Nautical News: For the week of May 26, 2019

RELEASING BALLOONS BAD FOR ENVIRONMENT

 

Releasing balloons at weddings, birthdays and memorials may soon be a thing in the past as lawmakers in more than half a dozen states make it illegal. The balloons pollute the environment and threaten birds and marine wildlife when they fall to earth. Shorebirds get entangled in them and sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish and eat them. Boaters often report seeing balloons floating in the water every time they head out.

 

EAT LIKE A FISH

 

Authors of a new study by the nonprofit group Eating with the Ecosystem say it is hard for consumers to buy locally caught species like scup, dogfish, and skate. The report called Eat Like a Fish. Obviously, cod, haddock, flounder, bluefish, and scallops are more in demand, but the other species are just as healthy and abundant. The concern for researchers is if we don’t start buying these other species, it will cause shortages and stricter regulations. The group hopes New England fish markets will do a better job of reflecting the full diversity of what our local waters offer, and hope consumers seek out local species they haven’t tried before. They also recommend when cooking a new species, invite friends and family members to share in your fun and experience.

 

NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK

 

This is National Safe Boating Week. The Coast Guard reported that in 2017, there were 4,291 boating accidents that involved 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million in property damage. 76 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims, 84.5 percent were not wearing a life jacket. National Safe Boating Week seeks to educate boaters about the importance of safety and wearing life jackets.

 

ANOTHER PERMIT ISSUED FOR OFFSHORE WIND FARM

 

The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board approved petitions filed by Vineyard Wind for construction and operation of electric transmission facilities within the Commonwealth. Approval of the project’s transmission cables and interconnection substation by the siting board, which is administered by Department of Public Utilities staff and chaired by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, represents another significant milestone in the development of the United States’ first commercial-scale offshore wind generation facility. The project continues to move ahead despite public outcries for more studies. Vineyard Wind remains on schedule to begin on-shore construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021.

 

FIRST OFFSHORE WIND FARM VESSEL TO BE BUILT IN U.S.

 

In a related story, this past week, WindServe Marine, LLC announced it has contracted to build the first offshore wind vessel in the United States. The vessel will be designed as a high-speed aluminum catamaran capable of operating in East Coast sea conditions. It is expected to be ready for delivery in early 2020 and will be built by U.S. Workboats in North Carolina.

 

DOLPHIN SAFE LABELS PROBLEM FOR TUNA COMPANIES

 

After being in court defending price-fixing lawsuits, Bumble Bee Foods, Chicken of the Sea, and StarKist are now facing class action complaints over their “Dolphin-Safe” labels. The “Dolphin-Safe” label signifies that no dolphins were killed or seriously injured as a result of the companies catching tuna contained in their products, but the plaintiffs claim a substantial number of dolphins are killed or maimed each year. All three tuna companies deny the charges.

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.