Nautical News: For the week of April 22, 2018



Captain Brad White is reporting from Central Avenue in Humarock that there are right whales swimming two to three hundred yards off shore. He suggests that the whales can be seen from 4th Cliff in Scituate and possibly 3rd Cliff where quite a few right whales were seen yesterday. Now residents along Nantasket Beach are spotting whales offshore. Also a group of 5 right whales were reported about 12 nautical miles east of Boston on April 18th. NOAA Fisheries has therefore created a Voluntary Dynamic Management Area and is now requesting all mariners, including recreational boaters, transiting in that area to limit their speed to 10 knots or less. Mandatory speed restrictions of 10 knots or less are still in effect in all of Cape Cod Bay until May 15th. However, there still have been no reports of any right whale calves seen this year.




Despite letters from boaters and engine manufacturers to President Trump warning that E15 ethanol would damage their engines, President Trump said he would be making E15 available year-round. Now the National Marine Manufacturers Association is urging the Trump Administration to at least ban the sale of E15 during the summer months and not put America’s boaters out on the water in danger. In some cases, the gas pumps are not clearly marked or the mixture is not accurate in blended pumps. According to a Harris Poll commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute 63 percent of consumers assume any gas sold at a retail gas station must be safe for their product; 95 percent of all boats are fueled at retail gas stations on land; and only seven percent of consumers knew that E15 is prohibited in certain engines and voids their warranties.




And despite President Trump’s repeated efforts to reverse all of President Obama’s executive orders, Trump’s attorneys are in court defending the former President’s ability to create national underwater monument areas under the Antiquities Act as they fight a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association and other fishing groups. Because commercial fishing is banned and lobstering phased out in 7 years in the 5000 square mile monument area designated off Cape Cod, the fishermen claim the Antiquities Act applies only to land and not the ocean. Last year, Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke reviewed the monument area and recommended keeping the designation, but opening it up to commercial fishing. Now the court will decide whether the President can designate an area of the ocean an underwater monument area under the Antiquities Act like he can designate land owned or controlled by the federal government.




All seven sailboats in the Volvo Ocean Race depart from Brazil today racing to Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is the only North American stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. The teams are expected to arrive the first week in May and the Race Village at Fort Adams will be open for free to the public from May 8th to the 20th. There will be entertainment, children’s activities, food, movies of the race, on the water activities, and safety seminars taking place each day the village is opened.




A long lost German U-boat was just found off the coast of South America by Danish war museum researchers. The submarine was rumored to have transported high ranking WWII Nazis who escaped with stolen gold to South America after Germany surrendered. This U-Boat was the first real submarine that could stay underwater for a prolonged time.




And last on today’s nautical news, for the past few years, a mystery has been developing in the Gulf of Maine: Where, exactly, are all the baby lobsters? Surveys of the water column show that the crustacean’s youngest larval stage are present in great abundance, and the population of mature, egg-laying females is relatively high. What is missing is the intermediary stage of lobster growth, the baby lobsters. Scientists claim there is this big disconnect and it’s a mystery that is incredibly important to the region’s economy. Maine lobstermen landed 111 million pounds of lobster in 2017, which was down from 131 million pounds in 2016. But for the past 7 years, lobsters were being caught at a record pace. Each year, another record was broken, and the 2016 catch was more than double what it was 8 years ago. Still the question remains. Where are the baby lobsters hiding? It is Mother Nature’s big secret.

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