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Somehow this has been a quiet week for NAUTICAL LOG.  There has been news but it was not really that cheerful, with the Stock Market losing its mind each day, and employment figures not in a good range.  Add to that Iowa and our fearless leader travelling around in a blacked out bus with police-type lights flashing still talking about all his failed policies as if they were not his fault at all and still no plans.
MS Alva aground on Swedish coast
Someone else with no plan or one he did not follow was the captain of that vessel above aground on the Swedish coast.  Apparently he feel asleep on watch and failed to make a turn, the result as one can see he grounded on the coastline.  When the Swedish Coastguard arrived they found he was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him.  No news yet if the vessel MS Alva was refloated.

In Finland near Helsinki a ferry struck a rock after the Captain got stuck in the toilet (head) due to a jammed lock.  A crewmember managed to slow the ferry down but too late to avoid the impact.  Shows the importance of all crew being able to stop the vessel in an emergency. Wonder why he bothered to even lock the head door?

This morning our local newspaper "The Miami Herald" had a long article about Biscayne National Park which being on the doorstep of NAUTICAL LOG caught our attention.  Lets have a look at what that's all about and what the Park Superintendent Mark Lewis is proposing.

Biscayne National Park
It is perhaps indicative of the knowledge and viewpoint of the article that not once did it mention that the Park is transversed by the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) which can, may, and is used by any boater who wishes to do so.  These include tourists from other States and Overseas who may rent/charter a boat from numerous sources and head off through Biscayne National Park to enjoy the Florida Keys, Key West and beyond.

As to the Proposal which is scheduled to be published in Friday's Federal Register making it official with a 60-day Public Comment Period and three (3) Public Hearings.  The Proposal is 360 pages in length and covers five (5) versions numerous small protection zones with exceptions for certain people and boats.  The Park Management has a "preferred alternative" of a marine reserve covering sixteen (16) square miles of both shallow and deeper reefs.  Also built in are expansion of slow speed and no-motor zones, doubling no-fishing zones and adding in an access-by-permit area in certain shallow waters.

As one can imagine there are two extreme viewpoints on all this, one being the environmentalists the other avid sports fisherpersons.  One gets the sense that the Proposal has tried to cover all points of view by being all things to all persons.  That of course never really works and only causes massive confusion, upsets to all parties and is totally unenforceable in practice.

It is the opinion of NAUTICAL LOG that it would be far better just to close the Park to all fishing for a period of time, say ten (10) or fifteen years (15) whatever is recommended for fish stocks to recover and  close the reefs to diving so hopefully they also may recover.  That way there are Rules in place that everybody, including tourists, can be informed of, simple to follow and are easily enforced by Park Management.  

One should note that during the 60-day Public Comment Period only WRITTEN COMMENTS and NOT E-MAILS will be accepted until October 31, 2011.  The address:

General Management Plan
Biscayne National Park,
9700 SW 328th. Street,
Homestead, FL 33033-5634
More information:

All three (3) Meetings are from 6pm (1800) to 9pm (2100).

September 13, 2011;
Crowne Plaza Hotel,
950 NW 42nd. Ave.
Miami, FL.

September 14, 2011;
Florida City Hall,
404 W. Palm Dr.
Florida City, FL.

September 15, 2011;
Holiday Inn Key Largo
99701 Overseas Hwy.
Key Largo, FL.

Good Watch

Please remember the 800 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.


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