FOUR MEN IN A BOAT ARRESTED FOR HUNTING IN MARSHFIELD
Four men in a boat were arrested and charged with illegally shooting at sea birds on the South River in Marshfield. The four shotguns found in the boat were legal, but Massachusetts Environmental Police also found eight unsecured handguns, a large amount of improperly stored ammunition, and $3,500 cash in a vehicle that belonged to one of the men. The four were charged with hunting from a moving boat, exceeding the bag limit of sea ducks, committing a motorboat equipment violation, and having no state or federal waterfowl stamp. Officials said that sea duck season is open until January 28th, but these men were also shooting at murres, a species of birds that is protected. The Marshfield Harbormaster assisted in the arrests, escorting the hunters back to the boat ramp. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is now investigating to determine whether any other state or federal violations occurred.
MAINE FISHERMEN ALSO SEE MORE COD FISH
Maine fishermen are now saying similar things about codfish as Massachusetts fishermen have said. The government’s science is flawed and there are more codfish than what the government claims. In an effort to end this disagreement, scientists said beginning next year, they will outfit commercial fishermen with equipment to count the fish. It is hoped that fishermen and scientists working together will build trust between them.
MORE FOG HORNS ACTIVATED ON DEMAND
The Coast Guard announced that it will continue to install mariner radio-activated sound signals on seven lighthouses along the coast of Maine. Last year the Coast Guard replaced radio controlled fog horn detectors at 17 Maine lighthouses. The way the new system works is that any mariner with a VHF marine radio can go on Channel 81 and click their microphone 5 times in rapid succession to activate the fog horn on demand. The horn then will automatically shut off after 60 minutes. A Coast Guard spokesman, said this new method of activating the fog horns will help to save marine wildlife and migratory bird populations and not be as burdensome as a constant sounding horn to the people who live on shore near the lighthouses.
COST OF MAINE COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSES GOING UP
The cost of a commercial fishing licenses in Maine are going up if the Maine’s Department of Marine Resources has its way. The increases for licenses to commercial lobstermen, clammers, and scallopers would amount to a total of $600,000 and must be approved by the state’s legislature and governor. One official said the increases were necessary in order for the government to implement its existing regulations and to do research to make additional regulations.
NEW FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR EATING FISH
New federal guidelines regarding seafood were issued by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency this past week. The guidelines are intended to help women of child bearing age and parents of young children decide which fish are healthy to eat. Although the agencies said most the fish consumed in the U.S. were listed as best choices, they advised that King mackerel, orange roughy, marlin, shark, swordfish, bigeye tuna, and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico be avoided because of possible higher levels of mercury. However, the National Fisheries Institute criticized the guidelines because there was no clear, concise science based message to encourage pregnant women and young children to eat more fish for optimal brain and eye development, but the feds did recommend people to eat two to three servings of fish a week.
SWEDEN AGAIN TRIES TO BAN LOBSTER IMPORTS
Sweden is not giving up its battle with the U.S. and Canada over lobsters that have turned up in their waters. Swedish officials told the Associated Press that their country is working on a new proposal to prevent any North American lobsters from being imported into their country after European Union officials denied that request last October. New England lobstermen export about $150 million of lobsters to the European Union annually. The Swedes consider the lobsters to be an invasive species and originally asked the European Union to ban American lobsters after finding 32 American lobsters in its waters over a period of 10 years. However. some of those 32 lobsters that the Swedes found were wearing rubber bands on their claws. That meant that they were imported lobsters that either escaped into the wild or were released. An official said some Swedish distributors hold the lobsters in pens in the ocean, so it is possible a few could have escaped into the wild.
ALLIGATOR JUMPS INTO FLORIDA TOURIST BOAT
Vacationers in southern Florida on a tour boat in the Everglades got a little more than they bargained for. After spotting a giant alligator resting on the side of the river, the captain lets the boat drift up against the river bank to give his passengers a closer look and take pictures. Just as he warns his passengers not to make any sudden moves, the alligator jumps into the boat. Against the captain’s orders, all the passengers scramble to the other end of the boat. One passenger is heard in a video saying he thought the captain was going to shoot the alligator, but the alligator goes overboard by itself in a few seconds. Fortunately, neither the alligator nor the passengers were harmed and nobody’s beer was spilled.
SHIPS DISCOVERED IN PHARAOH’S TOMB
And last on today’s nautical news, we have all heard stories, whether true or not, about people being laid to rest inside their Corvette. In Egypt, archaeologist Josef Wegner and his colleagues came across an ancient ship inside a young Pharaoh’s tomb in the middle of the desert. On the walls were 120 preserved drawings of boats. Each drawing showed detailed structural plans of how the boats were built. Archeologist Wegner said that including a boat in a king’s tomb was a long-held tradition right up to about 1850 BC. It was the vessel that would transport them to the after-life. What made this discovery so interesting was that this tomb is 9 miles away from the Nile River. Was this a result of falling sea levels or the amazing way the Egyptians moved a large ship across the land? Although I am too old to die young, I think I would like a few stuffed animals and my yacht club’s burgee thrown in with me.