Nautical News: For the week of February 5, 2017



Fishermen who fish for striped bass, blue fin tuna, and species that depend upon herring and mackerel for food are urged to attend the “Herring Committee” meeting, February 7th, this Tuesday morning at 10AM at the Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor, the former Radisson Hotel, located at 180 Water Street in Plymouth. Reports show that offshore, large mid-water pair trawlers are landing millions of pounds of herring and mackerel every day from the back side of the Cape and the Islands as well as on Stellwagen Bank in the fall. Areas proposed for the big offshore boats to fish range from 6 to 50 miles offshore. There will be also some discussion on whether this potential buffer zone should be for the whole year or part of the year.




The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association announced that Foxboro resident Randall Lyons will become the association’s new Executive Director. He succeeds Nathalie Grady of Framingham who recently left the Association for a new job. Randall has over 20 years of marine industry experience working for the Nantucket Boat Basin for ten years, Russo Marine for one year, and most recently for the Newburyport Marinas for the past ten years. Established in 1964, the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association is the statewide, representative body for over 1,200 marine trades businesses that employ over 27,000 men and womeN.




New information in the case of a mother and son fishing trip last September that ended with the boat sinking and the mother missing and presumed dead. An insurance company is now rejecting the $85,000 claim for the boat filed by the son and sole survivor. According to court documents, investigators claimed the boat was altered into an unsafe condition and was not seaworthy. They want prosecutors to file a criminal case against the son based on the facts that he never used his marine radio to call for help or activate the emergency position beacon which would have alerted the Coast Guard to his location before the boat sank. Instead he grabbed the emergency signal transmitter and took it with him into the life raft. The son told lawyers that while he and his mother were fishing, he realized the boat was taking on water. He stopped the boat and moved the safety and survival gear from the cabin to the bow to prepare to abandon ship. He got into the life raft, but his mother didn’t follow. He was found alone in the life raft eight days later by a passing freighter. There still has been no trace of his mother.




The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has announced that Ben Haskell will serve as Acting Superintendent of the Stellwaqen Bank National Marine Sanctuary until an official replacement is made. The Sanctuary’s Superintendent Craig MacDonald retired the beginning of this year. Ben Haskell has been with New England’s only sanctuary for 17 years, most recently serving as its Deputy Superintendent. Before coming to Stellwagen Bank, Ben had served at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and at the headquarters offices in Silver Spring, Maryland.





Since Trump’s eldest sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are fishermen and hunters, fishermen are hopeful that President Trump will make positive changes for them. It is estimated that there are 11 million saltwater recreational fishermen contributing 70 billion dollars annually, supporting more than 450,000 American jobs. Commercial fishermen are also hoping for positive changes. They want fewer regulations and a reversal of Obama’s executive order that created thousands of square miles of areas in the ocean closed to fishing.




The body of Rob Stewart, an award winning Canadian filmmaker who disappeared while diving in the Florida Keys, was found by the Key Largo Fire Department dive team in 220 feet of water. Officials including the Coast Guard had searched nearly 6000 square miles when he was first reported missing 3 days before. A remotely operated underwater vehicle with a camera was used by the dive team to help them find the body because very few divers are capable of diving that deep. Rob Stewart became famous for his documentary called “Sharkwater,” a movie that depicted his mission to stop the killing of sharks. At the time of his death, he was working on the sequel to that movie, scheduled to be released later this year. The filmmaker’s parents released a statement on saying they found comfort in knowing that he “passed while doing what he loved.”




A new study done by researchers from Cornell University and Nova Southeastern University on why great white and hammerhead sharks don’t get cancer might help find the cure for cancer in humans. The researchers claim that the sharks’ and rays’ DNA that prevents cancer is closely related to humans’ DNA. Furthermore, the researchers claim that this DNA is the reason why wounds in the sharks and rays heal so fast, sometimes in just hours. However, the big difference between humans DNA and the sharks and rays DNA is found in our immune systems. The DNA that prevents the cancer in the sharks and rays actually causes cancer in humans. Somehow, thanks to millions of years of evolution, the sharks and rays immune system evolved to defeat their cancer.




And last on today’s nautical news, Americans watching the Super Bowl game today will consume 28 million pounds of potato ships and four and a half million pizzas. Nutritionists say we would be better off eating seafood snacks like wild shrimp, scallops, oysters and stuffed clams. For those who can afford the calories, include clam chowder or lobster bisque, and for those lucky enough to attend the game in Texas, or want to have that Gulf of Mexico flavor in front of their TV, try some soft-shell crab tacos or red snapper tacos. Of course you could always compromise and try a shellfish pizza. Why not? Clams taste good with a red sauce

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