Subscribe to our newsletter

FYI: April 2003 Page 2

FYI — April 2003
By Brad Dunn
   
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: WTC, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With.., and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

A Word With... Jim Leishman
In the 1980’s Jim Leishman came up with a concept for a sturdy, stalwart passagemaker that turned the boating industry on its ear. More than 15 years later, Nordhavns are still a synonym for bluewater passagemakers. Leishman, vice president of the California-based company, is also an avid cruiser with a circumnavigation under his belt. We recently caught up with him on his way to China on a promotional trip.
Q. What do you love most about boating?
A. The ocean is still the last, great frontier, relatively boundless and accessible to anyone with the desire, skills, and tools to explore it.
Q. What’s the best part of a long-range cruise?
A. For most people it’s the destination, but for me it’s the passage itself. Even during our circumnavigation, where destinations were nothing more than fuel and provision stops, I had the time of my life. Planning the voyage, preparing the vessel, the excitement, even the dread that most mariners feel at the beginning of a long voyage—this is what I love.
Q. What kind of boat do you own?
A. Actually, none right now. I’ve owned a variety of power- and sailing boats, but most of my passagemaking experiences have been on Nordhavns that were owned by our company or our customers. It’s just not the same thing as owning one yourself. At almost 50 years old and after 30 years of hard work, I’m at a stage where I just have to have one—a boat that is truly mine with personal gear in the lockers, provisions in the galley, and that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Q. Any plans to make that happen?
A. We’ve just completed the design work and have started construction on a new one that I’d really like to own. Maybe in a year or so I’ll realize my dream.

“Jaws”-Dropping News
They may be among the most ruthless and terrifying predators on the planet, but according to a surprising new study, sharks are losing the battle to survive.

In January researchers at the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, reported that most North Atlantic shark populations have been cut in half over the past 15 years, with some species dwindling almost to the point of no return. Hammerheads, great whites, tigers and threshers are among those that have been most devastated by the heavy increase in longline, commercial fishing.

“This is a worldwide phenomenon,” reports Ransom Myers, a co-author of the study, in the journal Science. “We estimate that all recorded shark species, with the exception of makos, have declined by more than 50 percent in the past eight to 15 years.”

Research shows that in areas where longline fishermen relentlessly harvest tuna and swordfish, hammerheads have dropped by 89 percent, threshers by 80 percent, and blue sharks by 60 percent. Great whites, made famous in Jaws, have declined by 79 percent.

In addition to increased fishing, the drop in shark population reflects the species’ slow, almost mammal-like, reproduction cycles that cannot replace depleted numbers. “They are like humans,” Myers says. “They take a long time to mature and have relatively few babies. That makes them more vulnerable than other fish species.”

The researchers say that even minimal changes in commercial fishing practices would greatly help the sharks rebound. Because most species hunt and migrate at predictable times and places, scientists say fishermen could plan their harvests around them. They also urge international agencies to establish more refuges in the North Atlantic, where no fishing is permitted.

Previous page > WTC, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

Related Features