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EDITORIAL: Calling your attention to “must-reads” in this issue

While we like to think every issue of Commercial Fisheries News is chock full of news and information that our readers want and need to read, every now and then it seems to makes sense to point out a couple of “don’t miss” pieces.

In this issue, we call your attention to Fish Safe, starting on page 22.

editorial-SHFish Safe columnist Ann Backus, with a bit of assistance from CFN safety columnist Fred Mattera, has taken on the difficult and somewhat complicated issue of how and when to execute a safe tow at sea.

The discussion is timely, coming on the heels of a towing tragedy in our region that ended in loss of life just weeks ago.   And further reinforced by this month’s Along the Coast column (page 4), which is dominated by Coast Guard incident reports regarding rendering assistance tows to disabled vessels.

As Backus and Mattera make clear, proper equipment, proper technique, and an abundance of caution are all needed anytime an at-sea tow is attempted.

That is particularly true this time of the year when sea conditions can get dicey without warning, forcing quick thinking and even quicker action.

As our columnists point out, it is “fisherman-nature” to leap in and lend a hand to another boat in need.  But when it comes to taking on a tow at sea, the right decision might be to stand back and defer to the Coast Guard or a commercial towing company.

Never an easy decision – and one you hope you never have to make – but a careful reading of this month’s Fish Safe column just might help you make the right call, if and when that time comes.


Also in this issue, Joyce Rowley gets to the bottom of a grapevine rumor sweeping the region that the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole may be on the brink of relocating elsewhere.

Lots of folks have weighed in on the discussion recently, including New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell who thinks his city would make an excellent home for a relocated center.

New Bedford may get its chance, but not for a while, Rowley reports.

Her detailed story beginning on page 20 confirms that while eventual relocation is one option on the table, an ongoing study will also be looking at significant rehabbing and renovation, along with other alternatives.

Whatever the case, a final decision is probably still years away, Rowley reports.

So, don’t believe everything you hear.


Finally, we call your attention to our annual Year of New Boats review, brought to you once again this year by our friends at Furuno.

This special 12-page supplement recaps 2015 new boat launches from the pages of CFN.

While we can’t cover every boat that hits the water in the course of each year, we do try to offer up a balanced view of trends in hulls, power choices, and equipment.  (A number of suppliers have told us they consider our YONB supplement to be their “report card” for the year).  There are the departures from the mainstream, as well … and, thank goodness, still some wooden boats being built.

Whether you are spec’ing a new boat project in the months ahead, thinking about repowering or refitting, or just curious about what the other guys down the bay have been up to, it’s all right here in the Year of New Boats review.

If nothing else, it’s a fun read, especially on those blowy days when you can’t get out, and thoughts turn to “What if …”

Enjoy.  /cfn/



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