and our prayers and thoughts go out to the captain’s family and friends.”


DOLPHINS SWIMMING IN SHALLOW WATER CAPE COD BAY

A pod of 30 to 40 dolphins have animal rescuers worried as they swim in shallow waters in Cape Cod Bay, a mile off the coast of Brewster. Seven of them have already died after stranding themselves in the mud. Scientists said that the stranding season typically begins with the advent of cold water and air temperatures.


TREE STUMPS 100O YEARS OLD UNCOVERED ON CAPE BEACH

Beach erosion on South Cape Beach in Mashpee exposed hundreds of old red cedar tree stumps that were once part of a forest. Carbon dating revealed that the trees ranged in age from 350 years old to about 1200 years old. Scientists said the leftover stumps might tell them about what to expect from sea level rise and climate change. Using GPS information on where the trees used to be in comparison to the shoreline today, scientists think they can predict how the shoreline might look thousands of years from now.


SHELLFISHING ON NORTH AND SOUTH RIVERS

The shellfish beds are now open on the North and South Rivers and should remain open from the Route 3A bridge to the mouth of the rivers until the end of May as long as there is no red tide. It has been 20 years since shellfishing has been allowed on the South River. In Marshfield, digging for clams is permissible on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. In Scituate, the beds are open accessible on Thursdays and Sundays. Marshfield shellfishing permits can be obtained from the Marshfield Harbormaster and Scituate permits obtained from the Scituate Town Clerk.


BOSTON MAN VIDEO TAPES GREAT WHITE SHARK IN NORTH CAROLINA

A Boston fisherman brought home a rare catch from a North Carolina fishing trip – video of an 18 foot long great white shark circling the boat he was on. Matt Garrett of Boston and some friends were fishing in a flat, calm sea about 25 miles from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Garrett said his friends saw the dorsal fin of a huge shark. It circled the boat for several minutes, nudged it with its nose, and slapped it with its tail. The captain said the whole boat shuddered. A North Carolina Aquarium worker confirmed from the video that it was a great white shark, which is rare for the North Carolina coast.


GRILLED OR BAKED FISH GOOD FOR THE BRAIN

A new study done at a Pittsburgh medical center establishes for the first time a direct link between fish consumption and the health of the brain. Researchers claim that eating grilled or baked fish just once a week staved off Alzheimer’s by stopping the brain from shrinking. Researchers used MRI to study people’s brains and the consumption of fish over a period 10 years. Those eating grilled or baked fish at least once a week had higher levels of gray matter. Fried fish had no benefits.


COHASSET LOBSTER TRAP TAG LOST 20 YEARS AGO FOUND IN IRELAND

A Cohasset lobsterman’s trap tag lost during the 1991 “Perfect Storm,” has been found in Ireland 3,000 miles away. Its route of travel is unknown. One oceanographer said it could have gone around the world multiple times before ending up on the beach on Ireland’s southwestern coast. The person who found the tag used Facebook to contact the lobsterman’s son, who now lives in Pembroke. She offered to mail the tag back to him, but he told her it was OK for her to keep it.


DOG ON BOAT SHOOTS DUCK HUNTER

And last on today’s nautical news, two Utah men and a dog went duck hunting the other morning in their boat. One of the hunters went into the water to set the decoy. Meanwhile, the dog, waiting to retrieve the birds, played with the other hunter inside the boat. The dog got so excited, he started running around the boat and out on to the bow. Unfortunately, the guy in the water had laid his 12-gauge shotgun down on the bow where the dog was running and jumping. Oh yeah, the dog’s paw hit the rifle’s trigger and bam, it went off, but it didn’t hit any ducks. Oh no. It hit the guy in the water right in the tuchas – you know in the behind. Naturally the police were called and the 46 year old wounded hunter was taken to the hospital where doctors removed all 27 pellets of the bird shot and sent the man home. They said his waders prevented him from getting seriously hurt. Oh, the dog, he still gets excited waiting to retrieve the birds.


About John Shea