Category Archives: Gulf of Mexico

North Fort Myers man alleged to have illegally used a net to catch sharks in the Gulf

A North Fort Myers man on probation for wildlife violations is facing more than a dozen charges including allegedly catching eight sharks over the state limit and using nets for those catches after wildlife officers saw him try to toss other fish into Jug Creek. Bryan David Becker, 34, remains in Lee County Jail on no bond.,,  Two plainclothes Florida Fish and Wildlife officers watched Becker at 4 a.m. on Feb. 15 as he violated a marked slow speed zone in a commercial fishing “Mullet Skiff” on approach to a dock at Jug Creek Marina in Bokeelia. >click to read< 14:52

Coast Guard rescues 3, searching for missing boater 70 miles south west of Fort Myers Beach

The Coast Guard is searching for a 63-year-old man in the Gulf of Mexico after a fishing boat sank 70 miles south west of Fort Myers Beach. Searching for Dennis Grim, 63. Rescued were James Beeman, Anthony Bertolino, Darren Whalen. At 3:59 a.m. Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a distress call via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 from Beeman, the captain aboard the 37-foot commercial fishing boat, J.U.M.A., out of Seminole. Beeman reported the boat was taking on water and he needed emergency assistance. >click to read< 10:17

US fisheries’ leader Oliver asserts ‘business-minded’ stance

The US’ top regulatory authority on fishing used his first appearance ever at a Seafood Expo North America (SENA) conference on Sunday to describe how he was reshaping the mission at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create more of a pro-business environment. Commercial fishermen largely applauded the Donald Trump administration’s selection of Chris Oliver to serve as NOAA’s assistant administrator of fisheries in June 2017. >click to read< 09:41


To all, My name is Joel Hovanesian and I am a commercial fisherman who resides in RI but have held a CT. licence for some 30 years. I have a small inshore vessel now after selling my offshore boat in 2010. I have been dealing with Mike Gambardella since he started in the Borough. I want to bring an issue forward and give insight to some thoughts. I have been an outspoken critic of the way we have been managing our fisheries here in New England and other places on the Eastern Seaboard. We all recognize the fact that regulations need to be in place for obvious reasons, however as often happens when the Federal Government gets involved with things, they have a tendency to take on a life of their own. >click to read<13:36

U.S. States Slow Trump’s Offshore Drilling Expansion Plan

The Trump administration’s plan to broadly expand drilling in U.S. offshore waters is moving slowly due to opposition from coastal states and indifference from oil companies that have turned their focus to other opportunities. The administration hopes encouraging U.S. energy development outside of shale oilfields will further its goal of “energy dominance.” But existing Obama administration lease rules remain in place through 2022 unless the new rules gain approval. The Department of the Interior this year proposed opening vast new acreage in the U.S. outer continental shelf to drilling. >click to read< 08:56

What a disappointment. It seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322, American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

What a disappointment. I just got a call from Bruce Schactler of the National Seafood Marketing Coalition, and it seems Senator Markey is still holding out on Bill S1322…the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act. Senator, I have always supported you because you were there for us with regards to fisherman. I am a retired Captain and we have met in the past. I have reached out to you many times recently regarding this important bill by Senator Sullivan of Alaska who has a bill that we want passed, and expect you to support. Sam Parisi>click to read< 21:15

Zinke promises to ‘partner’ with oil industry, as offshore drilling opponents push back

Opponents of the Trump administration’s offshore drilling proposals pressed their case as a first 60-day public comment period drew to a close this week. Meanwhile Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, speaking at a Houston energy industry conference Tuesday, talked up the offshore plan and other administration moves to streamline drilling and infrastructure permits. The Department of Interior, Zinke said, “should be in the business of being a partner” with industry. >click to read<10:11

Keys fishermen talk about traps to stop the lionfish invasion

Lionfish are the scourge of the Florida Keys seas. Since the early 2000s, they’ve been invading local waters, devouring everything in sight.,,, It’s legal to net them, even spear them where it’s allowed.,,  But the simplest, most effective method for removing lionfish is to catch them in existing lobster and stone crab traps.,, The Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association is tackling the lionfish invasion from another angle — an exempted fishing permit issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a pilot project. >click to read< 18:53

Gloucester again at center of drilling fight, along with everyone from every coast.

In the late-1970s, an unlikely alliance between environmentalists and commercial fishermen in this storied seaport helped block plans to open up Georges Bank to oil exploration — an effort that ultimately led to a federal moratorium on offshore drilling. Georges Bank, a shallow and turbulent fish spawning ground southeast of Cape Ann and 100 miles east of Cape Cod, has been fished for more than 350 years.,,, In Gloucester, those who fought similar efforts a generation ago are confident the city can again win a David vs. Goliath battle with energy companies. >click to read< The non-stop articles about the opposition to drilling is overwhelming. No one wants it. Wind farms are the real threat.  14:05

U.S. Coast Guard discovers 14 undocumented immigrants on U.S. fishing vessel

The captain of a commercial fishing vessel called the “Linda Labin” claimed to have no idea there were 14 undocumented immigrants hidden on his boat. A federal investigation suggests otherwise. Captain Francisco Hernandez, Jose Angel Carmona-Reyes and Marco Antonio Paez-Barreto, both crew members, were arrested Saturday after a search of the fishing vessel by the United States Coast Guard revealed that 14 immigrants from Mexico were hidden in various locations of the boat, court documents show. >click to read< 17:39

Portraits of the modern shrimper

San Carlos Island is home to one of the few remaining working waterfronts in Florida, and one of the last shrimping fleets in the country. The shrimping docks used to house hundreds of boats, but now, two businesses and a handful of independent fishers are left to sustain the industry. During a recent community visioning meeting, Lee County asked San Carlos Island stakeholders to discuss what made the island special – and almost every focus group said it was important to preserve and promote the commercial working waterfront, a piece of the county’s culture. >click to read< 15:31

Coast Guard responders “harmed by chemicals used to clean up BP’s spill”

Sometimes, there is absolutely nothing worse than being proven right. It is the one thing you dreaded. Ever since the horrendous Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, I and many others warned against using the toxic chemical called Corexit arguing that it would do more damage than good. The potential evidence of harm, or lack of evidence of its safety, was clear for everyone from BP to the US Government to see to if they had bothered to look. Nearly one million gallons of the dispersant was dropped by air and a further 770,000 gallons injected into the well head to try and disperse in excess of 200 million gallons of oil that was spilt by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read<13:21

Florida Fishermen to cast vote against net ban

Local commercial fishermen plan to petition Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) next month to place an amendment on the November ballot reversing the gill net ban. Mark Coarsey, of Fishing for Freedom’s Manatee County chapter, has been collecting signatures in support of lifting the net ban at the annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival in recent years. He will be taking them to the last of five CRC meetings in the state on Tuesday, March 13, from 1-7 p.m. at the University of South Florida Student Center, 200 Sixth Ave. S. in St. Petersburg. >click to read< 17:53

Nil’s Stolpe writes, The Magnuson-Stevens amendment I want under the Christmas tree

OVERFISHING! This has become one of the oceans branch of the doom and gloom prognisticator’s (aka Environmental Non Governmental Organizations or ENGOs) principal calls for alms. To wit, they have collectively raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from big business-supported foundations and trusting members of the public to persecute (generally commercial) fishermen who they preach are the cause of “overfishing,” the major threat to the sanctity of the oceans. (I’ll note here that the Pew “Charitable” Trusts was the multibillion dollar foundation that initiated the war on fishermen.) This purposeful misuse of the term “overfishing” has been one of the most subtle and most effective weapons in the anti-fishing activists’ arsenal. Nils Stolpe FishNetUSA >click to read< 18:00

Our Drowning Coast: Left to Louisiana’s tides, Jean Lafitte fights for time

Out toward the horizon, a fishing village appears on a fingerling of land, tenuously gripping the banks of a bending bayou. Just two miles north is the jagged tip of a fortresslike levee, a primary line of defense for New Orleans, whose skyline looms in the distance. Everything south of that 14-foot wall of demarcation, including the gritty little town of Jean Lafitte, has effectively been left to the tides. Jean Lafitte may be just a pinprick on the map, but it is also a harbinger of an uncertain future. As climate change contributes to rising sea levels, threatening to submerge land from Miami to Bangladesh, the question for Lafitte, as for many coastal areas across the globe, is less whether it will succumb than when — and to what degree scarce public resources should be invested in artificially extending its life. Video, images>click to read<21:20

What Does the Jones Act Mean for Offshore Wind?

The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt wind farm located just off the coast of Rhode Island, began operations in December 2016, fulfilling the goal of the project’s developer, Deepwater Wind LLC, to build America’s first offshore wind farm. The Block Island Wind Farm consists of only five wind turbines and is tiny in comparison to the large offshore wind farms operating off the coasts of Europe, but Deepwater Wind is planning larger wind farms off the coasts of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New Jersey. Other developers are doing the same with other projects up and down the East Coast of the United States. >click to read< 14:37

Des Allemands father, son saved from drowning in the Mississippi River

Whitney Curole is a firm believer that the rescue of he and his son from the freezing waters of the Mississippi River is nothing short of a miracle. “I knew when the first big wave came over the boat … I knew it couldn’t take that much water,” Curole said…. Just as he had so many times before without incident, Curole was riding the “ship waves” toward a dock in Venice at about 4:30 p.m. last Tuesday to sell the sharks they caught there. Suddenly, his 27-by-9-foot aluminum flat boat went down on a wave, but was over topped by water of the next wave instead of bouncing back up as expected. >click to read<13:46

Alaska Fishing Delegation Heads To Washington

Representatives of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council– both members of the nationalFishing Communities Coalition (FCC) – were in Washington, DC, this week urging lawmakers to resist shortsighted efforts to weaken fishing communities by undermining key Magnuson-Stevens Act accountability provisions.,,, “The MSA is working in Alaska and around the country because all sectors adhere to scientifically-sound annual catch limits. >click to read<09:54

Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry could be at risk due to proposed diversion project

Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry could be in jeopardy due to the state’s Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Project, a fifty billion dollar initiative supported by Governor John Bel Edwards. “I used to fish out here with my dad in High School and we used to catch loads and loads of oysters and that was the biggest sea plant in Louisiana,” says commercial fisherman Shane Shelley. Shelley is talking about an area known as “Mardi Gras Pass”,,, “It’s going to change the mixture of water which oysters don’t survive in, crabs or shrimp. This could change everything,” >click to read< 10:48

Missing fishermen found clinging to capsized vessel in the Gulf

The Coast Guard has concluded its search for an overdue vessel with two people aboard, Tuesday. The boaters were located clinging to the hull of their capsized vessel by a good Samaritan vessel, Lady Tierny, approximately 18 miles south-southeast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The Lady Tierny transported the survivors to emergency medical services in Port Fourchon. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report that a 23-foot white Mako commercial fishing vessel with two people aboard, last known to be approximately 10 miles west of the Southwest Pass jetties in the Gulf of Mexico, did not return when expected. >link< 10:02

Florida commercial fishermen could get $200 million in aid

Florida’s commercial fisheries, hit hard by Hurricane Irma, should pull in a $200 million boost from the two-year federal budget passed last week. The $200 million will be included as funding for the “catastrophic regional fishery disaster for Florida” in the proposed $300 billion increase in the federal budget, Florida U.S. senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio announced. Part of that federal money could go toward ongoing trap-recovery efforts, Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association executive director Bill Kelly said Monday. >click to read< 19:29 

Fearing fraud, US pushes for imported shrimp to be tracked

A bipartisan group of US senators have called for shrimp to be included in new legislation aimed at improving the traceability and transparency of seafood imports and preventing fraud. In a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, 11 senators from across the political divide supported language in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill that sought to include shrimp in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Seafood Import Monitoring Programme (SIMP). >click to read< 15:58

HR 200 – 24 Fishing Groups from Around the Nation Call for Magnuson-Stevens Act Reforms

Twenty-four members of Saving Seafood’s National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC) are calling on Congress to enact broad reforms to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), including allowing for greater flexibility in how stocks are rebuilt and changes to how new management programs are implemented. The proposals, delivered in a letter to Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, would, according to the signers, lead to a reauthorization that “allows for both sustainable fisheries management, and the long-term preservation of our nation’s fishing communities.” >click to read< 13:22 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Declares Fisheries Disasters Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Today, in conjunction with the requests put forward by the Governors of Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross determined catastrophic fishery disasters occurred in the areas because of impacts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria that made landfall in August and September of 2017. Under the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Governors asked the Secretary of Commerce to determine whether a commercial fishery failure occurred due to a fishery resource disaster, in these cases caused by destructive hurricanes. >click to read< 12:25

Linda Brandt: Mullet is so much more than bait

I grew up thinking mullet was only for bait and smoking for dip. That was probably because when I went fishing with my dad, he used mullet for bait. And because he fished with a rod and reel and mullet are mostly caught with cast nets, they didn’t show up freshly caught on our table. Apparently I have been missing out on not only one of Florida’s oldest delicacies, but a piece of state history as well. >click to read< 15:30

Six years after the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay collapsed, scientists still don’t agree on what happened.

When Robert Livingston studied Florida’s Apalachicola Bay and River in the 1970s, he marveled at the ecosystem’s health. The bay produced a rich bounty of oysters, shrimp, fish, and crabs. Those animals, in turn, supported a thriving fishing community and seafood industry. But since then, the bay has declined. During a 2012 drought, the oyster fishery collapsed—and has not recovered. In the past, the ecosystem “was like a symphony orchestra,” says Livingston, an aquatic ecologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee. “Now it is not. It is dysfunctional.” >click to read< 09:35

Carl Roby, tuna fisherman

A white scar carved across Carl Roby’s hand tells the story of the time a tuna, a creature he has spent decades harvesting, almost won. It was late. He and his crew were pulling in the miles’ worth of line they strung out earlier that day with hundreds of hooks. It’s methodical work, pulling the line in hand-over-hand and raveling it back onto the spools. The bright spot is when a yellowfin tuna, sleek, strong and worth hundreds, glimmers just under the water. Roby had been fishing for decades at this point. He started as a teenager in the 1970s when regulations weren’t as confining, spending summers working on charter boats out of Captain Anderson’s Marina. He liked it, and eventually he moved on to bigger fish — yellowfin tuna. >click to read< 12:20

A new push to deregulate America’s oceans and backcountry

Recent decisions at the Interior and Commerce departments are opening the doors for more commercial exploitation of US fisheries and land resources. Advocates say the changes finally allow local voices to be heard. Critics say science is being ignored in favor of industry.,, But while these lands and waters may belong to every American, some feel particularly invested, including the roughnecks, loggers, fishermen, hunters, snowmobilers, and miners who eke out tough livings from rough but beautiful surroundings. Many of them, like New Hampshire boat owner, biologist, and former fishery council member Ellen Goethel, have watched resources grow increasingly off-limits under what she calls a “one-size-fits-all” conservation approach implemented by the Obama administration. >click to read< 11:48

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in New Orleans January 29 – February 1, 2018

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet January 29 – February 1, 2018, at the Hyatt Center, 800 Iberville Street, New Orleans, LA 70112 . View Council Agenda View Briefing Materials, >click here< Register for April Council Webinar, >click here< 15:05

2017 Gulf Shrimp Landings: Louisiana At Historic Lows, Alabama At Historic Highs

NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Data Management division released information regarding December shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico. In December, the commercial fishing industry landed 6.6 million pounds of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico, up from 5.8 million pounds in December of 2016. Despite the significant increase from 2016, landings last month were 23.4 percent below the prior seventeen-year historic average for December of 8.7 million pounds. >click here to read< 10:32