FYI: July 2001 Page 2

FYI - July 2001
FYI — July 2001
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Squid Pro Quo,, and more
• Part 2: Pirate Patrol, Fish Paradise, and more
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• News/FYI Index

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Forget Napster. The real pirates are back in business with a vengeance. Marine piracy worldwide has soared to a 10-year high, with a 21-percent increase of reported attacks over last year, according to data from the world's major coast guards. The highest number of incidents occurred in or around Indonesia, according to government officials in Kuala Lumpur.

Most modern-day pirates target large commerical ships and stage surprise attacks at night near high-traffic shipping lanes. About 13 percent of the 68 pirate attacks reported worldwide in the first quarter of this year took place in Indonesia's Strait of Malacca.

"Ships calling at the ports of Belawan, Dumai, Jakarta, and Samarinda have reported numerous attacks while at berth and at anchor," says Malaysia's International Maritime Bureau. The bureau also says Malaysia will spend $52 million to buy 30 new speedboats to combat the pirates.

If you're cruising stateside, rest easy. The U.S. Coast Guard has only two pirate-like attacks on record in all American waters over the past five years.


In a move that should have many fish breathing easier, Florida has established the largest no-fishing zone in the United States. Beginning about 70 miles west of the Keys and spreading over 150 square miles, the Tortugas Reserve is now off limits to fishermen.

Led by Gov. Jeb Bush, state officials unanimously voted to implement the zone largely to protect the area's massive coral reef, where thousands of marine species spawn. Grouper and snapper are among the marine life that will immediately benefit from the legislation.

Even many fishermen endorsed the plan, as similar ocean closures have proven to help fish populations increase rapidly, in a widespread area, once they're protected from overfishing. 

If a new federal proposal gets approved, boatbuilders will have to get greener a lot faster than they expected. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to speed up the ban on hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in boat-layup applications by 2005--five years before HCFCs are slated to be banned from all uses. The EPA claims that under the Clean Air Act, it can accelerate the deadline for restricting HCFCs in foam-spraying in favor of greener chemicals.

But the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) says that by not studying the rule's impact on small businesses, the EPA has violated a federal law. "The EPA is between a hard rock and a hard place on this rule," says John McKnight, NMMA's director of Environmental and Safety Compliance. He says if the EPA proceeds with the rulemaking, NMMA will immediately request a deadline extension for boatbuilders.

HCFCs have been on the EPA's hit list for years. Scientists say the chemical helps destroy the ozone layer, the earth's shield against the sun's ultraviolet radiation.

Previous page > Squid Pro Quo, and more! > Page 1, 2

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

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