Nautical News: For the week of September 16th, 2012

U.S. COMMERCE DEPT DECLARES FISHERY DISASTER

The Commerce Department has finally declared a national fishery disaster in New England. Tens of millions of dollars in relief funds could go to fishermen if Congress approves the expenditure. Senator Kerry said he had secured a $100 million commitment from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to aid fishermen and fishing communities affected by over burdensome fishing regulations, but it still must be voted on and approved by a potentially reluctant Congress. Some of that $100 million will also go to improve fishery science.


THREE RESCUED OFF MARTHA’S VINEYARD

Three men were rescued off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard by several fishermen participating in a striped bass fishing tournament. The three were found in the water hanging on to a cooler floating in the ocean. The Coast Guard were called to the scene and were told that the boat the three were on had gone to the bottom. It was not clear whether the three who were rescued were also fishing in the tournament. They were brought ashore to Coast Guard Station Menemsha.


N.E. REGIONAL FISHERIES DIRECTOR PUNISHES FISHERMEN

Federal regulators rejected a fishing industry request to change its plans to close a key fishing area off New England to protect harbor porpoises. Fishermen were asking the closure to begin in February instead of November and they asked for a slight change in the area’s boundaries. John Bullard, the new regional director, wrote in a letter that he blamed local fishermen for poor compliance with a requirement to install pingers on nets that scare the porpoises away, so he would not consider their request.


LABELS WARN OF E15 USE

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is now distributing E15 warning labels to yacht clubs, marinas, and individual boaters. The label is similar to the labels now on Toyota gas caps. The manufactures association is also distributing 100,000 E15 warning labels to boat manufacturers across the country in hopes of alerting boaters to the potential dangers of fuel with a high volume of ethanol.


ATTENDANCE UP AT NEWPORT BOAT SHOW

The 42nd annual Newport International Boat Show – the first of the fall boat shows – attracted more visitors than last year’s boat show. This is a good sign for dealers who consider the show as a bellwether for the industry. Show organizers reported that every inch of space was sold out with more than 750 exhibitors showing off their products. The Newport Show ends today.


PUBLIC INVITED SHORELINE WORKSHOPS

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management is inviting local officials as well as state and federal agency staff to attend shoreline change workshops. Through collaboration with the US Geological Survey, Coastal Zone Management is releasing new shoreline data that spans 2007 to 2009. The data will demonstrate the rate of change to the shoreline as the level of the ocean rises. One of the workshops will be held on Thursday, September 20th, at the Marshfield Senior Center between 2:30 and 4:30 PM.


FISH OIL PILLS NOT AS GOOD AS EATING WILD FISH

Taking fish oil pills rich in omega-3 fatty acids does not appear to have a significant effect on heart attacks, strokes or death according to an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The pills do not provide the same benefit as eating fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and others rich in omega 3. The news comes even as sales of fish oil capsules are booming. In 2011 Americans spent $1.1 billion on them. Scientists who reviewed data taken from about 68000 patients medical files over the past 24 years found that men and women taking fish-oil supplements with omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids received little or no benefit from them, but their message is clear. Eating healthy foods such as wild fish and not taking pills is what really works.


INVASIVE JAPANESE SEA WEED FOUND IN NEW ENGLAND

A fast growing and potentially devastating brownish red sea weed that can harm the fisheries has been detected on an island in Maine, just six miles from the New Hampshire Coast. The seaweed is native to Japan and was spotted in Maine by students from Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire. It was first discovered in Rhode Island in 2009. They said it possibly came here from seeds or products used by shellfish farmers. It is so aggressive that it can cover a beach, leaving a strong unpleasant odor.


FISHERMAN SURVIVES NIGHT FLOATING IN FISH BIN

And last on today’s nautical news, 19 year old Alaskan fisherman spent a night adrift in a 4 by 4 foot plastic fish bin after the 28 foot boat he was working on capsized and sank in rough seas. It happened so fast, neither he nor his 40 year old crewmate could send a mayday call for help. The search for them began after friends reported them overdue. They tried to stay together, but big waves separated them. The older crewmember managed to get into a survival suit while in the water. He eventually washed ashore onto a beach after spending the night afloat. Twenty six hours after the boat sank, a Coast Guard helicopter crew found the younger fisherman floating inside the fish bin. Officials said it was truly a miracle he survived. The young man said the hardest part was not knowing what happened to his crewmate. He said he kept giving himself pep talks on how to survive and sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” to keep his spirits up.

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