Odyssey Marine Exploration might have to give a half-billion dollars worth of gold and silver coins back to Spain because the treasure likely came from a Spanish warship and, if so, the vessel still belongs to Spain, according to a judge’s report.
All the evidence suggests the shipwreck, code-named Black Swan, is Nuestra Senora de Mercedes, a Spanish frigate that exploded and sank in an 1804 engagement with the British fleet, U.S. Magistrate Mark A. Pizzo writes in a June 3 advisory report for U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla.
Maine shooting has roots in a generations-old conflict between lobstering statutes and ‘island law’
A shooting on Maine’s remote Matinicus Island has brought into sharp focus islanders’ historic ways of divvying up — and defending — prime lobstering grounds that have provided their livelihoods for generations.
Two weeks after the Matinicus shooting, three lobster boats were sunk at their moorings in Owls Head harbor near Rockland, Maine, in an apparently unrelated dispute that authorities still were trying to unravel.
Two 35-footers — Git-R-Down, owned by Donald McMahan Jr., and First Light, owned by Keith Simmons — were found sunk at their moorings early Aug. 5 as lobstermen arrived at sun-up to begin their workdays.
Vance Bunker, the lobsterman accused of the Matinicus shooting, is a local hero who helped save three men after their tugboat sank one brutally cold night in 1992.
The air that Jan. 16 was minus 4 F — so cold a thick layer of sea smoke hung over Penobscot Bay. Though stars were visible overhead, visibility across the water was very smoky. The wind was blowing 40 mph when the 75-foot tug Harkness, chugging back to Mount Desert Island, began taking on water off Matinicus.
The lobster fishery has had some very, very good years
— but also some tough ones — from the mid-1980s right up to 2007, when lobsters were fetching as much as $12 a pound wholesale at the dock. This summer, lobstermen have been getting $2.50 a pound, a 19-year low.
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