The coastal mapping vessel Ferdinand R. Hassler is nearing the end of a two-month mission to gather data south of the Vineyard. The data will be used to update nautical charts that are based on surveys conducted mostly before 1940.


Will we be the last generation to enjoy cod in New England?

An Island-based group that includes fishermen, a documentary filmmaker and a world-renowned oceanographer are leading an unprecedented effort to create three marine protected areas in waters south of the Vineyard.

The New England Aquarium is shifting its mammal rescue efforts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It will no longer be the lead response agency for seal, dolphin and whale strandings Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the north shore of Massachusetts.


For many boaters the writing was already on the wall, but now it’s official. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, office of nautical charts, announced last week it is moving out of the chart printing business. Next April the Maryland government facility that prints them will close.

The NOAA Office of Coastal Survey Marine Chart Division will continue to keep all its waterway information up to date using high-tech measures involving survey work, and charts will be electronically accessible for free in a number of ways.


After years of what seemed an encouraging recovery for the once-storied New England cod fishery, federal regulators recently announced that an important stock is failing.

A 2008 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study of the Gulf of Maine cod stock revealed a fishery rebounding after decades of overfishing, and on pace to be rebuilt by a 2014 deadline set by federal regulators. But just three years later NOAA now says that the fishery is near collapse and may require a fishery-wide shutdown to recover.