ATTENDANCE UP AT BOAT SHOWS
Last week’s Providence Boat Show saw a 10 percent increase in attendance despite being a three day show compared to last year’s 4 day show. The show focused on affordable ways to get out on the water attracting millenniums and new boaters. The New England Boat Show, which opened this weekend at the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center, also anticipates a larger crowd as consumer confidence is getting stronger.
DELETE TWO REGULATIONS FOR EVERY NEW REGULATION
President Trump’s executive order called “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” directs all federal agencies to repeal two existing regulations every new regulation introduced, and to do it so that the total cost of the new regulation does not increase. The National Marine Fisheries Service claims that this new executive order is affecting their ability to regulate the U.S. fishing industry. For example, NMFS said the order prevents them from opening or closing commercial and recreational fishing seasons; prevents them from making in-season adjustments to conservation and management measures, and prevents them from implementing new or revised fishery management plans in federal waters without repealing two existing regulations after each change. The fisheries managers claim that multiple regulations must be enacted each year because American fishermen depend on active, science-based management. NMFS claimed it already had to delay the effective date of a rule necessary to facilitate transfers of Atlantic bluefin tuna quota between fishery groups. The fishery managers said if we have to eliminate two regulations every time a fishery regulation is changed, there will be complete chaos.
APPEAL OF FISHERMEN’S LAWSUIT SCHEDULED IN MARCH
The lawsuit filed by New England ground fishermen against the federal government over the cost of at sea monitoring is scheduled to begin in the federal Court of Appeals in March. The lawsuit was originally implemented after the government said they didn’t have the money to pay the hundreds of dollars per day per monitor and ordered the fishermen to pay for them instead. The fishermen said if the government can’t afford to pay for the monitors, how do they expect the fishermen to pay for them? A judge in a federal district court heard their argument and ruled against the fishermen, so now the appeal is scheduled for next month. Fishermen claim that the cost of monitors is an illegal fee for a government ordered program that limits their catch and income.
HEARINGS ABOUT NEW REGS FOR SQUID AND CONCH FISHERMEN
Martha’s Vineyard conch fishermen spent more than two and a half hours this past Wednesday letting the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries know what they thought about their 18 proposed rule updates and new regulations. Island fishermen vehemently opposed a proposal to increase the minimum size of knobbed and channeled whelk, or conch, by three sixteenths of an inch. A longtime Edgartown fisherman said the increase would guarantee the death of the fishery, and town officials worried that anything that harmed the Vineyard’s conch fishery endangered the Island’s commercial waterfronts. If the Vineyard conch fleet loses boats due to lower catches caused by the larger minimum size, say good bye to the working waterfront which islanders want to keep. The state claimed the size increase in the conchs is necessary, but Vineyarders strongly disagreed, arguing that the Division of Marine Fisheries is out of touch with what’s happening in their local waters. Just like we have heard from other fishermen, the conch fishermen say the number of conchs are at an all time high. In other action, a petition from the town of Nantucket would prohibit dragging, trawling and other mobile-gear fishing in the waters around Nantucket from May 1 to Oct. 31 annually, to protect that island’s squid fishery. The hearing was the second of four public forums being held in fishing communities to before the state advisory commission makes its final decision on the proposed rules at a meeting March 9th.
NEW STRAIN OF BACTERIAL PATHOGEN FOUND INUNCOOKED FISH
University of New Hampshire scientists working with the FDA and public health and shellfish management agencies in five different states have identified a new strain of a bacterial pathogen that has contaminated seafood along the Atlantic coast, causing shellfish consumers to get sick. Although the study showed that the strain of bacteria in shellfish could be found no matter what the sea water temperature was from Canada to Florida, they said the colder the water the less bacteria. They also pointed out that there was little risk of getting sick if the shellfish cooked. People with a weak immune system or with liver problems should not eat undercooked or raw shellfish.
ILLEGAL CARP SOLD IN BOSTON’S CHINATOWN
Massachusetts Environmental Police inspected markets in Boston’s Chinatown after receiving tips that a prohibited species of carp was being sold to the public. While visiting various fish markets, officers found two markets in Chinatown that were selling Grass Carp. Grass Carp is a prohibited species in Massachusetts because it is highly invasive causing serious damage if released into the local waters. In total, 400 pounds of Grass Carp were seized and fines were issued to the two fish markets. The confiscated fish was donated to Boston’s homeless shelter Pine Street Inn.
FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS GETTING READY FOR LENT
And last on today’s nautical news, with the 40 day Season of Lent starting on March 1, several fast food restaurants are already gearing up for those who give up eating meat. McDonald’s has a new crab sandwich, Long John Silver is launching beer battered wild Alaskan cod, and Quiznos recently rolled out lobster sandwiches.