Nautical News: For the week of June 23, 2013

NO DISASTER LOANS FOR FISHERMEN

Even though Massachusetts is represented by democrats who have served in Congress for as long as 40 years, and some, like Governor Deval Patrick, are best of friends with the President, fishermen have received no financial aid since the fisheries were declared a disaster area last year. An amendment to the farm bill that would have made commercial fishermen eligible for the Department of Agriculture’s emergency disaster loan program went down in defeat this past week. If the amendment had passed, it would have allowed fishermen to apply for loans and receive money just like the farmers are paid not to grow their crops.


LIGHTHOUSE LISTED AS NATION’S MOST ENDANGERED

A Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse that was built in 1799 was just named one of the country’s most endangered historic places. Engineers said the Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard is in danger of falling off the cliff it stands on. The lighthouse is now about 50 feet from the edge. Residents on the island hope to raise $3 million to move the lighthouse to a spot nearby. The lighthouse has important historic links the Wampanoag tribe. It is the only lighthouse with a long history of native American light keepers.


TWO POWER BOATS COLLIDE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Four people were injured after two power boats hit each other on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. Both boats, a 21 foot Chaparral and 26 foot Formula sustained severe damage in the crash. The driver of one of the boats was charged with boating while intoxicated. All the injured were taken to the hospital for treatments ranging from a fractured arm to possible internal injuries.


NEW REGULATIONS FOR SUMMER FLOUNDER, SCUP, AND BLACK SEA BASS

NOAA Fisheries announced new management measures for the summer flounder, scup and black sea bass recreational fisheries, including minimum fish size, possession limit, and fishing seasons. These news regulations affect fishermen from Maine to North Carolina. Catch limits for black sea bass were increased by approximately a million pounds and will almost be shared equally between the recreational and commercial fishermen. For summer flounder, it was recommended that each state’s fisheries management team establish their own recreational management measures using bag and size limits and a seasonal closure. In Massachusetts, recreational fishermen can catch up to 5 summer flounder with a minimum size limit of 16 inches.


FIRST DISTRICT’S USCGAUX WINS GRANT

Congratulations to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary First District Northern Region for winning one of four national $10,000 grants given by BOAT/US to help educate boaters this year. The district’s units include all local south shore flotillas. They won the grant for creating public service announcements for the lifejacket “Wear It” New England campaign. Their announcements will be available on social media as well as radio and television stations across the nation. Applications for next year’s grant program will be available again this fall at www.BoatUS.com/Foundation.


SUMMER SAILSTICE SAILING EVENT

This weekend marks the beginning of Summer Sailstice, the nationwide sailing event that seeks to get as many people sailing as possible on the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice. The annual Summer Sailstice is free to participants and has grown in popularity every year since it began in 2001. From California to New England, there are hundreds of sailing events happening now. A boat parade of lights was featured last night in Boston harbor.


MAN CHEATS IN MINNESOTA FISHING TOURNAMENT

And last on today’s nautical news, a 72 year old Minnesota man was ordered to serve seven days jail and put on four years probation after he was found guilty of using previously caught fish in that state’s fishing tournament. He admitted that he caught two large pike a week before the tournament and kept them alive to bring to the tournament in order to win the first place prize, a castle fish house valued at $10,000. He was also fined $200 and lost his fishing license for 2 years. “Cheating,” the judge said, “takes all the enjoyment and joy out of it.”

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