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High Seas forecast – Met Office

Issued at 2000 UTC on Thursday 24 August 2017

For the period 2000 UTC Thursday 24 August to 2000 UTC Friday 25 August 2017

At 241200UTC, low 56 north 11 west 1003 slow-moving, filling 1009 by 251200UTC. Low 47 north 26 west 1005 expected 44 north 18 west 1009 by same time. Low 61 north 37 west 1010 losing its identity near 65 north 35 west by that time. at 241200UTC, high 40 north 44 west 1025 slow-moving, intensifying 1028 by 251200UTC. New high expected 65 north 06 west 1018 by same time. High just southwest of Iceland 1016 dissipating

Sea area Show all areas Sole Shannon Rockall Bailey Faeroes Southeast Iceland East Northern Section West Northern Section East Central Section West Central Section Denmark Strait North Iceland Norwegian Basin Forecast type High seas forecasts and storm warnings Storm warnings High seas forecasts

There are no storm warnings currently in force for the selected sea area.

Gales expected in East Northern Section and Denmark Strait. Risk of gales in the far north of West Northern Section.

Unscheduled storm warnings are broadcast via Safetynet and in bulletin WONT54 EGRR available via some internet and ftpmail outlets

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High Seas forecast – Met Office

Edward Allcard, Solo Sailor on the High Seas, Dies at 102 – The … – New York Times

After reaching Gibraltar, Mr. Allcard spent the winter making repairs to Temptress before setting off for America.

During the crossing, which took 81 days, he survived fierce gales and squalls, one of which capsized his boat; a near-collision with a whale; and encounters with sharks.

Sharks never came too near me when I was bathing, he wrote. However, several times in the calm, a shark came to scratch its back on the topsides, whereupon I would hold my revolver to its head and fire.

A thousand miles before reaching Sandy Hook, N.J., he began to feel joy about soon reaching his goal. But he also wondered if leaving the comfort of the water would not suit his loners personality. What was there to celebrate?, he remembered thinking. Getting near to the artificialities and impurities of civilization, where money was God?

The voyage from Gibraltar ended in the Bronx, at City Island, on Aug. 9, 1949. His brown hair had been bleached white. He had lost about 20 pounds. And without a visa, he was temporarily detained by the immigration authorities.

Mr. Allcard stayed in the United States for about a year as he made more repairs on Temptress. On his lengthy return to England, he wrote in his log: Hurricane. Impossible to differentiate between wind and water 60 feet high. Boat vibrating on beam ends rolled over 100 degrees.

Six weeks later, on Oct. 21, 1950, he wrote: Overwhelmed by gigantic sea. Upside down. Mizzen and stern mast dismantled.

While leaving Fayal, an island in the Azores, where the boat again needed repairs (and he needed to heal from broken toes and cracked ribs), he found a young woman, Otilia Frayao, stowed away in his cabin. They had met ashore several times, and she had been on the boat in the company of others.

Miss Frayao, who was described as a poet, told reporters that she had been bored and seeking a more intellectually stimulating life and that reading Single-Handed Passage, which he had lent to her, had inspired her to sneak onto his boat.

She became, in effect, his crew for a few weeks before they parted in Casablanca, where he denied rumors of a romance between the two. He continued on to Plymouth, England.

Their lives intersected decades later; she was living in Zaragoza, Spain only hours from his home in Andorra, between France and Spain and visited him on his 95th birthday.

When his book about his voyage home, Temptress Returns, was published in 1953, the marine engineer and author William McFee wrote in The New York Times: Mr. Allcard should not be disappointed if his readers show more interest in his stowaway than in his struggles with the elements. It is no reflection on his storytelling talent.

Edward Cecil Allcard was born on Oct. 31, 1914, in Walton-on Thames, a suburb of London. His father, Rupert, was a stockbroker; his mother, the former Helen Whitmore, was a homemaker.

By age 6, Edward was sailing; when he was 12, his grandfather gave him a 15-foot sailing dinghy, which he plied the length of the tidal Thames two years later.

He graduated from Eton College and later, while continuing his studies at Chillon College, on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, he was coxswain to a winning racing boat.

After apprenticeships in shipbuilding yards, he became a naval architect. Poor eyesight disqualified him from serving in the Royal Navy during World War II, so he went to work in the Air Ministry, supervising the building and testing of air-rescue craft. He seriously injured a leg during a bombing in London.

Mr. Allcard began his seafaring life in earnest after the war, setting sail whenever he pleased, earning money over the years as a writer, charter skipper, hotel maintenance manager and rehabilitater of old wooden boats, which he sold for a profit.

Im not looking for something, he told the British newspaper The Sunday Express in the late 1960s. Im just living. In fact, Im a steady, home-loving type. My boat is my home. Ive been at home longer than most people stay in one house.

He began his solo around-the-world odyssey in 1961, a leisurely adventure that took him about a dozen years, on a 36-foot ketch called the Sea Wanderer. The trip included a 2,800-mile race against his friend Peter Tangvald from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean Mr. Allcard lost and paid Mr. Tangvald a $1 prize and a long trip around Cape Horn, the subject of his final book, Solo Around Cape Horn, published last year.

He was out to see the planet, his wife, the former Clare Thompson, said in a telephone interview. He wasnt out to prove anything. He was living on the boat. If he liked a place, hed stop there.

He stopped for six months near Cape Horn. He stayed for a year in New Zealand. He didnt want to have any records.

Indeed, he had stopped his trip to meet and marry her.

Clare Thompson had been a patient in a psychiatric hospital when she read The Sunday Express article about Mr. Allcard, taking particular note when he was quoted as saying that the ideal for him would be to find a woman who would sail with him.

She wrote to him; they met in 1967 in Hove, on the south coast of England, started traveling together soon after and married in 1973.

He continued his solo journeys. On one, in the Indian Ocean, he had been heading for Mombasa, Kenya, on he East Coast of Africa when he went off course and landed in the Seychelles instead. For three months he lost contact with his family. (He and wife had a year-old daughter by then.)

A belated telegram from Mr. Allcard told her, Delete Mombasa substitute Seychelles have found love nest come soonest. They bought 17 acres on a coconut plantation and lived there for several years.

Later, after hiring a small crew they agreed to only room and board in exchange for their work he and his wife wandered the world in a 69-foot trading vessel called the Johanne Regina.

Mr. Allcard stopped sailing, at 91, when he realized he could no longer perform strenuous onboard tasks.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Kate Krabel and Dona Mackereth; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. A previous marriage ended in divorce.

The success of Mr. Allcards first trip across the Atlantic established him as one of the worlds foremost mariners, as well as a deft chronicler of seafaring.

In Single-Handed Passage, he wrote about leaving Gibraltar. He started the engine. He cast off his lines. And he thought to himself: My last line with the shore was severed at least for the rest of the summer and possibly for all time. Only the final reckoning would prevent me from reaching the other side of the Atlantic.

A version of this article appears in print on August 19, 2017, on Page D6 of the New York edition with the headline: Edward Allcard, Said to Be First to Crisscross the Atlantic Alone, Dies at 102.

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Edward Allcard, Solo Sailor on the High Seas, Dies at 102 – The … – New York Times

Disney Cruise Line celebrates the spooky season with Halloween … – Inside the Magic


Inside the Magic
Disney Cruise Line celebrates the spooky season with Halloween …
Inside the Magic
Disney Cruise Line will be preparing their ships for a ghoulishly good time with their “Halloween on the High Seas” event. All four Disney ships will see a.

and more »

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Disney Cruise Line celebrates the spooky season with Halloween … – Inside the Magic

Adventure on the High Seas – Somers NY News – TAPinto – TAPinto.net

Last week my friend Dave took me and a couple of other friends out for a very pleasant tour of the Long Island Sound on his boat. He has a peppy little bowrider that he tows over to the Norwalk boat launch at Veterans Park. The term boat launch brought back some vivid memories of when Dave and I owned a boat together. Dave taught me everything I know about how to pilot a boat. However, no one whos boat has been hit by mine should hold that against him, since he taught me a lot more than I learned. One thing that did sink in is that a boat is not something to sink in. When properly launched, it should not go straight into the air like a rocket ship.

Do you know why its called the Long Island Sound? Neither do I, because whatever the Sound sounds like, I couldnt hear it over the roar of the engine once we got out of the channel. We aired that baby out to the tune of about 40 miles per hour after we cleared the no-wake zone. Do you know why they call it a wake? Well, we flew over a big one and went airborne for what seemed like a few minutes, and when we landed it woke me right up from a nap I was planning two days in the future. We were out of the no-wake zone, but there should be a no-fly zone posted there instead.

We cruised around for a while and took in the sights. There are extensive oyster beds in the area, but I doubt they got a whole lot of sleep. You can tell where they are by flags that stick up above the water, which makes the place look like a golf course made up entirely of water hazards. We motored by Westport, Sherwood Island and turned around near Fairfield.

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By this time everyone was getting hungry so we taxied into shallow water near what looked like a deserted island so we could eat our lunch. Get ready to drop the anchor, Dave called, and try not to scratch the paint with the anchor chain. Tony grabbed the anchor while I held the chain, and through a carefully coordinated effort we were able to scratch most of the paint off the bow, but to our credit we didnt scratch any off the anchor chain. It was a beautiful day, and we had a bite to eat, drinking in the natural beauty of the area since no one remembered to bring beer. Here the quiet was interrupted only by the chatter of the herring gull and the call of the double-crested cormorant, which I took on my cell phone. Life on the deserted island didnt look like it included dessert, which was disappointing.

But soon the cove started filling up fast with other boaters. People jumped in the water and began floating around on inner tubes, outer tubes, inflatable floaties and paddleboards, which are the new craze. Every time I see somebody on a paddleboard they look as if they mistakenly thought that they would be having way more fun than they presently are, standing around on a surfboard. One guy looked at my sandwich forlornly, and then started paddling away in the general direction of Domenicks Deli.

If Ive learned anything at all from Gilligans Island, its to prepare for every eventuality before you board the boat. Sure, everyone made fun of the Howells for bringing a trunkful of cash with them on an island tour, but there are no ATMs at the sand bar and I doubt they will take a personal check. Also, that transistor radio is going to be invaluable if we get shipwrecked and the Yankees play a day game. Im guarding that radio with my life, because if somebody busts a transistor in it, I have no idea where get another one.

As the afternoon wore on and the shadows started getting longer, it was time to weigh anchor and get back to the boat launch. Dave hopped onto the bow to retrieve the anchor before Tony and I could volunteer, and we powered up and headed toward shore. It was a short ride at top speed until we got to the channel, where you can only go 5 miles per hour, and I was expecting the guy on the paddleboard to pass us.

I have a friend who has a giant sailboat, and I cant imagine what happens if you get all the way out past the bay and the wind dies down. Well, actually, I can imagine it, that happens to be my strong suit. I picture me and two other couples drifting out from Long Island for a few days, and now were somewhere near the Galapagos Islands. Im pretty sure I can get us back home, if youll just let me generate some wind by telling a few stories about how I got kicked out of my high school math class for not baking cookies. Thats OK, I think the wind is about to pick up, they all reply, almost in unison, though weak from lack of food and water…

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Adventure on the High Seas – Somers NY News – TAPinto – TAPinto.net

Editorial: Another collision on high seas – The Providence Journal

Another terrible collision involving a Navy ship raises a question of what in the world is going on. In little more than two months, American military vessels have twice collided with huge ships, with the loss of sailors lives and at a huge cost to taxpayers.

Given that cyberwarfare is rapidly advancing, the collisions make many Americans wonder: Has an adversary somehow managed to tamper with our extraordinarily complex and expensive navigation systems? And what does that mean for our national security? If there were such a problem, would the public even be informed, given the implications?

But technology is far from the only possible explanation. Few of us are expert in the challenges of moving ships in narrow straits amidst other vessels, while dealing with strong currents. And it is proverbially difficult to turn a battleship or a massive cargo vessel.

For its part, the Navy quickly responded to a crash Monday off Singapore involving the guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain named after the father and grandfather of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. and an oil tanker three times its size. Divers Tuesday found missing sailors in flooded compartments of the destroyer. Our heart goes out to the sailors and the families involved.

Navy Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, ordered a one-day operational pause in Navy fleets across the world to try to make sure vessels are operating safely. He also announced an investigation into equipment and how the Navy prepares its forces to operate in the Pacific.

The latest disaster follows the June 17 collision of the destroyer Fitzgerald with a container ship off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors who were sleeping drowned in that mishap. On May 9, the guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel. And on Jan. 31, the guided-missile cruiser Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay.

Clearly, a thorough investigation is welcome. Is training sufficient? Are Naval personnel expected to do too much given the resources available to them? Are leaders doing their job? Given that large vessels have multiple ways to avoid collisions, it seems extraordinary that four serious accidents have occurred since the start of the year. The collisions are alarming, too, given that the Navy must contend with the threat of terrorist attack by other vessels.

The review will include, but not be limited to, looking at operational tempo, trends in personnel, material, maintenance and equipment. It will also include a review of how we train and certify our surface warfare community, including tactical and navigational proficiency, Admiral Richardson said.

The state-run China Daily took the opportunity of the tragedy to bash U.S. naval efforts in the South China Sea, complaining that the Navy is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters. The United States has long taken a position, quite rightly, of ensuring open navigation of the high seas, concluding that its interests and the safety of the world depend on free trade. China, ominously, has been resisting that, insisting it has full sovereignty over the sea.

It is absolutely essential that our Navy personnel have the proper training and technology to avoid collisions. Let’s hope the Navy gets to the truth of what is going on here.

Note: This editorial was updated online to include later news.

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Editorial: Another collision on high seas – The Providence Journal

Saury prices look to stay high amid overfishing as neighbors snub Japan-proposed catch quotas – The Japan Times

Reasonably priced and tasty, saury is a fixture in autumn meals for Japanese, but that may change in the foreseeable future.

Japans saury catches have fallen sharply in the past few years, primarily due to a surge of fishing operations by large vessels from Taiwan and China on the high seas.

Government officials are worried about the depletion of saury resources but have not worked out an effective way to maintain stocks, raising the prospect of saury prices remaining high in Japan.

At an annual meeting of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission in Sapporo last month, a representative of China opposed a Japanese proposal to set saury catch quotas for the commissions member economies.

We have not recognized a substantial fall in resources, the representative said. We dont want to be restrained (by the proposed quotas) and see no need for one.

With South Korea and Russia also in opposition, the Japanese proposal for curbing catches to preserve marine resources went nowhere at the meeting.

Participants at the NPFC meeting agreed to a one-year rule banning China, Taiwan and South Korea from increasing the number of their saury fishing vessels. They also decided to discuss the advisability of setting catch quotas for members at next years meeting, but there is little prospect of the disagreements on the quota issue being resolved.

At a news conference on July 25, then-Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yuji Yamamoto deplored the absence of effective measures to curb fishing operations by China, which caught about 60,000 tons of saury in 2016, 30 times the level of 2012.

We are helpless against the overfishing of saury on the high seas, Yamamoto said.

Prizing freshness, Japan mostly uses small and medium-sized ships to catch saury in its exclusive economic zone.

By contrast, much bigger Chinese ships catch saury on the high seas, mainly off Hokkaido, and a large amount of frozen saury is transported to China by specialized cargo vessels.

Before the NPFC meeting, Fisheries Agency officials said it would be difficult to sell the catch quota proposal to China, which is responsible for food for its 1.3 billion people.

If Japan does not make the proposal, overfishing will only continue. It (the proposal) had the effect of warning China, said a senior agency official who attended the meeting.

Japan has no solution, however, if China and Taiwan continue fishing on a scale similar to that of recent years.

Japans saury catches shrank to some 110,000 tons in 2015 and 2016, roughly half of the levels of preceding years. The figure slipped below 140,000 tons for Taiwan in 2016.

The reduced supplies pushed saury prices sharply higher.

According to the Tokyo-based Japan Fisheries Information Service Center, wholesale prices in Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya and Osaka averaged 551 per kilogram in 2016, up 54 percent from 357 in 2006. Retail prices in 2016 are believed to have soared to an average of 165 per fish of standard size.

Satoshi Midorikawa, leader of the centers distribution information group, attributed the poor hauls of recent years to the surge in fishing activities by China and other economies, rising water temperatures and changes in oceanic currents.

The number of saury has fallen in coastal waters off Japan and it is quite unlikely that saury catches will recover rapidly, Midorikawa said.

Atsushi Kawabata, assistant chief of the Fisheries Agencys Resources and Environment Reserve Division, said, As distribution costs have increased, saury prices are unlikely to fall to levels seen some years ago.

Stabilizing saury prices at reasonable levels would require the curbing of fishing by foreign vessels and a recovery of Japanese catches to previous levels of some 200,000 tons a year, Kawabata said.

In view of hauls in the initial phase of the current (fishing) season, saury prices will probably remain high this year, Midorikawa predicted.

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Saury prices look to stay high amid overfishing as neighbors snub Japan-proposed catch quotas – The Japan Times

Autonomous Boats Will Explore the High Seas by 2025 – The Merkle

Manycompanies are currentlydevelopingdriverless cars. We have also seen driverless trucks, although they are still in the very early stages of development. It sounds like we will also have autonomous boats in the future. That is simultaneously a very interesting and a scary trend. Self-driving container ships will soon be swarming the oceans, by the look of things.

It is not the first time we have seen companiesexploringthe opportunities provided by driverless boats. There are thousands of cargo ships crossing the oceans at any given time, so automation makes sense. Automation can improve efficiency, productivity, and cut down on overall costs. Less happily, itwill also lead to job cuts if these trials are successful. Suchis the double-edged sword of technology.

Autonomous boats may take longer than many people think. The shipping industry certainly coulddo with some innovation right now, sincethings have not changed all that much over the past few years. Additionally, it seems thatcargo shipshavebeenbeing scrapped a lot sooner than originally assumed, which creates an adverse effect on the industry as a whole. Additionally, company losses due to mismanagement or bankruptcyis a major problem.

If things go according to plan which hardly ever happens we may see the first remotely-operated vessels in operation by 2020. This will only be testing in closed waters rather than exploring the open sea. It will take an additional three to five years until the latter happens. Unmanned ocean vessels will eventually become more common over time, assuming that they can be perfected to some degree in the coming years.

Ships have had autopilot features for quite some time now. Thesefeatures have evolved substantially over the past few years, growing out to become a full-fledged autopilot feature which requires GPS coordinates to work successfully. However, thisis still a far cry from successfully automating travel from one port to another. It appears that will change very soon, and most believe that autonomous shipping is the future of the maritime industry. Smart ships will not necessarily be the same as smartphones, but theirimpacts could be quite similar in the end.

Indeed, some real progress can be made now that thefoundations for autonomous ships are in place. While they may not necessarily be seaworthy please pardon the pun they do exist and are ready to be improved upon. No groundbreaking technology needbe built from the ground up. That will significantly speed up the process of bringing autonomous ships to life. The required sensor technology is commercially available and the algorithms are close to being finished.

The big question remains why we need automated seafaring, or whetherwe do at all. Safety is one reason to explore this option, as are efficiency and cost reduction impacts. With no crew to accommodate, ships can become lighter yetoffer more cargo space at the same time. We may see a major revolution in the way autonomous ships are designed as well.

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Autonomous Boats Will Explore the High Seas by 2025 – The Merkle

Take to ‘High Seas’ with new Indian Land mini-golf course opening soon – The Herald


The Herald
Take to 'High Seas' with new Indian Land mini-golf course opening soon
The Herald
High Seas Miniature Golf at 10001 Charlotte Highway will feature a pirate-themed course. The nautical theme is designed to look like a deserted island, and includes 18-holes in and around a pirate ship, a waterfall, tree houses and several lagoons.

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Take to ‘High Seas’ with new Indian Land mini-golf course opening soon – The Herald

Nations Will Start Talks to Protect Fish of the High Seas – New York Times

And so, the negotiations need to answer critical questions. How will marine protected areas be chosen? How much of the ocean will be set aside as sanctuaries? Will extraction of all marine resources be prohibited from those reserves as so-called no-take areas or will some human activity be allowed? Not least, how will the new reserve protections be enforced?

Russia, for instance, objected to using the phrase long term conservation efforts in the document that came out of the latest negotiations in July, instead preferring time-bound measures. The Maldives, speaking for island nations, argued that new treaty negotiations were urgent to protect biodiversity.

Several countries, especially those that have made deals with their marine neighbors about what is allowed in their shared international waters, want regional fishing management bodies to take the lead in determining marine protected areas on the high seas. Others say a patchwork of regional bodies, usually dominated by powerful countries, is insufficient, because they tend to agree only on the least restrictive standards. (The United States Mission to the United Nations declined to comment.)

The new treaty negotiations could begin as early as 2018. The General Assembly, made up of 193 countries, will ultimately make the decision.

A hint of the tough diplomacy that lies ahead came last year over the creation of the worlds largest marine protected area in the international waters of the Ross Sea. Countries that belong to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, a regional organization, agreed by consensus to designate a 600,000-square-mile area as a no-fishing zone. It took months of pressure on Moscow, including an intervention by John F. Kerry, then the United States secretary of state.

The discussions around marine protected areas on the high seas may also offer the planet a way to guard against some of the effects of global warming. There is growing scientific evidence that creating large, undisturbed sanctuaries can help marine ecosystems and coastal populations cope with climate change effects, like sea-level rise, more intense storms, shifts in the distribution of species and ocean acidification.

Not least, creating protected areas can also allow vulnerable species to spawn and migrate, including to areas where fishing is allowed.

Fishing on the high seas, often with generous government subsidies, is a multibillion-dollar industry, particularly for high-value fish like the Chilean sea bass and bluefin tuna served in luxury restaurants around the world. Ending fishing in some vulnerable parts of the high seas is more likely to affect large, well-financed trawlers. It is less likely to affect fishermen who do not have the resources to venture into the high seas, said Carl Gustaf Lundin, director of the global marine program at the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In fact, Mr. Lundin said, marine reserves could help to restore dwindling fish stocks.

High-seas fishing is not nearly as productive as it used to be. Its not worth the effort, he said. Weve knocked out most of the catches.

Currently, a small but growing portion of the ocean is set aside as reserves. Most of them have been designated by individual countries the latest is off the coast of the Cook Islands, called Marae Moana or as in the case of the Ross Sea, by groups of countries. A treaty, if and when it goes into effect, would scale up those efforts: Advocates want 30 percent of the high seas to be set aside, while the United Nations development goals, which the nations of the world have already agreed to, propose to protect at least 10 percent of international waters.

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Nations Will Start Talks to Protect Fish of the High Seas – New York Times

UN diplomats recommend start to high seas MPAs negotiations – Undercurrent News

After two years of talks, UN diplomats have recommended starting treaty negotiations to create marine protected areas (MPAs) in waters beyond national jurisdiction, reports the Straights Times.

Late last month countries worldwide tookthe first step to protect the high seas, and in turn begin the high-stakes diplomatic jostling over how much to protect and how to enforce rules.

“The high seas are the biggest reserve of biodiversity on the planet,” Fiji’s ambassador Peter Thomson, the current president of the UN General Assembly, said in an interview after the negotiations. “We can’t continue in an ungoverned way if we are concerned about protecting biodiversity and protecting marine life.”

But abroad range of interests are in play.Russian and Norwegian vessels go to the high seas for krill fishing; Japanese and Chinese vessels go there for tuna. India and China are exploring the seabed in international waters for valuable minerals.

Some countries resist the creation of a new governing body to regulate the high seas, arguing that existing regional organizations and rules are sufficient.

The negotiations must also still answer critical questions. How will marine protected areas be chosen? How much of the ocean will be set aside as sanctuaries? Will extraction of all marine resources be prohibited from those reserves — as so-called no-take areas — or will some human activity be allowed? Not least, how will the new reserve protections be enforced?

Russia, for instance, objected to using the phrase “long-term” conservation efforts in the document that came out of the latest negotiations in July, instead preferring time-bound measures.

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UN diplomats recommend start to high seas MPAs negotiations – Undercurrent News

Nations hope to protect fish of the high seas – The Straits Times

NEW YORK More than half of the world’s oceans belong to no one, which often makes their riches ripe for plunder.

Now, countries worldwide have taken the first step to protect the precious resources of the high seas. Late last month, after two years of talks, UN diplomats recommended starting treaty negotiations to create marine protected areas in waters beyond national jurisdiction – and in turn, begin the high-stakes diplomatic jostling over how much to protect and how to enforce rules.

“The high seas are the biggest reserve of biodiversity on the planet,” Fiji’s ambassador Peter Thomson, the current president of the United Nations General Assembly, said in an interview after the negotiations. “We can’t continue in an ungoverned way if we are concerned about protecting biodiversity and protecting marine life.”

Without a new global system to regulate all human activity on the high seas, those international waters remain “a pirate zone”, he said.

Lofty ambitions, though, are likely to collide with hard-knuckled diplomatic bargaining.

Some countries resist the creation of a new governing body to regulate the high seas, arguing that existing regional organisations and rules are sufficient.

The commercial interests are powerful. Russian and Norwegian vessels go to the high seas for krill fishing; Japanese and Chinese vessels go there for tuna. India and China are exploring the seabed in international waters for valuable minerals.

Many countries are loath to adopt new rules that would constrain them.

So, the negotiations must answer critical questions. How will marine protected areas be chosen? How much of the ocean will be set aside as sanctuaries? Will extraction of all marine resources be prohibited from those reserves – as so-called no-take areas – or will some human activity be allowed? Not least, how will the new reserve protections be enforced? Russia, for instance, objected to using the phrase “long-term” conservation efforts in the document that came out of the latest negotiations in July, instead preferring time-bound measures.

The Maldives, speaking for island nations, argued that new treaty negotiations were urgently needed to protect biodiversity. Several countries, especially those that have made deals with marine neighbours about what is allowed in their shared international waters, want regional fishing management bodies to take the lead in determining marine protected areas.

Others say a patchwork of regional bodies, usually dominated by powerful countries, is insufficient, because they tend to agree only on the least restrictive standards.

The new treaty talks could begin as early as next year. The General Assembly, made up of 193 countries, will ultimately make the decision.

Fishing on the high seas, often with generous government subsidies, is a multibillion-dollar industry, particularly for high-value fish like the Chilean sea bass and bluefin tuna served in luxury restaurants worldwide. Ending fishing in some vulnerable parts of the high seas is more likely to affect large, well-financed trawlers.

It is less likely to affect fishermen without the resources to venture into the high seas. In fact, marine reserves could help to restore dwindling fish stocks.

NYTIMES

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Nations hope to protect fish of the high seas – The Straits Times

High-sea sales to attract IGST only once, clarifies CBEC – Hindu Business Line

It will be levied at the time of Customs clearance

New Delhi, August 2:

High-sea sale transactions or imports will attract Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) only once at the hands of last importer on the final price of the item, said the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

The clarity was need as it was impacting imports in many crucial sectors such as power and telecom.

The GST Council has already decided that IGST on high-sea sale transactions of imported goods, whether one or multiple, shall be levied and collected only at the time of importation that is when the import declarations are filed before the Customs authorities for the customs clearance purposes for the first time, said the CBEC, adding that the IGST would be levied on the final value of the product.

However, the importer or the last buyer in the chain would be required to furnish the entire chain of documents such as original invoice, high-seas-sales-contract, details of service charges and commission paid to establish a link between the first contracted price of the goods and the last transaction, it added.

High-sea sales of imported goods are akin to inter-State transactions, stressed the CBEC. Under GST laws, IGST, which is refundable, is levied on imports and exports.

The confusion had arisen as high-sea sale transactions or such imports go through multiple buyers, where in the original importer sells the goods to a third person before the goods are entered for customs clearance.

Questions had arisen both within industry and tax officials whether IGST would be levied for each transaction, which would make it cumbersome and expensive.

Tax experts welcomed the move but said that the government also needs to clarify whether such sales would exempt on the hands of the high-seas seller and consequently trigger the reversal of input credit.

There was lot of confusion in the industry on the taxability of high-seas sale i.e. whether it is taxable twice or only once in the hands of the ultimate importer, said Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY.

According to Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader Indirect Tax, PwC: It states that IGST would only apply in the hands of ultimate importer and the sales made by intermediary company would not be liable.

(This article was published on August 2, 2017)

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High-sea sales to attract IGST only once, clarifies CBEC – Hindu Business Line

Treaty to enable high seas marine protected areas takes step forward – SeafoodSource (blog)

The United Nations has advanced a step closer to an international treaty to protect marine life on the high seas, with an aim of setting up a mechanism for creating marine protected areas in areas beyond national jurisdictions.

International waters outside countries exclusive economic zones make up 60 percent of the ocean and cover almost half of the surface of the earth. The waters are rife with marine life, including many threatened species, but are subject to little governance.

The new treaty would update the 35-year-old United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by adding provisions for marine conservation.

In the last several decades, the array of human-caused threats to the ocean has surged. Fishing pressures have increased, noise from heavy ships disrupts marine mammals, gyres of plastic waste swirl and oil spills slick the waters. Additionally, rising ocean temperatures and higher acidity resulting from humanitys carbon emissions threaten whole ecosystems.

UNCLOS was negotiated at a time when we could not foresee the human footprint stretching into the deep ocean or the high seas, and so it left this vast expanse of ocean unprotected, Peggy Kalas, the coordinator of the High Seas Alliance, told SeafoodSource. We need the new treaty to close this gap.

Passing a treaty update is a long and complicated process, Kalas said. In July, a preparatory committee recommended advancing to an Intergovernmental Conference, which is the body that would debate the actual treaty text. The United Nations General Assembly needs to approve the Intergovernmental Conference, which could convene as soon as 2018. A couple of years of negotiations would follow, and the U.N. could finalize a new treaty as soon as the end of 2019.

Though the decades-old UNCLOS treaty addresses deep-sea mining and freedom of the high seas in areas beyond national jurisdictions, it doesnt address biodiversity. At the time, scientists had barely discovered some of the most exotic deep-sea habitats and creatures, such as undersea vents and organisms that dont depend on sunlight.

Human pressures on marine life have since ramped up, with technology enabling fishing farther and deeper than previously imagined. When the UNCLOS treaty was first enacted in 1982, humanity was catching roughly two million metric tons of fish per year, according to Douglas McCauley, an ecologist and conservation biologist at University of California, Santa Barbara. Today, catches are closer to five million MT.

We are fishing on the high seas with more tech and more power than ever before, McCauley told SeafoodSource. The biggest trawler today is a vessel of about 14,000 gross MT. There was nothing like that on the sea several decades ago.

Climate change threatens fisheries, and the seafood they provide; the ocean has absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat from man-made climate change. The cost of rising temperatures and more acidic waters could be dire: one study pegged the cost to global fisheries under a high carbon dioxide emissions scenario at USD 10 billion (EUR 8.5 billion) in annual revenue, McCauley said.

Advocates say that marine protected areas and a mechanism for creating them in the new treaty are needed to allow fish and other organisms a protected space to adapt to fast-changing marine conditions.

By increasing the productivity of marine life, large reserves would reduce the risk of localized extinction and increase population sizes, thereby increasing resilience to stress and promoting adaptation, Gladys Martinez, an attorney with the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense, a pan-American advocacy group, told SeafoodSource.

Like the international Paris Climate Accord that most of the worlds nations agreed to in November 2015, an updated high seas treaty would demonstrate collective commitment to tackling an environmental threat to the global commons, Martinez said. But unlike the Paris agreement, the high seas treaty would not specifically address climate change-causing carbon emissions.

The road to an updated high seas treaty will be long, with potential opposition from the fishing industry and deep-sea energy developers, Martinez said.

These industries have greatly benefited from the lack of international regulations, so it is in their interest to preserve the status quo as much as possible, she said.

Negotiators will also have to overcome ignorance about the importance and value of the high seas and the risks of failing to act, Kristina Gjerde, the senior high seas advisor at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, told SeafoodSource. But international collaboration on marine science will help overcome that, Gjerde added.

Marine protected areas, a more standardized process for assessing environmental impacts and scientific capacity building and sharing will all be needed to address the gaps left in the UNCLOS, Gjerde said.

What the (UNCLOS) drafters did not envisage was the cascade of cumulative impacts now assaulting our ocean that requires a more coherent, comprehensive and coordinated response, Gjerde said.

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Treaty to enable high seas marine protected areas takes step forward – SeafoodSource (blog)

Autonomous Boat Sails the High Seas – Hackaday

As the human population continues to rise and the amount of industry increases, almost no part of the globe feels the burdens of this activity more than the oceans. Whether its temperature change, oxygen or carbon dioxide content, or other characteristics, the study of the oceans will continue to be an ongoing scientific endeavor. The one main issue, though, is just how big the oceans really are. To study them in-depth will require robots, and for that reason [Mike] has created an autonomous boat.

This boat is designed to be 3D printed in sections, making it easily achievable for anyone with access to a normal-sized printer. The boat uses the uses the APM autopilot system and Rover firmware making it completely autonomous. Waypoints can be programmed in, and the boat will putter along to its next destination and perform whatever tasks it has been instructed. The computer is based on an ESP module,and the vessel has a generously sized payload bay.

While the size of the boat probably limits its ability to cross the Pacific anytime soon, its a good platform for other bodies of water and potentially a building block for larger ocean-worthy ships that might have an amateur community behind them in the future. In fact, non-powered vessels that sail the high seas are already a reality.

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Autonomous Boat Sails the High Seas – Hackaday

Tony Nominee Carmen Cusack Joins Playbill Travel’s Broadway on the High Seas: Iceland – Playbill.com

Playbill is thrilled to announce that Tony nominee Carmen Cusack will join the ninth voyage of Playbill Travels Broadway on the High Seas in 2018.

Previously scheduled to perform on Broadway on the Danube River with Michael Feinstein this November, Cusack will now reprise her leading role in Bright Star at Los Angeles Ahmanson Theatrethe performance for which she earned her Tony nod.

But Playbill Travel will still see the talents of the woman who has played such roles as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Elphaba in Wicked, Dot in Sunday in the Park With George, Fantine in Les Misrables, and more. Cusack will instead climb aboard Ponants five-star expedition yacht Le Solal in July 2018 alongside previously announced performers Drama Desk nominee Sierra Boggess, Tony nominee Jarrod Spector, Tony nominee Rob McClure, four-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn, and two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole. Sirius XM radio host and Playbill columnist Seth Rudetsky returns as Chatterbox host and music director.

Having served over 1,000 passengers across visits to the most stunning locales on the planet (from the coast of Italy to the Caribbean, from the jungle of Vietnam to the isles of Greece), Playbill Travel combines the best of Broadway talent with the epitome in fine dining and accommodations. On this journey to Iceland, visitors will experience the richness of Icelandic culture and the breathtaking natural sites of the Arctic Circle by day and the intimate solo shows of stage greats by night.

From Reykjavik, the worlds most northerly capital, sail the rugged fjrds of northwest Iceland; see the fabulous wildlife and Atlantic puffin in colonies on Grimsey Island; visit the small Icelandic town of Akureyri before venturing to nearby Lake Myvatn and the astonishing Godafoss waterfall; and call at Heimaey Island, home to the infamous Eldfell volcano.

For booking and inquiries please visit PlaybillTravel.com.

If you cannot wait until July 2018 to experience the unparalleled experience in entertainment and exploration that Playbill Travel has to offer, join us on the Rhine River August 1320 or on the Danube River November 310. For travel and talent details visit PlaybillTravel.com.

Playbills first-ever river cruise sails from May 2128.

LOVE THE THEATRE? CHECK OUT THE PLAYBILL STORE FOR MERCHANDISE!

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Tony Nominee Carmen Cusack Joins Playbill Travel’s Broadway on the High Seas: Iceland – Playbill.com

A high-tech solution to end illegal fishing – GreenBiz

Inexpensive seafood can come at a high price. To make as much money as possible, its not uncommon for fishing vessels to spend more than a year at sea, fishing continuously, without supervision; some vessels spend as much as 525 straight days at sea, and others have logged 503 continuous days. This practice is only possible due to transshipment the high-seas transfer of seafood catches between ships and global fish stocks and human rights are taking the hit.

The U.S. is the worldssecond largest market for seafood. Americans eat almost 16 pounds a year each, spending $96 billion (and that doesnt include fish used in pet food). But 90 percent of that seafood is imported, and the odds are good that it was passed from one ship to another in international waters, where a whole range of illegal things may have happened.

Transshipment takes place when large fishing boats unload their catches to refrigerated cargo vessels, also known as reefers. Its technically legal, and provides a cost-effective method for fishing boats to remain at sea and prolong their fishing trips without needing to head to port between catches. But because transshipment often happens far from monitoring eyes, it also has beenlinked to illegal, unreported and unregulated (commonly referred to as IUU) fishing, along with human trafficking, slavery and other criminal endeavors, including drug and illegal wildlife trade.

IUU fishing encompasses a grab bag of activities, not all strictly illegal. Fishing is illegal if it breaks national fishery laws or international fishing agreements examples include fishing in prohibited areas or using illegal equipment. Unreported and unregulated fishing activities arent necessarily illicit it might mean fishing in unregulated waters, or not reporting discarded fish. Illegal fishing can be difficult to accurately assess, but estimates say its responsible for $23 billion in economic losses.

Illegal fishing can be difficult to accurately assess, but estimates say its responsible for $23 billion in economic losses.

In an effort to curb IUU, safeguard sovereign fish stocks and strengthen ecological protections, NGOs and governments have taken an increasing global focus on transshipment practices in recent years. And several new projects are using technology to create the biggest and most accurate picture of transshipment to date.

Until recently, there was no global data on transshipment. A patchwork of regulation means there is no cohesive strategy and oversight, and no regulation that clearly explains what transshipment should and shouldnt do, said Tony Long, director of theEnd Illegal Fishing Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Different countries have different resources and different capacities, and some have signed up to some agreements, some to other agreements, and some have signed up to none at all,” said Long. “So its an absolute playground for anyone who wants to take advantage of that situation.” Additionally, many transshipment reefers fly underFlags of Convenience, meaning theyre intentionally registered in foreign countries with lax regulations, a practice linked to problems ranging from labor abuses to safety violations.

Arecent paper published in the journal Marine Policy examined high-seas transshipment (in ocean areas outside of territorial waters or exclusive economic zones) and regulations in 17 regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), and assessed the potential advantages of stopping the practice altogether. While there have been more regulations created in the last 20 years and improved enforcement, according to the studys lead author, Christopher Ewell, there also has been a “huge influx into the high seas by fishing fleets. As coastal waters have become overexploited, theyve ventured off into the open ocean. People call it the ‘the last frontier.'”

This uptick in open ocean activity has prompted a slew of new tracking efforts, including The Pew Charitable Trusts project managed by OceanMind (originally Eyes on the Seas), Fish-i and Global Fishing Watch.

Global Fishing Watch was launched in 2016, and is a collaboration between conservation nonprofits Oceana and SkyTruth and Google. It uses automatic identification system (AIS) messages the tracking system most ships have onboard to avoid at-sea collisions to track commercial fishing and uncover possible transshipping events. The organization created a database of refrigerated cargo vessels and then analyzed ship movements and behaviors to identify likely transshipments. The project has created the most comprehensive picture of ocean fishing ship movements to date.

John Amos founded Shepherdstown, West Virginia-based SkyTruth in 2001 to use satellite and aerial imagery to monitor environmental issues. (The organization revealed the full extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.) Global Fishing Watch came about after Google invited SkyTruth to explore ways of combining SkyTruths expertise with Googles technology, including the companys cloud infrastructure, for ocean conservation. Separately, Oceana approached Google with interest in also using AIS data, and Google connected the two organizations.

Global Fishing Watch just released the first round of results. It gathered 21 billion AIS messages broadcasted between 2012 and 2016, and mapped 91,555 potential and likely instances of transshipment.

Despite the increased attention to IUU fishing and human rights issues on boats, transshipment hasnt been banned in most places.

“As we worked with the data, we realized we could tell in many cases what a vessel was up to based on way the vessels were moving on the water,” said Amos. “It didnt really hit home until we put their AIS data broadcast on a map.”

Lacey Malarky, an analyst of illegal fishing and seafood fraud at Oceana, and co-author of a report based on Global Fishing Watch data,”No More Hiding at Sea: Transshipping Exposed,” said that collecting this data at a global scale hasnt been possible until now.

The biggest remaining challenge, however, is that boats can turn off AIS systems, meaning these results only provide a conservative estimate. “This data is just showing fishing vessels and refrigerated cargo vessels that had their AIS on, so its likely transshipping is happening on a much larger scale,” said Malarky.

Vessel monitoring systems (VMS) are another type of vessel tracking technology, but these are proprietary, expensive, and the data is usually kept private. Indonesia recently announced that it would be the first country to make all its flagged vesselsVMS data public, and its included in Global Fishing Watch data. Peru followed with a commitment to make its VMS data public.

Governments benefit from sharing this information because it can help monitor their own waters by increasing access to shipping data and put more eyes on vessel activity. In Indonesia, it could help make the countrys recent fishing reforms more lasting. “VMS data is an obvious way to give the public the ability to engage and monitor whats happening and have the public participate in exerting Indonesian sovereignty of Indonesian waters,” said SkyTruths Amos.

Despite the increased attention to IUU fishing andhuman rights issues on boats, transshipment hasnt been banned in most places. To date, only one regional fishery management organization has instituted a total ban, and six have partial bans. The biggest concern is the economic losses that could be incurred by making vessels return to port. And, as Ewell points out, the voting members of many management organizations are the heads of fishing companies. However, while ecological conservation and labor problems may not be at the forefront of their decisions, they tend to be sensitive to market forces.

“As those companies face pressures based on consumer activism or increased attention around this issue, there could be a shift towards these kinds of bans,” said Ewell.

The best hope for cleaning up transshipment, said Pews Long, is to focus on the seafood economy, beginning with the markets. Explaining how illegal transshipping transactions potentially could taint every step of their supply chain, thereby putting their companies at risk, could persuade fishing companies to voluntarily commit to ethical transshipping contract terms.

The next step would be to convince policy-makers to comply as well, which is what thePort State Measures Agreement does, effectively creating a system of premium ports that commit to step up their patrolling for and seizure of IUU catches. (Japan recently ratified the agreement; the most populartransshipping ports have not.)

The good news is that some big companies are paying attention to transshipment. Nestl, Mars and Thai Union which brings Chicken of the Sea tuna to American grocery store shelves and also provides fish products for major pet food brands are a few major companies that have pledged to improve supply chain transparency and “reduce or eliminate” transshipped products.

The Global Fishing Watch site is free to the public, designed with the goal of making this information available to anyone who needs it, including curious consumers. Oceanas Malarky hopes the tool takes off.

“We hope everyday citizens use it to become aware of where seafood is coming from, governments to monitor their waters and see where vessels are fishing within their [exclusive economic zones], and NGOs to advance their work,” she said.

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A high-tech solution to end illegal fishing – GreenBiz

DIANE DIMOND: Hit the high seas, but be careful | Opinion … – Stillwater News Press

Summertime. Vacation time. No time to let your guard down. Traditionally, crime goes up during warmer weather, with property crimes and aggravated assaults on the rise. In some locations, murder rates increase, too. When temperatures rise, there are more windows left open, more sweaty and irritated people seeking relief outside, and more alcoholic beverages consumed in public, all of which can prompt bad behavior.

Maybe you and your family have decided to take an ocean cruise to get away from it all this summer. Well, beware, because there is crime on the high seas, too sometimes violent crime. And consider this: A vessel might be registered in the Bahamas, headquartered in Miami, traveling in international waters and carrying passengers from any number of foreign countries, so law enforcement jurisdiction is murky.

If the ship departs from, say, Florida, and a crime is committed onboard, the local police might investigate once the cruise liner returns to port. The feds have jurisdiction if a crime has occurred against a U.S. national on a ship that has departed or will arrive back in the States. The FBI might be assigned to investigate. But these professionals will be days removed from when the crime was committed. Every detective will tell you that evidence gathered immediately following a crime is often crucial to prosecution.

The cruise industry says it caters to more than 24 million customers each year and that crime rates on board one of those massive floating hotels is a small fraction of the comparable rates of crime on land.

But on dry land, you can immediately call 911 for help. You likely have a cop shop a few minutes driving distance from your location and a fully equipped hospital nearby. On a cruise ship, perhaps hundreds of miles out at sea, youve got … well, youve got whatever the ship has to offer.

An official with the Cruise Lines International Association insists there is robust security onboard to assure passengers are safe. But lets get real: Any security officers are working for the cruise line, and their primary allegiance may not be to a victimized passenger. Their efforts gathering evidence, taking witness statements or tracking down suspects may be lacking.

NBC News has reported extensively on cruise line crime and calculated that of the 92 alleged crimes reported on cruise ships last year, 62 were sexual assaults. Im guessing here, but I bet the combination of hot temperatures and free-flowing booze tends to reduce passengers inhibitions. But most frightening is that a majority of the sexual assaults be they committed by crew members or passengers were never prosecuted. A congressional report from a few years ago found that minors were the victims in a third of those sexual assaults.

The dirty secret in the cruise line industry is that crime does occur on cruise ships and very often law enforcement isnt notified, evidence isnt preserved, people arent assisted, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. He is sponsoring a bill in the U.S. Senate that would require cruise lines to report any claim of criminal activity to the FBI within four hours, turn over all video evidence, earmark cases in which youngsters are involved and include a federal officer called a sea marshal on each ship. Id like to add that each vessel be equipped with a proper evidentiary rape kit.

NBCs reporting included stories about victimized teenage girls, one of whom tried to commit suicide after she alleged that she was given alcohol and raped onboard a cruise to the Virgin Islands. Another teen interviewed claimed she was sexually assaulted by a crew member in the ships gym. Jim Walker, a Miami attorney, said his firm has represented many victims of alleged cruise ship crime, including one who was just 3 years old.

The average passenger load on an ocean liner is about 3,000. But some mega-cruise liners can hold up to 6,000. Whenever you get that many people in a finite space, lulled by adult activities over here and supervised children and youth activities over there, trouble can develop.

Im sure the cruise lines do their very best to fully vet and hire suitable employees. It would not be in their best interest to do otherwise. But this summer, if you are taking the family on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to paradise, dont let your guard down. Have a wonderful vacation, but realize that crime can happen anywhere, and you and yours are not immune.

Diane Dimond is a syndicated columnist and television reporter of high-profile court cases.

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DIANE DIMOND: Hit the high seas, but be careful | Opinion … – Stillwater News Press

A Mountaineer on the high seas – West Virginia MetroNews

WVMetronews/Chris Lawrence

HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. The south end of the Outer Banks of North Carolina is a long way from the hills of West Virginia, but no matter where you go, youll find Mountaineers everywhere.

I grew up in Webster County in the town of Cowen. My moms family are long time Webster County folks, said Captain Jay Kavanagh owner and Captain of Bite-Me Charters. I left the state and went to college in Virginia and then came back to Morgantown to go to graduate school.

Kavanagh still maintains deep roots in the Mountain State. He proudly explained the wood trim on the interior of the boats cabin was cut and custom milled on the Cherry River in West Virginia.

Armed with a Masters Degree in Forestry, Kavanagh headed for the Carolina Coast after graduation and went to work in the North Carolina fishing industry. He also married into a fishing family. Jays wife is a native of the Outer Banks. Her family has owned the best known gathering spot for sportsmen in the region Frisco Rod and Gun for many years. In 2000, Kavanagh took the plunge, bought his boat, and decided to try his luck in the charter business. Seventeen years later, hes still going strong.

We have great fishing all year round out of Hatteras and we do run charters 12 months out of the year, of course were not as busy in the winter time, he explained. Typically spring and fall are good fishing for your meat fish, tuna, dolphin, and wahoo. Summertime is good fishing for dolphin and bill fish. We have great fishing all year long, it just depends on what you want to try to catch.

I chartered a trip with Captain Jay on the Bite-Me as an added activity to an Outer Banks vacation in June.

We have a lot of people who schedule a trip around their vacation, he said. Late summer we move the boat up to Oregon Inlet because the marlin bite actually moves up there. This is a good place to catch a big blue marlin. Thats the largest of the bill fish species.

During 2017, as of our trip, the Bite-Me had boated 7 blue marlin, four of them above 400 pounds and two at more than 500 pounds. The blue marlin are released and anglers proudly display a marlin flag in the end of the day photo.

The day starts early with scenery only few get to enjoy. The sun made a dramatic rise on the Atlantic and seeped through a pallet of low hanging clouds. Boats began the run out of Hatteras Harbor for the Gulf Stream in a row. Its a short trip. Trolling starts 20 miles off shore less than an hours run from land.

Thats one good thing, were fairly close to the Gulf Stream, Kavanagh explained. Hatteras Island sticks way out into the ocean so were closer to the fishing.

First mate Catlin Cat Peele set various lines at various depths in hopes of raising fish. A mix of live bait, artificial streamers and chains of colorful teasers bounce along the surface in the boats wake trying to attract anything hungry. The sunrise continued to create a spectacular early morning backdrop.

Although finicky at first, after several hours Captain Jay found what he was hunting, floating grass.

Thats sargassum grass, sometimes called gulf weed. It grows on the surface out here in the Gulf Stream and its really the beginning of life, he said. If you can find that grass you can generally find life.

Kavanagh, from experience, noted the last large patch of grass on the downwind side is typically where the dolphin or mahi-mahi will school up to feed. His prediction was as solid as a bird dog pointing quail. Moments after the first pass there were more bites than there were people on board to handle a rod. As quickly as Cat unhooked a fish and tossed it into the ice chest, the same line would hit the water and immediately have another fish on.

Their schooling instinct is so strong, as long as you leave one hooked in the water, theyll stay with you, Kavanagh said. You saw that, they followed us around like puppy dogs.

The flurry of activity came in two waves. Both lasted 7 to 10 minutes and produced a total of 25 fish. Content with enough dolphin to satisfy our appetite and make a successful trip, we changed tactics in search of something larger. Kavanagh radioed other captains in the vicinity of his discovery and told them to have at it. Cat set different rigs and we pulled to the outskirts of our honey hole. The new goal was to find marlin, wahoo, tuna or sail fish.

Primarily this time of year were fishing for dolphin and bill fish species, he explained. But we could also possibly catch yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, amberjack, just about anything that swims.

Those bigger fish werent to be for us on this day as my crew became sun weary. We headed for home with a mess of fresh fish and memories of a fantastic trip. A lot of West Virginians head for the Outer Banks on their vacation week, why not spent at least one day of your beach week aboard the Bite Me with a fellow West Virginian.

You can learn more about Bite Me Charters at their website or Facebook page.

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A Mountaineer on the high seas – West Virginia MetroNews

Hit high seas on vacation but be careful – Maui News

Summertime. Vacation time. No time to let your guard down. Traditionally, crime goes up during warmer weather, with property crimes and aggravated assaults on the rise. In some locations, murder rates increase, too.

When temperatures rise, there are more windows left open, more sweaty and irritated people seeking relief outside, and more alcoholic beverages consumed in public, all of which can prompt bad behavior.

Maybe you and your family have decided to take an ocean cruise to get away from it all this summer. Well, beware, because there is crime on the high seas, too sometimes violent crime. And consider this: A vessel might be registered in the Bahamas, headquartered in Miami, traveling in international waters and carrying passengers from any number of foreign countries, so law enforcement jurisdiction is murky.

If the ship departs from, say, Florida, and a crime is committed onboard, the local police might investigate once the cruise liner returns to port. The feds have jurisdiction if a crime has occurred against a U.S. national on a ship that has departed or will arrive back in the States. The FBI might be assigned to investigate. But these professionals will be days removed from when the crime was committed. Every detective will tell you that evidence gathered immediately following a crime is often crucial to prosecution.

The cruise industry says it caters to more than 24 million customers each year and that crime rates on board one of those massive floating hotels is a small fraction of the comparable rates of crime on land.

But on dry land, you can immediately call 911 for help. You likely have a cop shop a few minutes driving distance from your location and a fully equipped hospital nearby. On a cruise ship, perhaps hundreds of miles out at sea, youve got . . . well, youve got whatever the ship has to offer.

An official with the Cruise Lines International Association insists there is robust security onboard to assure passengers are safe. But lets get real: Any security officers are working for the cruise line, and their primary allegiance may not be to a victimized passenger. Their efforts gathering evidence, taking witness statements or tracking down suspects may be lacking.

NBC News has reported extensively on cruise line crime and calculated that of the 92 alleged crimes reported on cruise ships last year, 62 were sexual assaults. Im guessing here, but I bet the combination of hot temperatures and free-flowing booze tends to reduce passengers inhibitions. But most frightening is that a majority of the sexual assaults be they committed by crew members or passengers were never prosecuted. A congressional report from a few years ago found that minors were the victims in a third of those sexual assaults.

The dirty secret in the cruise line industry is that crime does occur on cruise ships and very often law enforcement isnt notified, evidence isnt preserved, people arent assisted, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. He is sponsoring a bill in the U.S. Senate that would require cruise lines to report any claim of criminal activity to the FBI within four hours, turn over all video evidence, earmark cases in which youngsters are involved and include a federal officer called a sea marshal on each ship. Id like to add that each vessel be equipped with a proper evidentiary rape kit.

NBCs reporting included stories about victimized teenage girls, one of whom tried to commit suicide after she alleged that she was given alcohol and raped onboard a cruise to the Virgin Islands. Another teen interviewed claimed she was sexually assaulted by a crew member in the ships gym. Jim Walker, a Miami attorney, said his firm has represented many victims of alleged cruise ship crime, including one who was just 3 years old.

The average passenger load on an ocean liner is about 3,000. But some mega-cruise liners can hold up to 6,000. Whenever you get that many people in a finite space, lulled by adult activities over here and supervised children and youth activities over there, trouble can develop.

Im sure the cruise lines do their very best to fully vet and hire suitable employees. It would not be in their best interest to do otherwise. But this summer, if you are taking the family on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to paradise, dont let your guard down. Have a wonderful vacation, but realize that crime can happen anywhere, and you and yours are not immune.

* Diane Dimond is an investigative journalist and syndicated columnist.

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Hit high seas on vacation but be careful – Maui News

‘Summer of hell?’ Not on the high seas – amNY

For me its the summer of heaven, said Reid Pauyo, 53.

Pauyo was sitting contentedly last Thursday atop the new rush hour ferry from 34th Street to Glen Cove, Long Island. The Stevie Wonder song Dont you worry bout a thing was playing softly over speakers on the enclosed top deck. The bluffs and beaches of Great Neck and Port Washington breezed by, the lights of the Gatsby mansions just winking on. Pauyo gestured magnanimously. He was the only person in the echoing compartment.

With necessary Amtrak repairs causing what Gov. Andrew Cuomo called a summer of hell now upon us, the MTA has been challenged to make life as un-miserable as possible for commuters traveling into and out of the city in the face of canceled or rerouted LIRR trains. Alternative travel plans were drawn up, including the temporary four-times-daily ferry. The hellscape started a week ago, and then: mostly nothing.

New York City-bound trains were more crowded than usual last week. There were confused Long Islanders rerouted to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, but few nightmares yet. Riders are MTA-trained enough to know that things could get worse, dispensation provided by wise preparation and the fact that Penn Station work is only beginning. But while they wait for the other shoe to drop (maybe its dropping as you read), the Glen Cove ferrygoers were enjoying their unexpected ride all 35 or so on the boat built for more than 200.

Raj Wakhale of Huntington, for example, was sitting good-humoredly on the open deck despite a slight drizzle. Nursing a beer and toasting the landscape, he praised the spaciousness compared to the usual squeezing on the train. You werent sweating on the guy next to you or smelling his beer. He said there had been free food at the Glen Cove Ferry terminal in the morning. Im sure were paying for it somehow, allowed Wakhale, 48.

For Pauyo, the Glen Cove resident enjoying his solitude out of the rain, the boat actually made his commute much easier. His office is right next to the Wall Street drop-off for the morning ferry. Couldnt be easier.

That may not be true for the many who find the ride too long or inconvenient factors in the dampening of demand for the Glen Cove-Manhattan ferry, which has been an elusive goal for decades. Another factor: potential unreliability, as was the case on Friday when two of the four runs were cancelled due to morning engine problems.

Pauyo says the better way to make ferry service sustainable is similar to what the MTA was forced to do this summer: use the bounty of NYs waterways and create an alternative to the train, not a replacement. Then price and size the boats for demand, and re-format the ride to make it competitively pleasant (Pauyo is, you may have guessed, a banker). He said there were easy ways to spruce up the ferry, one of a varied fleet the MTA is using have more outdoor seating, for example, perhaps flat screen TVs or outlets for your phone. At the moment, the enclosed deck sported only a sad string of party lights and a single wilted houseplant.

The alternative transportation strategy is similar to what Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying in the city with a ferry service that launched this spring. Because each boat has about the capacity of a single subway car the system wont a replacement for other modes of transportation. But its certainly pleasant during warm months, particularly when compared with the subways, whose burden it might ease.

In some ways, subway riders are having a truer summer from hell this year, with delays and malfunctions abounding. Ferrygoers generally knew how lucky they had it last week, a much nicer experience than LIRR or subway riders faced. Glen Cove Deputy Mayor Barbara Peebles, a longtime ferry advocate, says shes not surprised to hear about the good experiences, though she had expected many more commuters to try the option even with the limited schedule.

She says she went to sleep the night before launch day thinking were gonna need a bigger boat.

They didnt, and what she hopes will become a popular permanent ferry is off to a slow start. But maybe people will eventually be drawn by a potentially not-so-hellish season on the waves.

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‘Summer of hell?’ Not on the high seas – amNY


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