Nautical News: For the week of October 14th, 2012

CATCH SHARES PROVE TO BE NO CONSERVATION TOOL

The deputy director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries expressed his concern about catch shares management which is now in its third year. It is ludicrous to think that catch shares can be used as a conservation tool, which is the way it was sold to President Obama and the public by Dr. Jane Lubchenco. The concern expressed by Massachusetts deputy director is that the big fishing boats have the ability to acquire and accumulate an unlimited quantity of catch shares in Gulf of Maine Cod, and can monopolize those landings. Those big boats came inshore and scooped a lot of cod out of the water in a very short period of time and it was all legal because they owned the catch shares to those fish, and a re continuing to buy more. According to NOAA, just in the past 72 hours, 8 fishing boats, 70 feet or larger, were fishing in the vicinity of Middle Bank. Before there were catch shares, these same boats fishing on Middle Bank had a daily cod limit of 800 pounds, but now they can fish until they satisfy their catch shares. Stephen Welch, who fishes out of Scituate, said catch shares has killed the small inshore fishing fleet.


DEAD FIN BACK WHALE WASHES ASHORE ON BOSTON HARBOR ISLAND

A young, 10 year old 55 foot long fin whale that weighed between 75,000 to 90,000 pounds washed ashore on Boston’s Long Island. Finback whales are the second-longest whale in the world. Only the blue whale is bigger. Finbacks can grow to 70 feet in length and weigh up to 140,000 tons. They are on the endangered species list, but they are found in every ocean on the planet except at the polar ice caps. Despite their size, they can swim about 25 to 30 mph earning them the nickname as “the greyhound of the sea.” Biologists from the New England Aquarium said they will do a necropsy to determine the cause of death. However, last weeks storms and strong winds moved the whale from Long Island to Rainsford Island, a much smaller island that is practically inaccessible to heavy construction equipment which would be used to dispose of it. The chances of performing a necropsy were greatly diminished as the whale was battered against the rocks and decomposing. It is up to the city of Boston to whether they want to bury the whale in a landfill at a cost of about $20,000 or let it decompose on its own. This is the first time a whale has been reported this close to the city of Boston in about 20 years.


ACCIDENT VICTIMS CONNECTED TO YACHTING

Last week we told you about the tragic accident that happened in Newport Rhode Island at the Newport Shipyard. Three women died in a car accident after their car plunged into the water after what police speculated the driver missed a turn in the fog. What we didn’t know at the time was that these three women, all 39 years old, were well known in the yachting industry. They were identified as Jennifer Way of North Kingstown, R.I.; Louise Owen of Wales in the United Kingdom; and Femmetje Staring of the Netherlands. Jennifer Way was a yacht manager at Marine Construction Management, Louise Owen worked on the luxury superyacht Hyperion, and Femmetje Staring worked on another well known yacht which name was not disclosed.


MARITIME ACADEMIES RECEIVE FUNDS FROM OBSOLETE VESSELS

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay is among six state maritime academies that will share $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s program that recycles obsolete vessels. Each of the state academy’s share of that fund will be about $393,000. The Maritime Administration continues to focus on the future of our maritime industry by supporting key programs that train the cadets. The Maritime Administration also provides the training vessels to the six State maritime academies for use in at sea training and as shore side laboratories.


BAYLINER BOATS NO LONGER BUILDING AND SELLING BOATS IN U.S.

Bayliner Boats, which was the number one selling power boat company in the United States during the 80s and 90s, announced it will stop building and selling cruiser boats in the United States. Bayliner, which is now owned by Brunswick, said the reason was in part based on fluctuating global trends and consumer demand. Instead of cruisers, Bayliner will focus on a new jetboat line. Bayliner also announced that they will move their cruiser boat factory to Brazil and those boats in the 24 to 33 foot size range will be only be sold in Brazil. The current factory in Knoxville, Tennessee will be closed, resulting in the loss of 225 full time jobs.


CAPTAIN OF COSTA CONCORDIA SAYS “OTHERS TO BLAME”

The captain of the Costa Concordia which ran into a rock and capsized off the Italian coast last January, killing 32 people, has sued for wrongful dismissal. Captain Francesco Schettino was not only fired by Costa Cruises, but is accused by prosecutors of causing the accident by driving the luxury cruiser liner too close to shore. He faces charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship in preliminary trial hearings that begin tomorrow. His lawyer said that it is the right of every worker to appeal against his dismissal. The captain admitted that he made mistakes after the ship got into trouble, but he claimed he was not the only one who should be blamed for the tragedy.


U.S. NAVY HELP RUSSIANS RAISE TWO NUCLEAR SUBS

The United States will be helping the Russians raise two nuclear submarines that are lying on the bottom of Barents and Kara Seas. The Russian Navy simply does not have the necessary equipment to carry out the deep sea salvage mission. The nuclear subs need to be raised to avoid radiation pollution. The will be scrapped after they are raised. One sank in 2003 with 9 crewmembers on board and the other was scuttled in 1982.


SMUGGLERS’ BOAT RUNS OUT OF GAS

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol aircraft spotted a 30 foot go fast boat that was adrift about 55 miles off the southern coast of Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard was notified, went to the scene, and spoke to the two on board the boat. The two told the Coast Guard they were out of gas. The Coast Guard went aboard the boat and discovered more than 1,400 pounds of cocaine with a wholesale value of $16.5 million. The boat was seized and the two smugglers arrested. The boat will eventually be auctioned off to the highest bidder and the drugs destroyed.


MYSTERIOUS BLUE EYE FOUND ON FLORIDA BEACH

And last on today’s nautical news, a huge blue eyeball, the size of a bowling ball, washed ashore on Pompano Beach, Florida. The mystery is that scientists have no idea what kind of creature the eyeball came from. The person who found the eye was walking along the beach. He said he first kicked it, stared at it, and realized it was staring back at him. He took it home in a plastic bag, put it in his refrigerator, and called the police. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission came along and took the eye and sent it to a research facility in St. Petersburg for testing.


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