Nautical News: For the week of October 14, 2018



The U.S. Senate passed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 by a vote of 99 to 1. The bill contains several of the recreational boating industry’s top priorities and now heads to President Trump who is expected to sign it. The bill authorizes 3.7 billion dollars for dredging projects, streamlines the approval process for local water infrastructure initiatives, and requires consideration of recreational boating’s economic impact when determining funding and prioritization for important projects.It also funds studying flood risk management and storm damage reduction projects throughout the country, making it easier for local communities to have more input.




Wareham’s Harbormaster along with a Wareham police officer and the town’s fire chief rescued five people out of the water after they were ejected from a 23 foot center console boat that struck a 5 ton navigation marker in Buzzards Bay around 8 p.m. The boat was owned and operated by the town of Mattapoisett’s fire chief. Wareham’s acting police chief said Officer James White “jumped into the ocean with a life vest and a life ring without hesitation” to rescue two people and pull them at least 120 feet safely to shore. The chief said the rescue was “miraculous” given the rough sea conditions and that it was night. The other three people were found yelling for help, clinging to a navigation marker. They too were safely rescued. The unmanned boat was severely damaged, but kept on going with no one on board. It was stopped after officials aboard a Wareham fire boat got along side of it and climbed aboard. No statement was released about any injuries, but all five were transported to the hospital. The Massachusetts Environmental Police are investigating, but obviously, speed was a factor.




Last week, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by commercial fishing groups that challenged the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument created by the Obama administration under the Antiquities Act. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a 5,000 square mile area of ocean located off Cape Cod that banned commercial fishing. Although President Donald Trump is considering eliminating the ban on commercial fishing reopening it and other marine monuments for commercial fishing, his administration did seek the dismissal of the lawsuit, claiming the Antiquities Act gave presidents the right to establish and define such monuments, even though this was the first time it was used in an area of the ocean. The judge said the Supreme Court had ruled in three separate instances that the Antiquities Act covered the sea floor as well as the waters above them. He also denied an argument plaintiffs made contending the act could not be used to create monument in the country’s exclusive economic zone because that area was not created when Congress first passed the law in 1906.




The New England Fishery Management Council has scheduled a Recreational Advisory Panel Meeting for October 29th in Plymouth at the Hilton Garden Inn on Long Pond Road. On the agenda will be a discussion by the National Marine Fisheries Service about recreational fishing data collected for fishing year 2017 and preliminary fishing year 2018. Also to be discussed will be recent changes to the MRIP data with respect to groundfish stocks. MRIP stands for Marine Recreational Information Program. Charter boat captains will also hear talk about the possibility of limited entry in the Groundfish Party and Charter Fishery. I have heard those who fish the Gulf of Maine for cod and haddock are fed up with the zero possession of cod and closed seasons on Gulf of Maine haddock.




October 13th is the official birth date chosen by the U.S. Navy. It all started 243 years ago in 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized 2 armed vessels to search British merchant ships during the Revolutionary War. In 1845, the Naval Academy was founded at old Fort Severn in Annapolis, Maryland. That’s a very brief history of the Navy. Thank you sailors, past and present, for your service, sacrifice, and commitment to keeping America safe the past 243 years.

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