We here at FishOn have a couple of parting thoughts on the New England Fishery Management Council passage last week of Amendment 23 that will mandate observer coverage aboard 100% of Northeast groundfish vessel trips when it goes into effect in 2022. And then, we promise, we'll shut up about it.

In the heel of the hunt, no one seemed all that satisfied with the measure except the council, which found enough common ground to obtain its preferred alternative for 100% monitoring coverage and still provide some financial breathing room for fishermen.

Conservation groups were happy with the 100% coverage, but also tres miffed with the minimum coverage rate of 40% that would kick in if federal funds can't carry the freight at 100%.

"Forty percent just won't do it," Gib Brogan of Oceana stated flatly.

The industry was relieved that affordability became a driving force finally, but many fishing stakeholders remain wholly unconvinced that the council made its case for the need of the far-reaching amendment in the first place.  And they hated on the proposal's draft environmental impact study the way we hate on eggs.

And saving the best for last, the plan depends hugely on the sustained munificence of — gulp — the federal government to succeed. Are we the only ones that think that leaves us a couple of legislative Crazy Ivans away from reigniting the whole issue?

OK, we're zipping it on monitoring. For a spell.

Blinding them with science

The Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute is reprising its popular GMGI Science Hour which brings in top-shelf talent and wicked smart people to tell you where you've gone wrong in your life.

Kidding. We're kidding.

The program, born in the fulcrum of social distancing and pandemic lockdown, offers hour-long virtual lectures — we will be taking virtual notes — by leading researchers, scientists and what the Brits like to call boffins. This year's lineup features a Nobel Laureate. That's a big daddy boffin.

The series kicks off Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. with Bruce Walker, the founding director of the Ragon Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital and a co-leader of the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness.

Walker's lecture is titled "COVID-19: Learning from Patients." The Q&A that follows will be moderated by GMGI co-founder David Walt.

On Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m., William G. Kaelin Jr., the 2019 Nobel Laureate in physiology or medicine, will trace his own journey to the Nobel Prize. We wonder if it's similar to ours?

Kaelin, a professor medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will deliver "From a Laboratory 'C' to Stockholm: My Improbable Path to the Nobel Prize."

Kind of a "Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah" thing going on there with the title. Nice. OK, we're willin'.

GMGI co-founder Marc Vidal will moderate the Q&A.

On Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Andrea Bodnar, GMGI's Donald G. Comb Science director, will deliver a talk on "Sea Urchins and the Secrets to a Long, Healthy Life."

She should also talk about her cool dog, Ozie. But she probably won't. Maybe in the Q&A. Chris Wallace is unavailable, so Marc Vidal again will moderate.

In January, at a date and time to be determined, Vincent Pieribone, the vice chairman of OceanX and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine, will lecture. Details to follow.

For more details and to register for the program, visit https://gmgi.org/news/gmgi-science-hour/

Baseball trivia question

On this date in 1980, what outfielder became the first player not born in the United States to lead the American League in home runs? A hint: He began his major league career with the Red Sox in 1971. The answer is crushing it below.

Rescue and repeat

Back in August, we wrote about the the heroics of Irish fishermen Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan Oliver. The Olivers located and saved two paddleboarders who had gone missing after getting blown across Galway Bay.

Well, they're back at it.

On the morning of Sept. 23, the Olivers, who live in Claddagh, were on their way out to fish when they heard a report that another fisherman had gone into the water in the River Caribb. They circled back and were the first boat on the scene, where they plucked the man out of the water.

These guys are feeling it.

Baseball trivia answer

In the final game of the season, Brewers outfielder Ben Oglivie, born in Panama, hit his 41st home run of the season to share the American League home run title with Reggie Jackson of the Yankees. Oglivie's blast off A's pitcher Rick Langford tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Brewers won in the 15th inning, with Oglivie singling and scoring the winning run. Fifteen innings. Just what everybody wants in the last game of the year.

As always, no fish were harmed in the making of this column. 

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT

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