Nautical News: For the week of April 13, 2014


In order to entice more people into boating, Brunswick Corporation, the largest recreational boat builder in the United States if not the world, announced that prices of every model it now builds will be reduced or kept the same as the previous year’s model. Brunswick owns nearly a dozen different boat brands including Bayliner, Crestliner, Lund, Lowe and Sea Ray. A great majority of the 15,000 people surveyed by Brunswick said boating was a desirable pastime, but the price and depreciation were troublesome. Before the recession when Obama became president, the powerboat industry was selling about 300,000 new boats a year. During the past 5 years, sales of new boats are well below that 300,000 number.



A judge has ruled against fishermen when he ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal law allowing New England fishermen to carry uncaught groundfish allocation into the following year. The service made the adjustment as part of a group of changes to New England’s Multispecies Fishery Management Plan in 2013. The carryover provision increased the likelihood of ”environmental harm” according to the Judge. Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation who sometimes claims to be the friend of fishermen, brought the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for the National Marine Fisheries Service said the agency is determining how to respond to the ruling.



The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a commercial fisherman who apparently fell overboard while fishing off New Jersey’s Manasquan Inlet. Thirty-year-old Renee Lopez of Newport News, Virginia was reported missing from the fishing vessel Yvonne Michelle approximately 45 miles east of the Manasquan Inlet around 11:30 Wednesday morning. It was reported that he was not wearing a life jacket. The search ended after the Coast Guard searched more than 240 square miles for approximately 22 hours. By that time the effort turned into a search and recovery instead of a search and rescue.



U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey said that President Obama is fearful of a nuclear bomb going off in New York City and that the bomb could very well come in through a cargo container ship. Markey added that the President could have just as easily said Boston instead of New York. Markey said that less than 5 percent of U.S. bound containers are searched before they enter our ports, so it was unlikely that a bomb would ever be detected. While airport screenings for international and domestic cargo have gone into effect, scans of containers have stalled after former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano put in place a waiver just before the security requirement was to go into effect July 1, 2012.



Do you know if the fish on your plate is legal? A new study estimates that between 20 to 32 percent of wild-caught seafood imported into the U.S. comes from illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing also known as “pirate” fishing. That’s a problem, scientists say, because it erodes the ability of governments to limit overfishing and the ability of consumers to know where their food comes from. Plus it undercuts honest fishermen and seafood businesses that play by the rules. As the U.S. is one of the largest importers of wild-caught seafood, the federal government has a responsibility to keep these illegal fish out of our markets. The government needs to track our seafood from boat to plate to protect the fish, consumers, and public health. Scientists claim that tuna from Thailand had the highest volume of illegal products. That was followed by police and salmon from China. Other high volumes of pirated seafood were seen with octopus from India, snappers and crabs from Indonesia, and shrimp from Mexico.



Colorado State University climatologist Dr. William Gray just released his 2014 Atlantic hurricane prediction. He is calling for nine named storms, including three hurricanes, one of which he predicts will be intense. However, nine name named storms is below the average of 12 named storms, and three hurricanes is below the average of six hurricanes. He said he expects the effect of a very large El Niño to suppress storm formation and also noted the tropical Atlantic has cooled in the past few months. Of all east coast states, Florida should be the most concerned. That state has gone a record eight seasons without a hurricane hit. Hurricane season starts on June 1 and runs through November.



The U.S. Navy is planning sea trials for a weapon that can fire a low-cost, 23-pound projectile at seven times the speed of sound using electromagnetic energy. The Navy’s research chief said this “Star Wars” technology will make enemies think twice before messing with us. The futuristic electromagnetic rail gun will help us in air defense, in cruise missile defense, and help us in ballistic missile defense. Railguns use electromagnetic energy known as the Lorenz Force to launch a projectile between two conductive rails. The high-power electric pulse generates a magnetic field to fire the projectile with very little recoil. Because of their light weight, ships that used to carry a dozen of missiles will now be loaded with hundreds of railgun projectiles.



Last on today’s nautical news, we have all heard about the health benefits about eating fish, but did you know about the healing benefits of a fish’s swim bladder? There are actually three important things to know about the swim bladder of a fish. The first and the only one relevant to the fish is that it operates like an air tank of a submarine, enabling the fish to dive and rise to the surface at will. The second is that, when extracted, dried, and turned into a powder known as isinglass, it filters out unwanted particles in beer and wine, rendering those beverages drinkable. This isenglass is not the same material that is called isinglass in your boat’s enclosure or the windows in your Jeep’s soft top. The fish’s swim bladder’s third application is most important: it can heal wounds and lesions that conventional treatments couldn’t heal for weeks, months and, in some cases, even years. Doctors have used fish swim bladders as a wound treatment as early as the 18th century, and treated pilots’ burn wounds with them during WWII. Doctors say the best swim bladders come from carp, sturgeon, and catfish. They heal and stick to you like a bandage.

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