Nautical News: Top Nautical News Stories Of 2017

#15 COAST GUARD CHANGING THE WAY LIGHTHOUSE SIGNALS ARE ACTIVATED

 

From now on, mariners go to Channel 83 on their vhf marine radio and click the microphone 5 times in rapid succession to activate fog horns at lighthouses.

 

#14 PROPOSED FISH FARM FOR MOON ISLAND IN BOSTON HARBOR

 

Massachusetts representative Bruce Ayers proposed the empty granite tanks formerly used for the sewer treatment plant on Moon Island now be utilized to farm fish.

 

#13 ICCAT INCREASES BLUE FIN TUNA QUOTA

 

The United States and other countries from around the world debated management challenges for tunas, swordfish, and sharks at the 2017 annual meeting of International Commission for the Conservation

of Atlantic Tunas in Marrakech, Morocco. The United States received a 17% increase in their Atlantic blue fin tuna quota and a 20% increase in their North Atlantic albacore tuna quota.

 

#12 COMMERCIAL FISHING TO RESUME IN UNDERWATER MONUMENT AREA

 

President Trump accepted Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to open the national underwater monuments and seamount areas off Cape Cod to commercial fishing. The recommendation came days after the one year anniversary of President Obama’s order that created the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument and banned commercial fishing there. The monument area is more than 4,900 square miles in size and is located about 100 miles southeast of Cape Cod.

 

#11 THE NEW MARSHFIELD MARITIME BUILDING

 

Marshfield Harbormaster Mike DiMeo’s number one goal since he was appointed to his position over 10 year ago was to build a new maritime center. This Christmas he got his wish. A ceremony was held Christmas week as he stood beside Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito to break ground for the center. Construction is now underway and the 2.13 million dollar complex could be open by the end of next summer.

 

#10 TALL SHIPS ARRIVED IN BOSTON

 

The tall ships returned to Boston this past June. There were seven host ports around the world for the regatta, and Boston was the only port in America. The last time a tall ships gathering of this size took place in Boston was in the year 2000, when we celebrated the new millennium.

 

#9 INSURANCE COMPANY CLAIMS HOLES MADE BIGGER

 

The story about Nathan Carmen, the young man who took his mother on a fishing trip on his boat that sank and killed his mother. The sinking occurred in September 2016 about 100 miles offshore. Nathan’s mother, Linda Carman, was never found, but Nathan was rescued a week later on a life raft after his boat sank. His saga continued all through 2017 in federal court as he sued to collect insurance money for the loss of his boat. A witness for the insurance company that denied his claim testified that a power tool was used to make screw holes on the boat’s transom larger and have asked a judge to declare the insurance claim on the boat invalid. In a legal document filed in US District Court by lawyers for the insurance company that insured Nathan Carman’s boat, accused him of making alterations to his boat “with the intention” of sinking it with his mother on board. Nathan adamantly denied the allegations and no criminal charges have been filed against the young man who could inherit millions of dollars from his mother’s estate.

 

#8 MARSHFIELD POLICE CHIEF RESCUES BOATERS

 

Marshfield Police Chief Phil Tavares and an assistant harbormaster jumped into a harbormaster boat after receiving a phone call that a boat was sinking with 4 people on board. He located the boat seconds before it sank and save the lives of the four.

 

#7 THE LOST ARGENTINIAN SUB WITH A CREW OF 44

 

Although several countries including the U.S. went to help search for the submarine, it was never found. Some speculate that it sank in such deep water that it in disintegrated from the pressure. Submarine expert and naval historian Paul Lawton told me that he thought at a depth of around 1000 feet was its crush level.

 

# 6 ALL HANDS LOST ON ALASKAN CRAB BOAT

 

Six fishermen aboard the 92 foot crabbing vessel named Destination went down with the boat. No mayday call was ever received by the Coast Guard. Only an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alerted authorities of a problem when it touched the water. Upon arriving on scene, the Coast Guard found buoys, tarps, and a life-ring belonging to the fishing vessel along with a sheen of oil. Destination’s home port was Seattle, Washington. It was thought that the extra weight from ice on the boat and its traps affected the boat’s stability.

 

#5 SEARCH SUSPENDED FOR 2 NEW BEDFORD FISHERMEN

 

Two New Bedford fishermen aboard the clam boat Misty Blue were lost at sea, after the boat sank 10 miles off the southeast corner of Nantucket. The 69 foot clam boat Misty Blue’s EPIRB sent out a distress signal and another nearby clam boat rescued two of the four fishermen on board. They were brought uninjured to an approaching Coast Guard boat. The Coast Guard searched hundreds of square miles for the two Misty Blue crewmembers before suspending their search. The two missing fishermen were identified as 44 year old Michael Roberts and 32 year old Jonathan Saraiva from Fairhaven and New Bedford. Massachusetts State Police divers located the boat in 80 feet of water and eventually recovered the bodies of the two who were found inside the boat. The deaths of the crew left the fishing communities devastated, and once again proved that fishing is the most dangerous occupation in the world.

 

#4 COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO HURRICANES

 

Three major Category 4 hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Jose kept the Coast Guard busy and left thousands of people homeless. During just Hurricane Harvey, the Coast Guard rescued 11,022 people and 1,384 pets in Louisiana and Texas. The Coast Guard’s response to Hurricane Harvey was one of the largest the organization had seen in decades. Then came Hurricanes Irma and Jose. The Coast Guard was credited with saving 60,000 lives during the three hurricanes. Popular vacation and boating islands in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico were destroyed. People in Puerto Rico will not get their electricity restored until early Spring of 2018.

 

#3 JOHN BULLARD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

 

NOAA Fisheries Northeast Atlantic Regional Administrator John Bullard, a former mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who joined NOAA in 2012, announced he will retire on 5 January, 2018. In his position as regional administrator, Bullard worked with the New England and the Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to manage 44 fish stocks, including the lucrative scallops and lobster fisheries. Bullard was in the center of controversial decisions imposing the quotas and emergency closures on the New England fisheries. He also pushed for electronic monitoring pilot projects on fishing vessels. When he took the job, he admitted that he knew very little about fish or fishing.

 

#2 COUNTING CODFISH IN GULF OF MAINE

 

Massachusetts fishermen claimed that the federal catch quotas devastated their cod fishery and that the government’s surveys were flawed. Fishermen claimed the government’s research boat didn’t go to where the cod were and instead were fishing in random areas. Scientists from UMass Dartmouth said the fishermen made a valid point. A team of researchers and fishermen worked together using cameras to prove the government wrong. The cameras showed a lot of cod going into their open net. Charter boat captains said the loss of recreational fishermen coming from out of state to catch codfish had a severe effect on the local economies.

 

#1 CODFATHER PLEADS GUILTY TO ALL 28 CHARGES

 

Carlos Rafael, also known as the “codfather” and owner of Carlos Seafoods, the largest commercial fishing business in New England, pled guilty in federal court in Boston to all 28 charges filed against him, which included falsifying fishing quotas, false labeling of fish, conspiracy, evading fishing quotas, tax evasion, and smuggling profits to Portugal. Judge William Young sentenced him to 46 months in jail and ordered him to pay a $200,000 fine. The judge banned him forever from having anything to do with commercial fishing. In a following court proceeding several boats along with the corresponding permits were seized. The feds are still deciding what to do with his remaining assets and how to distribute the permits and quotas among the fishermen.


Reach Thousands of Potential Customers on The South Shore and Beyond! Call WATD Today for More Info on Radio and Internet Advertising: (781) 837-1166

watd signal 2017 small

About WATD Web Editor

WATD online and on air contributors include, but are not limited to: The Associated Press, Precision Weather Forecasting, local news stringers and reporters, in-house news and internet media staff, State House and town hall reporters, freelance reporters, special feature reporters and producers, and on air radio hosts and personnel.