Nautical News: For the week of November 12, 2017



The Outer Limits offshore racing powerboat company suffered another tragedy. You might recall its founder, Mike Fiori, was killed three years after his 42 foot Outer Limits catamaran launched into the air, flipped, and crash-landed on the Lake of the Ozarks during a racing event. This past Tursday, Joe Sgro, the current owner of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, Rhode Island, died while being airlifted to a Miami-area hospital after his 50 foot Outer Limits boat flipped and crashed during the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run. Four other people were on board with Sgro, but they were less severely injured. Joe Sgro dead at the age of 63.




The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will vote this coming week on how they will manage menhaden along the East Coast. The vote could set a future course that dictates who gets to catch the all important forage fish. Menhaden thrive in coastal areas from Florida to Maine, including the Chesapeake Bay, and are food for species as diverse as whales and eagles. Everyone wants menhaden. Lobstermen want them for their traps. Recreational fishermen want them for bait. Factory ships want to process them into fish oil. Currently, management restricts the tons of fish that commercial fishermen can take in one year, but environmentalists want the menhaden to be managed for the ecosystem and not for humans and they just might get their way. This week, we will know the total allowed catch allocated to each state.




The fleet of research vessels used by the United States to assess and measure climate change is shrinking. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine believes that the U.S. must expand its fleet of research vessels to accurately measure and assess the effects of climate change. A researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said 15 years ago NOAA had three large oceangoing ships to collect samples and data. A plan was devised to replace those ships at the end of their life cycles with two new ships, but only the Ronald H. Brown was built. Today it is the sole large ship carrying out observations.




NOAA Fisheries announced issuance of an Exempted Fishing Permit to Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. The exemption allows the fishermen to catch groundfish like cod and haddock and fish for bluefin tuna during the same trip, as long as authorized gear was used to land the blue fin, despite unauthorized gear to catch groundfish also on board. Those who opposed issuance of the Exempted Fishing Permit noted concerns about possible increases in effort and an unfair competitive advantage. NOAA Fisheries did not agree with that assessment noting that those bluefin tuna would have probably been caught anyway by these fishermen. Furthermore, NOAA officials said only 5 boats will receive the permits exempting them from the rules, but they will still be prohibited from closed areas and have to file their reports. The Exempt Fishing Permit will be valid from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2018 to allow for a full year of fishing for data collection.




Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the establishment of the “Made in America” Recreation Advisory Committee. The committee, which will meet about two times annually, will advise Zinke on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure on public lands and waterways. The National Marine Manufacturers Association said the decision comes on the heels of work done by the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, of which the NMMA is a leading member.




And last on today’s nautical news, if you have a boat or a personal watercraft, then you are required to have at least one fire extinguisher on board. The problem is that your fire extinguisher might be defective and won’t work when you need it. Kidde, one of America’s largest manufacturers of fire safety products, is recalling more than 40 million of their fire extinguishers with plastic handles and nozzles because the nozzles may clog and fail to discharge and/or the plastic handle on the extinguisher might break. Additionally, the extinguisher’s nozzles can break free with enough force to cause injury. A total of 134 models of disposable fire extinguishers with plastic handles and plastic push-button firing mechanisms are affected. If you have one or more of these recalled extinguishers in your boat or house, Kidde is offering to replace them. You can find a list of affected models on its Kidde’s website with directions on what you should do if you indeed have a listed model. Officials said having a defective fire extinguisher is worse than having no fire extinguisher. You wouldn’t want to burn down your house or boat trying to get the fire extinguisher to work.

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