Nautical News: For the week of May 14, 2017

NATION’S FISHERIES MANAGEMENT COUNCILS MEET IN GLOUCESTER

 

The nation’s top fisheries regulators will gather this coming week in Gloucester for three days of overviews of the nation’s fisheries. The Council Coordination Committee, which includes chairmen and directors of the nation’s eight regional fishery management councils, is set to discuss issues such as national monuments and sanctuaries, habitat, recreational fisheries, enforcement, and legislation. The meetings are being hosted by the New England Fishery Management Council. Regulators from Alaska to the Caribbean will be in attendance along with Samuel Rauch, the acting administrator of NOAA Fisheries. Rauch will kick things off Tuesday morning with a presentation on the agency’s 2017 priorities.

 

TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER SUSPENDS SOME ADVISORY COUNCILS

 

The Interior Department has begun a review of the charters and charges of all Federal Advisory Commissions and Councils in an effort to ensure they are in compliance with both the Federal Advisory Committee Act and President Trump’s recent executive orders. This review process necessitates the temporary postponement of all advisory committee meetings. Therefore, locally, the advisory council meetings for the Boston Harbor Islands National Park and the Cape Cod National Seashore are postponed until further notice.

 

FIRE ON FISHING BOAT OFF CAPE COD

 

The Coast Guard rescued two fishermen after fire broke out in their boat’s engine room in Nantucket Sound. The captain of the 41 foot fishing vessel Jupiter called the Coast Guard for help on his marine radio saying his boat was on fire about 11 miles south of Hyannis. The crew aboard the nearby Coast Guard cutter Oak, a 225-foot buoy tender, heard the call for help and headed to the scene. Simultaneously, a commercial airplane pilot called the Coast Guard reporting a fishing boat on fire and gave the coordinates. Within five minutes, the Coast Guard Cutter Oak’s crew was on scene with fire extinguishers to help the fishermen put out the fire. A 42-foot boat crew from Station Chatham also assisted and towed the fishing boat back to Hyannis Harbor. Lt. Stephen Nolan, the operations officer for the Cutter Oak said, “While aids-to-navigation is our bread and butter, the Oak is a multi-mission platform. It’s not every day we have the opportunity to save lives.” Fortunately in this case, no injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

NO CUBAN MIGRANTS CAUGHT DURING MONTH OF APRIL

 

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Coast Guard didn’t intercept any Cubans trying to cross the ocean to illegally enter the U.S. The Coast Guard Commandant said that on a typical day at this time last year between 50 to 150 Cuban migrants would be picked up by Coast Guard patrol boats. Apparently, new tough deportation policies implemented by the Trump administration, is working. Numbers of illegal immigrants entering the United States at sea and on land are way down.

 

POSSIBLE GREAT WHITE SIGHTING OFF WELFLEET

 

May is very early for a great white shark sighting off Cape Cod, but Greg Skomal, the senior scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the state’s top shark expert, is reviewing a video on what could be a great white shark about 60 feet off shore of Wellfleet’s Marconi Beach. In recent years, great white sharks haven’t been spotted off the Cape until the second week of June, but the last two years there have been more than the usual number of great whites off the Cape. Researchers counted 147 great white sharks last summer. That was way more than the 80 great whites counted a couple of years ago.

 

FLOATING DOCK INSTALLED AT PLYMOUTH BOAT RAMP

 

Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter announced that the floating docks are now in at the Plymouth boat ramp and state pier and the new boat launching ramp is open. The floating dock was important for boaters who launched their boats and the boats on the moorings to pick up or drop off their guests.

 

BUMBLE BEE FOODS PLEADS GUILTY TO PRICE FIXING

 

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Bumble Bee Foods has agreed to plead guilty to one count of price fixing as well as pay a 25 million dollar fine for its alleged role in conspiring to set the cost of canned and pouched tuna sold in the United States. According to the Department of Justice, executives from Bumble Bee, Thai Union Group’s Chicken of the Sea, and StarKist all took part in meetings that involved how “to fix, raise, and maintain the prices of packaged seafood” in the United States. The plea bargaining deal is now subject to court approval.

 

LICE FROM SALMON FISH FARMS INFECTING WILD STOCK

 

The latest study of lice infections in salmon fish farms shows that the lice are reducing wild salmon stocks by as much as 50 per cent. The study, by two scientists from Inland Fisheries Ireland, found that lice were migrating from fish farms into the ocean and infecting wild salmon in large numbers. More than 26 years of data from factory fish farms in Ireland were studied. The risk of infection has been a significant point of debate between fish farmers and wild salmon fishermen.

 

PUBLIC AGAINST KILLING SEALS

And last on today’s nautical news, a study on the public’s attitude toward the seal population suggests that most people are against what is called lethal management of seals. The study, which collected data through both random mailings and in-person interviews, also suggested that there was a strong opinion that any decisions on what to do about the seal population should first take into consideration the seal’s importance to the ecosystem. Jennifer Jackman, Ph.D., who oversaw the study, said that seals played a major role in the local ecosystem. You see, the seals are beneficial to ocean life because after herds of seals eat, they leave behind huge amounts of fecal material that feeds the plankton which feeds the fish which in turn feeds the seals and whales. Scientists say the removal of seals and this nutrient would be detrimental to the health and spread of the plankton. Life goes around in circles.

 


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