Nov 8, 2022

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400For years now, I have received regular press releases from the Georgia Strait Alliance about shipping, salmon farming and the many other dangers our society poses to the health and well-being of the west coast oceans. And, the situation there is not unique.

The NMMA has recently sent a message to the US government asking the Biden administration to reconsider proposed vessel speed restrictions on the east coast to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale.

More than 70 leaders from across the recreational boating industry sent a letter to the Biden administration asking that they take swift action and pause its proposed North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule, citing numerous significant flaws with the proposal and lack of engagement with relevant stakeholders, including the recreational boating and fishing industry. 

The proposed rule would broaden the current 10-knot (11.5 mph) speed restriction to include vessels 35 feet and larger (down from 65 feet); expand the go-slow zones from discrete calving areas to essentially the whole Atlantic Coast and out as far as 90 miles from shore; and extend these zone restrictions for as long as seven months a year. 

Last week in Marine Industry News Daily from the UK, I read a report that four crew members had to be rescued after their boat was reportedly attacked and sunk by orcas on November first, 2022. The incident took place 25kms off the coast of Viana do Castelo. This is the second incident which has ended with sinking this summer.

Apparently, since 2020 there has been a new pattern of behaviour within a population of orcas that feeds on and follows the migration of tuna exiting the Mediterranean from the Strait of Gibraltar and heading West and North around the Iberian Peninsula over a period of several months. This bumping/ramming the hulls of small yachts and damaging rudders has expanded. It has been stated that up to 15% of yachts experiencing and reporting this behaviour have had to be towed to port. 

There have been several theories advanced as to the behaviour of the orcas (the small endangered Gibraltar Strait orca population is thought to be around 50 individuals), with experts initially linking the incidents to a juvenile pod – although data has not yet been presented to underpin this. There is a mix of opinion whether the orcas are playing or attacking. But as the author of another interaction (Report ID: Inter86) report noted, the behaviour of humans in the area is left wanting. He wrote,  “Two orcas. One attacked the rudder six times. After five minutes they went away. After our event 10 orca spotters speedboats were chasing the orcas for the next hour! Absurd!”

On a salmon fishing trip off Vancouver Island some years ago, a group of Orcas visited our boat and one did a spade-up only a few yards off our stern. That was a magnificent and memorable sight for me but it may have been a serious warning from the Orca.

I see the importance and value of our planet's wildlife and the environment. We are the recreational boating industry and access to boating areas is very important to us but I also believe that we as a group, greatly value and respect the environment we share. I think that we will have a whale of a time trying to establish acceptable limits and behaviours to both preserve our industry and the natural environment as well, but I think we need to pay greater attention to this before more legislation impacts our business.

Andy Adams - Editor

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Garmin ECHOMAP UHD2Garmin has announced their new ECHOMAP™ UHD2 series chartplotters that offer anglers premium features like Ultra High-Definition sonar, preloaded Garmin Navionics+™ mapping with an included one-year subscription to daily map updates, wireless networking for data sharing and support for Garmin’s award-winning LiveScope™ live-scanning sonar.

Available with a 6”, 7” or 9” bright, sunlight-readable touchscreen display with keyed assist, anglers can easily control and operate the functions they depend on for a successful day on the water, including zooming in or out on the map or quickly toggling between different sonar views.

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C-Tow Marine Assistance appoints Jill Noel to Manager of Operations

Jillian Noel

C-Tow Marine Assistance Ltd., which has been serving and assisting recreational boaters across Canadian waterways for more than 35 years, has announced the appointment of Jill Noel to Manager of Operations, effective January 2, 2023. 

In her new role, with an overall goal of building the C-Tow brand across Ontario and throughout Canada, Jill will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations including digital marketing and social media initiatives, company representation at national and local industry events, managing the C-Tow captains, and liaising with marinas, yacht clubs, and marine associations.

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