Archive for » December 29th, 2017«

China hits back at Trump tweet accusing it of selling oil to North Korea

China denied Friday that it was supplying oil to North Korea in violation of United Nations sanctions aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program, hours after online criticism from President Trump.

“Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!” Trump tweeted Thursday. 

South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported this week that Chinese and North Korean vessels have been meeting at sea for transfers of oil.

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said Friday that Beijing has “completely and strictly” complied with the sanctions, the Associated Press reported.

More: Trump scolds China over reports it is giving North Korea oil: ‘Caught red handed’

More: Anthrax antibodies in defector raises fears North Korea is developing chemical weapons

She added that authorities investigated a report that a Chinese ship contravened the sanctions by transferring oil to a North Korean ship at sea in October and concluded the report was false.

China previously denied that it is violating sanctions on oil sales to Pyongyang.

Trump has spent months lobbying China and other nations to cut off economic assistance to Kim Jong Un’s government. 

South Korea seized and inspected a Hong Kong-registered ship that was accused of transferring oil to North Korea, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported Friday.

Yonhap said the Lighthouse Winmore secretly transferred 600 tons of refined petroleum to the Sam Jong 2, a North Korean ship, in international waters in the East China Sea on Oct. 19, a move prohibited by the sanctions, citing unnamed government officials.

The news agency reported that South Korean officials impounded the ship, which had been chartered by Taiwanese firm Billions Bunker Group, when it entered the Yeosu Port in South Korea on Nov. 24.

The unnamed officials  said South Korea had shared intelligence regarding the incident with the U.S., Yonhap reported.


Boat Brigade

December 29, 2017

Family-owned Fish Tale Boats capped a strong first year at its $5 million Tamiami Trail dealership in Fort Myers by opening a showroom on Naples’ boat-dealer lane.

The opening, on Davis Boulevard in Naples, follows Fish Tale Boats’ move at the start of 2017 to go from a 2-acre location on Fort Myers Beach to the former home of Scanlon Acura at 15581 S. Tamiami Trail, near the corner of Tamiami and Briarcliff Road. In moving to the 7-acre site, Fish Tale traded in water access for 700 feet of highway frontage close to Interstate 75.

The much larger mainland inventory, mix of models and increased new parts offerings helped compensate for the absence of waterfront. Another asset is the company’s new strategy, in which Fish Tale service technicians go to customers when they call, says Travis Fricke, co-owner and vice president of operations.

To boost that strategy, the Fricke family increased its service fleet from four to nine vehicles. “Everybody thinks you’ve got to be on the water to sell and service boats. Not necessarily,” Travis Fricke says. “We’ve got more trucks and more service personnel now.”

The same “go-to-the-customer” strategy is behind the Naples opening, in late November, of the 6,000-square-feet boat store at 2105 Davis Blvd. The expansion situates Fish Tale Boats in a Naples market it has served for years from Fort Myers.

It also gives the company an opportunity to take broader advantage of a growing year-round recreational boat market in Southwest Florida, Fricke says. “We wanted to get our sales team closer to our Collier clientele,” he adds. “We already had our feet in the water there. We’re just tapping into it more.”

The new showroom will display Robalo, Chaparral and high-end pontoon boats from Avalon. Service calls will still be dispatched from Fort Myers. “We’ve got two guys on the road pretty much every day,” Fricke says.

Fish Tale expects to replant its flag on the beachside once it closes a deal to lease a small office at an expanded Bonita Bay Marina, where it has some slips for servicing larger vessels. Fricke expects the office will be mainly for sales.

Much of the decision last year to exchange a two-decade home on Fort Myers Beach for a mainland location came down to this: Most recreational boaters in the region move their boats on trailers. “Compared to on the water, way more people are on trailers here,” Fricke says.

It also helps when the new mainland location is sandwiched between high-end auto dealerships Land Rover and Mercedes on a highway that gets 65,000 cars a day, he says. “When you are between a Mercedes and a Land Rover,” says Fricke, “you kind of get the feeling this is the right spot.”

Travis Fricke runs the business with his brother, Justin Fricke, and their mother, Diane Fricke. The trio kept the business going after the sudden death of family patriarch Bruce Fricke in 2010. Now Fish Tale sells boats from 16 feet in length to 37 feet, with the high-end Grady-White boat a main seller in the Fort Myers dealership.

It’s especially gratifying, Travis Fricke adds, to move nearly as much inventory in July as in the peak of the winter visitor season. Says Travis Fricke: “We’ve been growing into our big shoes.”


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Nautical News: For the week of December 24, 2017 – 95.9 WATD

TWO BODIES OF FISHERMEN RECOVERED

 

Massachusetts State Police divers recovered the bodies of the two crew members who were working on the New Bedford surf clam boat Misty Blue. Michael Roberts, 44, and Jonathan Saraiva, 32, were lost when they went down with the boat about 10 miles off Nantucket. Their bodies were found two weeks later inside the sunken boat. The two who survived, Misty Blue’s captain Eric Arabian and Colby McMullen, were wearing their survival suits when rescued by F/V Enterprise which was working nearby. The two crew members who were lost were said to be still putting their suits on when the boat went down. The deaths of the crew have left fishing communities devastated. Officials are now investigating why the Misty Blue sank.

 

CONSTRUCTION OF MARSHFIELD MARITIME BUILDING UNDERWAY

 

Marshfield Harbormaster Mike DiMeo’s number one goal since he was appointed to his position over 10 year ago was to build a new maritime center. This Christmas he is getting his wish. This past week a ceremony was held as he stood beside Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito to break ground for the center. Construction is already underway and the 2.13 million dollar complex could be open by the end of next summer. Almost all of the project is being paid for by grants from the state Seaport Economic Council. Lt. Governor Polito said that Marshfield’s active commercial fishing fleet makes the town worth investing in. The first floor of the building will include public restrooms, showers, a conference room, and boat storage for the harbormaster. Upstairs will be the harbormaster’s office with a kitchen and lockers for the staff.

 

INSURANCE COMPANY ALLEGES HOLES MADE LARGER IN BOAT

 

In a legal document filed in US District Court by lawyers for the insurance company that insured Nathan Carman’s boat accused him of making alterations to his boat “with the intention” of sinking it when his mother was on board. They claimed he enlarged holes in the transom of the boat near the waterline hours before departing. The boat sank when he and his mother, Linda Carman, went on a fishing trip more than 100 miles offshore. Nathan was found on a life raft a week later by the crew of a freighter about 115 miles off Martha’s Vineyard. His mother was never found. The boat’s insurer, National Liability Fire Insurance Co. is requesting the judge declare the insurance claim on the boat invalid. Nathan adamantly denied the allegations and was not charged with committing a crime. Another lawsuit pending that involves Nathan is the collection of his mother’s multi million dollar estate.

 

MAN FALLS OFF DOCK IN MIDDLE OF NIGHT AT MARINA

 

A Warwick, Rhode Island man who lives aboard his boat year round at the Warwick Cove Marina, saved his elderly neighbor who fell off the dock into the bitterly cold water. The rescuer said he heard cries for help coming from the water and knew that he was the only one there to help. He quickly jumped into the water and pulled the man who was struggling in the water to safety while his wife called 911. Fire officials said there was no doubt that he saved the man’s life. He was taken to the hospital and treated for severe hypothermia. This time of the year, the docks are very icy and slippery. Boaters are warned not to walk the docks alone.

 

CANADA SIGNS TARIFF FREE LOBSTER DEAL WITH EU

 

A trade deal between Canada and the European Union could amount to a lump of coal for the U.S. seafood exporters. Canada and the European Union brokered a deal that eliminates tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28 nations in Europe. That puts Canadian lobster industry at a big economic advantage over the U.S. lobster exporters which are mostly based in New England. The EU is the biggest importer of seafood in the world, importing nearly $300 million in American and Canadian lobster last year. Now they will save the previous 11% tariff on the Canadian lobsters. Already fewer U.S. lobsters are being shipped to France, Spain and Italy, but lobster exports to Asia have exploded. China imported less than $800,000 in U.S. lobsters in 2006 and took in more than $108 million last year. America’s lobster fleet, based mostly in Maine and Massachusetts caught a record of 158.5 million pounds of lobster in 2016. Some suspect a lower figure in 2017, but statistics won’t be compiled until early next year.

 

BUYERS RESPONSE “ROBUST” FOR SEA RAY BOAT COMPANY

 

Brunswick Corp. has had a “robust” response from potential buyers of its Sea Ray brand, which the company recently announced was for sale. Officials at Brunswick said the decision to sell Sea Ray had nothing to do with any short term weakness of sales. In fact they claimed there was strong consumer interest in the brand at the Fort Lauderdale boat show with a backlog in production going into next year. It will be at least three months before it will be made public who the new owner will be.

 

TURTLE FOUND ENTANGLED WITH COCAINE

 

The crew aboard a Key West Coast Guard cutter found a giant leatherback sea turtle entangled in a rope attached to 26 packages filled with cocaine. While on patrol, the crew noticed a large debris field and discovered the turtle stuck among the nearly a ton of cocaine worth an estimated 53 million dollars. The crew carefully cut the ropes to free the turtle and it did swim away, but it was obvious that it suffered from chafing around its neck and flippers. It was thought that the smugglers intentionally dropped the cocaine overboard before they got caught and that the poor turtle swam right into the pile and became entangled.

 

“FISH AND SHIPS” STUDY DONE BY NOAA

 

In a study called “fish and ships” NOAA scientists recorded the sounds made by Atlantic cod and haddock at spawning sites and found that ship traffic noise reduced the distance over which these animals communicated with each other. As a result, daily behavior, feeding, mating, and socializing during critical biological periods was believed to be altered. Two sites inside the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary were monitored for three months by researchers at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center laboratory in Woods Hole and at the sanctuary’s building in Scituate. The sod grunts and haddock knocks, were recorded hourly by bottom-mounted instruments during spawning seasons and apparently the fish made the most noise right in the Boston shipping lanes.


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Cruising the River Nile: ‘Wind, Sand and Stars’

Our Nile ship, Sun Boat IV, is waiting for us in the southern Egyptian city of Luxor. To get there, the tour group boards a turboprop with a historic-looking “Spirit of St. Louis” shape. I do a double take at the logo on the fuselage: a drop of oil spurting out the top of a derrick. We’re flying “Petroleum Air.”


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