Plan to Ban Recreational Boating on Port Phillip
Dates can be very telling ...
Details of a plan that will effectively ban daytime recreational boating on Port Phillip Bay, for six months out of each year, were released today.
The plan, if enacted, would see recreational boats over 4.8 metres, (both power and sail) banned from operating on Port Phillip Bay, between the hours of 1030 (10.30am) and 1530 (3.30pm) every day, in each alternate month.
According to Government Spokesperson Ms Nora Treally, “The current Dredging program in the bay is stirring up sand and sediments, that in the normal course of events would settle to the bottom quickly, generally within a few days. However, with the increased boating activity now taking place on Port Phillip, the sand and sediments are being continually stirred up by boats and remain suspended in the water. This has the effect of making the water in the bay more dense and of a heavier viscosity, a phenomenon known as ‘Thick Water’.”
According to Professor of Aquatics and Marine Life at Monash University, Prof. B. A. Loney , “thick water causes a number of serious problems. It’s a hazard for commercial shipping as large ships find it more difficult to steer and maneuver through thick water and it’s also a problem for fish and other marine life, who generally find it more difficult to swim through the water.”
Thick water is a phenomenon rarely seen in the Southern Hemisphere, but is often reported as occurring in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Scandinavian waterways where the water temperature often causes the water to become more dense.
Fishermen in the Northern Hemisphere have reported that fish caught in ‘thick water’ appear to be ‘muscled up’ as a result of having to work harder to make their way through the water and are generally not as tender and tasty, as fish caught in normal water.
The ban on recreational boating on the bay is planned to commence on 29 February 2010.
P.S.: Thank you to John Zammit from SHIPMATE for his contribution to April Fool's Day.
The strange custom prevalent throughout this kingdom, of people making fools of one another upon the first of April, arose from the year formerly beginning, as to some purpose, and in some respects, on the twenty-fifth of March, which was supposed to be the incarnation of our Lord; it being customary with the Romans, as well as with us, to hold a festival, attended by an octave, at the commencement of the new year—which festival lasted for eight days, whereof the first and last were the principal; therefore the first of April is the octave of the twenty-fifth of March, and, consequently, the close or ending of the feast, which was both the festival of the Annunciation and the beginning of the new year.