Nautical News: For the week of June 24th, 2012

COAST GUARD SAYS TWO HOAX CALLS SIMILAR

The Coast Guard is investigating two hoax calls that they believe were made by the same person. One of the calls was made from Texas on May 20th and the other call was made last week in New Jersey. In both cases the male caller used similar words and phrases and Nautical Talk Radio has learned that contact to the Coast Guard was made on a non-emergency radio channel. The New Jersey hoax call cost taxpayers in excess of $330,000.


TUNA SPOTTER PLANE CRASHES IN WATER OFF GLOUCESTER

An airplane pilot, spotting tuna for a fishing boat featured on the TV show Wicked Tuna, crashed into the water about 12 miles east of Gloucester. The pilot used the plane’s life raft to stay afloat until he was located by a Coast Guard plane. He was then recovered by the fishing vessel that he was working for, which carried him to shore. The pilot was lucky and not injured. The Coast Guard said the pilot’s flight plan along with the life raft saved the man’s life. The cause of the crash is under investigation.


NEW RULES FOR HERRING TRAWLERS

The New England Fishery Management Council just finalized new rules for the Atlantic herring fishery, ordering observers on board their boats to get better accountability of the herring being caught. Fishermen outside of the herring fishery have fought for years for onboard observers because the herring fishermen were allowed to estimate their catch instead of weighing it. Fishermen also believe that the herring fishery affects other species of fish such as cod, juvenile haddock, bluefin tuna, and striped bass because the herring is the primary food source for these species, and because the herring trawlers killed these species when they were accidentally caught as bycatch.


SECRETARY OF COMMERCE QUITS

As all Nautical Talk Radio listeners know, Dr. Jane Lubchenco is the head of NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Her boss is the Secretary of Commerce who promised to visit New England and correct previous failed fisheries management policies. Unfortunately he never lived up to that promise. This past week, Secretary John Bryson submitted his letter of resignation after being involved in a pair of bizarre car accidents in which he hit the same car twice. Fishermen find it ironic that he claimed he was suffering from a mental disorder.


GREAT WHITES SHOW UP EARLY OFF CHATHAM

State Division of Marine Fisheries shark researcher Greg Skomal confirmed that two great white sharks that were tagged with tracking devices last summer have returned to Chatham Cape Cod. They were swimming in the same area where they were tagged last year. The sharks are back because the seals, their source of food, are abundant. Merchants in Chatham believe the sharks attract more tourists and beach goers than they scare away.


MASS MARITIME TAKES OVER SPECTACLE ISLAND MARINA

The Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council has responded to some of the concerns regarding recreational boaters’ access to the islands and moorings. The good news is that all park moorings are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, and it was announced that the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will now be managing the marina at Spectacle Island. However, there is still no docking space on George’s Island for recreational boats, and George’s Island is the main attraction in the park.


JAPANESE BOAT IN TSUNAMI WASHES ASHORE ON U.S. WEST COAST

A Japanese boat that washed ashore in the state of Washington is believed to be a wreck from last year’s tsunami. The Governor of Washington is asking for federal help as his state’s shoreline is being inundated with tsunami debris. The boat that washed ashore is about 24 feet long and has Japanese writing on the bow. It is the largest piece of debris to hit Washington’s coast from last year’s tsunami in Japan.


MASS MARITIME ACCADEMY GRADUATES LARGEST CLASS

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy sent its largest graduating class in its 212 year history out into the workplace, and according to the school’s president, about 60 percent of the 304 graduates have already found employment. A good percentage of those who don’t go to sea end up working on or near the waterfront, but a majority of the students get high paying positions aboard ships.


U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY CELEBRATES 73RD BIRTHDAY

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrated its 73rd anniversary of service on June 23rd. As the uniformed, volunteer component of the Coast Guard, Auxiliary members dedicate countless hours each year supporting the Coast Guard in nearly all of the Coast Guard’s missions. When Congress created the Auxiliary in 1939, its primary mission was to provide boats to the Coast Guard. During World War II, civilian volunteers joined in a burst of patriotic fever. Today, more than 30,000 Coast Guard Auxiliary members continue to provide support to Coast Guard units across the U.S. and its territories and promote safety and education amongst recreational boaters. Membership in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is open to citizens age 17 and older with no criminal background.


PRESIDENTIAL NOMMINEE MITT ROMNEY GOES FOR BOAT RIDE

And last on today’s nautical news, Republican President nominee Mitt Romney got off his campaign bus and took a boat ride up the Mississippi River. He used this boating trip to offer a metaphor about his family life. When he arrived at the marina, he described his family as an “anchor” in his life. Romney said, “I’ve learned in my life that it helps to have anchors. My family is my anchor. My wife, my kids. It helps to have understandings and values that are so superb that you can anchor your life with all the things you’re doing.”


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WATD online and on-air contributors include, but are not limited to: The Associated Press, Precision Weather Forecasting, local news stringers and reporters, in-house news and internet media staff, State House and town hall reporters, freelance reporters, special feature reporters/producers and on-air radio personnel.