Nautical News: For the week of October 6, 2013

MASSACHUSETTS OYSTER BEDS RE-OPENED

Massachusetts health and fishery officials are reopening oyster beds that have been closed for several weeks. Officials said that all the oyster beds will reopen this weekend in Marshfield, Duxbury, Kingston, and Plymouth. The beds have been closed since late August after several cases of gastrointestinal illness were reported. The bacteria that supposedly caused the problem cannot survive in the colder fall water.

 

MAN WHO FOUND BOSTON BOMBER HIDING ON BOAT GETS NEW BOAT

When a Watertown, Massachusetts man’s boat was riddled with bullets after he found the Boston Marathon bombing suspect hiding in it under its shrink wrap cover while it was stored in his backyard, the public wanted to reward him. Now, more than five months later, thanks to the internet and donations from strangers from across the country, the family has purchased a 24 foot boat for $50,000. In the beginning, the family said they wouldn’t accept any money, but the money poured in anyway. So it was decided to name the new boat “Beth Said Yes” after accepting the donations. The previous boat’s name was Slip Away, which was taken away by the FBI and not returned. The family said all donations received above $50,000 will be turned over to the One Fund, the organization created to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

 

GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN PUSHES COAST GUARD TO ITS LIMIT

The ongoing political stalemate in Washington plus sequestration has pushed the Coast Guard into its worst budget crisis in more than two decades according Adm. Robert Papp, the Coast Guard’s commandant. Still, Papp claims the Coast Guard will find a way to continue to perform its missions including search and rescue and drug interdiction. The Coast Guard was projected to lose $439 million from its nearly $10 billion 2013 fiscal year budget because of the sequester. However, it wasn’t that long ago that the Coast Guard’s annual budget was less than $8 billion.

 

GOVERNMENT OFFERS MINOTS LIGHTHOUSE TO TOWNS FOR FREE

The federal government is offering Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse to either Scituate or Cohasset for free. Built in the 1850s, the light sits on 25 feet of ledge, and is accessible only by boat and a ladder. It is 87-feet-tall, and is made from 1,079 blocks of Quincy granite. It is famous for its official light pattern which flashes once, then four times, and then three times. It is said that a lighthouse keeper in the 1800′s would use that pattern to send a message to his girlfriend ashore. The 1-4-3 pattern meant I Love You. If neither town accepts the government’s offer, the lighthouse will go to auction. The towns have about 60 more days to respond to the government’s offer.

 

ONLY FOUR GREAT WHITE SHARKS TAGGED OFF CAPE COD

Only four great white sharks were tagged with a tracking device this year by researchers working in the waters of Chatham Cape Cod. Last year 20 were tagged. So far since 2009, a total of 36 great whites have been tagged. Officials blamed this year’s poor results on the loss of funding. Another problem researchers were facing was the theft and damage to a number of receivers that receive the signals from the tags. Each receiver cost about $1,500, and it was estimated it would cost about $10,000 to replace the missing or damaged ones. The tags record location, time, and depth and temperature of water. Officials said they will be looking to raise a lot more money from environmental groups for next year’s tagging program.

 

FISHERMAN JUMPS IN WATER TO REVIVE SHARK

And speaking of sharks, a fisherman in Florida reeled in a 300-pound bull shark, removed the hook from the shark’s mouth, and released it back into the ocean. When it failed to swim away immediately, he jumped into the water to revive it. After a gentle push forward, the shark regained its composure and swam off. Gently moving fish forward through the water helped push oxygen-rich water over the fish’s gills. According to experts at the National Geographic, bull sharks are considered one of the world’s most likely to attack humans.

 

GHOST BOAT WASHES ASHORE WITH 73 POUNDS OF POT

Police are investigating a center console boat with nobody on board that washed ashore on a Fort Lauderdale beach. Inside the boat were 11 bundles of marijuana that weighed a total of 73 pounds and had a street value of about $150,000. A detective said that it was a small amount, compared to what typically washes ashore. It remains a mystery to what happened to the occupants on the boat.

 

HUNDREDS OF DEAD DOLPHINS WASHED ASHORE THIS PAST SUMMER

From New York State to North Carolina, reports of hundreds of dead dolphins have washed ashore this past summer. Virginia has reported the most. NOAA claims it is a virus with no known cure that is killing the dolphins. However, some blame the U.S. Navy who admitted doing sonar tests. Still others blame it all on pollution. Scientists admit that they may never know the real cause.

 

DEAD GIANT SQUID FOUND ON BEACH

A giant squid, whose oversized eyes and gargantuan body make it look more mythical than a real beast, washed ashore on a Spanish beach. The creature measured 30 feet in length and weighed 400 pounds. Until recently, no living person had ever seen a live giant squid. Scientists claim that giant squids are the largest invertebrates (animals without backbones) on Earth and also have the largest eyes of any animal.

 

FISH FARMERS FEEDING THEIR FISH GRAINS FROM WHISKEY

And last on today’s nautical news, there may be a good reason if you start to feel a little tipsy after you eat that farm raised salmon dinner or put a little too much smoked salmon on your bagel. Nautical Talk Radio has learned that whiskey distilleries in Scotland are now selling the salmon farmers by products leftover from making their whiskey. You see there are a lot of grains that are filtered out before the distilling process begins, and it is those grains that will be used by the salmon farmers to feed their fish. Scientists believe it all makes good sense and say the grains will provide a sustainable and economic supply of feedstock for the growing the Scottish fish farming industry. What it will do to your blood alcohol level, I am not sure.

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