Category Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Cortez fishing giant and business leader named Manatee County’s Outstanding Agriculturist

Karen Bell was supposed to present a talk on the $11 million Manatee County seafood industry. Or, so she thought.,,, “I am just shocked — thank you so much — because, and I thought, Scott, I thought we were here for you,” Bell told the crowd, and Scott Moore, a charter boat captain and conservationist who is being inducted into the Manatee County Agriculture Hall of Fame. “I’m just shocked that you all got one over on me.” Bell serves on local and national boards representing the seafood industry and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Reef Fish, >click to read< 16:59

Illegal foreign fishing draws congressional eye

Nathan Rickard, representing local shrimpers through the Southern Shrimp Alliance, was one of the people invited to speak on a panel to the subcommittee. He said federal anti-dumping laws helped provide stability to an industry that received a massive hit from imported shrimp beginning in the late ‘90s. “Although the industry permanently had lost many shrimping families, and has struggled to maintain its foothold in some coastal communities, the threat that the industry would entirely disappear has abated,” Rickard said. “The U.S. shrimp industry currently produced about one out of every eight pounds of shrimp that are consumed in our country. >click to read< 10:10

Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing US waters

Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted five Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off the coast of southern Texas, Saturday.,, Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has intercepted 22 lanchas and interdicted 15 lanchas north of the U.S./Mexico Maritime Border since Oct. 1, 2019. 3 Photo’s, >click to read< 17:59

Plan would protect 21 coral hot spots in Gulf of Mexico

The plan would create 21 protected areas off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Thirteen of the areas would carry new commercial fishing restrictions, and that has attracted the attention of fishing groups, who want the government to take a cautious approach. Pew Charitable Trusts has characterized the plan as a way to protect nearly 500 square miles of slow-growing coral “hot spots,” and is championing the protection plan as a way to spare vulnerable corals from fishing gear. >click to read<  10:30

LDWF estimate: Louisiana fishing industry sustained $258M in losses during historic flooding

The Louisiana fishing industry suffered an estimated $258 million in losses due to the historic 2019 flooding event, according to a fisheries disaster economic impact analysis conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Governor John Bel Edwards announced today (11/15). The analysis was submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for helping the state qualify for its portion of the $165 million in fisheries disaster assistance currently available on the federal level. >click to read<  14:06

Let’s Try This Again. Irma Payouts to Commercial Fishermen Delayed, Require Reapplication

Commercial fishermen across the Keys are still trying to get on their feet from Irma as they continue to wait for recovery funds for lost harvest and gear. Due to a blip in the application process and mailing, they may have to wait a while longer. In February 2018, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross declared a fisheries management disaster in Florida and allocated $44,608,039 to help fishermen recover from Hurricane Irma. <click to read< 10:20

A reminder from Sam Parisi to those interested in creating and implementing a U.S. Fish Bill

Greetings to all commercial fishermen, fish processors, equipment suppliers, politicians, and citizens, that are interested and supportive of creation of the U.S. Fish Bill. It is important that we create an atmosphere of unity and inclusion for all to reach out to their political representation, and inform them of need for a major Bill supporting all segments of the U.S. Fishing industry, and ask that they get involved. I am asking Senator Bruce Tarr, and Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante to attend. The meeting will be held at the Gloucester City Hall November 21 at 7 pm. For developing info, and input of idea’s, please call me!  Thank you, and best regards! Sam Parisi, Gloucester Mass. at 978 491 7722 06:45

Midwestern Farm Runoff Creates Headache For Louisiana Shrimpers

“We’re not catching no large shrimp,” said Olander, who largely blames worsening environmental conditions. “There’s no explaining this here other than it’s something’s wrong with our water.”  Olander grabs his phone to elaborate. He pulls up a picture of the Gulf water his cousin Douglas, also a fisherman, took from the deck of his boat earlier this summer.  “That’s that green slime,” he said, pointing. “ Audio, >click to read< 11:43

Deckhand on a fishing boat alleges he was denied prompt medical treatment

A former deckhand on a fishing/shrimping vessel alleges after he fell and suffered injuries and then suffered a stroke, he did not receive medical attention until six hours later when the ship returned to port.  Hung Manh Tran filed a complaint Oct. 23 in Harris County District Court against Platinum Seafood Services Inc., alleging negligence and violation of the Jones Act. >click to read< 11:33

Uncle Sam wants you to eat more shark

Late last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent out a newsletter,, “While overfishing has greatly depleted some shark populations overseas, U.S. shark fisheries are some of the most sustainable in the world,” it read. I did a double take, racking my memory for the last time I saw shark as an option at the grocery store or on a restaurant menu.,,  So why is NMFS encouraging eaters to eat more shark? Pointing to its strict fishing quotas, the agency suggests that eaters buying American-caught shark can now do so without guilt. >click to read<  07:19

A Fish Bill Update from Sam Parisi, and a scheduled meeting in Gloucester with all invited!

Dear Fisherynation Readers, I wanted to share some information about a project that I have an interest in seeing advance, a U.S. Fish Bill. I am pleased to let you know that today, a staffer from Senator Markey’s office responded to my request to help draft a Fish Bill. I had a good conversation with the staffer that also requested a meeting with Massachusetts fishermen and local politans to discuss and endorse a U.S Fish Bill. >click to read< 18:07

Net ban at 25: Still stings, still opposed

Red tide, blue-green algae, global warming, sea rise, sewage spills and oil spills combined don’t antagonize commercial fishermen as much as one single, 25-year-old subject. On election day in 1994, Florida voters passed a state constitutional amendment banning Florida commercial fishermen from using gill nets. The law made any commercial fisherman in the state an outlaw who used a gill net to catch mullet, as fishing families had done for generations. >click to read< 08:30

Hundreds honor seafood industry hall of fame inductees

While it’s been a rough year for the seafood industry on the Coast, Saturday was a time to celebrate a heritage that has resilience beyond disaster. Twenty-five inductees have been added to the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum Hall of Fame. There was more than just seafood history being honored. This was a cultural celebration. “The stories are beautiful. Every story is a part of the big picture, and every story is valuable,” said museum board president Kim Ross Bush. “It’s just like threads of a great tapestry; you need them all to make the tapestry work.” >click to read<  14:36

Coast Guard rescues 4 fishermen near South Padre Island, Texas

Coast Guard crews rescued four fishermen from the water after their fishing vessel capsized at the South Padre Island jetties near South Padre Island, Texas, late Friday night. At approximately 11:00 p.m., Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi watchstanders received notification that the 63-foot fishing vessel Little Joseph was taking on water after striking the south jetty. >click to read<  15:12

Mississippi to sue Army Corps of Engineers over extended opening of spillway

Mississippi’s attorney general said Thursday that he will sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for environmental and economic damage the state experienced after the Corps opened a spillway for two extended periods this year to protect New Orleans from flooding.,, Hood said he does not want New Orleans to flood but the Corps should better assess potential damage to Mississippi when deciding whether to open the Bonnet Carre spillway. He said if the federal government decides to open the spillway often, “they’ll have to pay for it because it’s just about put our seafood industry out of business.” >click to read< 17:11

Senators Markey and Sullivan introduced the Ocean, Coastal and Estuarine Acidification Necessitates (OCEAN) Research Act.

This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation, which lapsed in 2012. The bill strengthens investment in research and monitoring of poorly-understood acidification processes in coastal and estuarine areas, and engages coastal communities and the seafood industry through an Advisory Board and collaborative research grants. >click to read<  15:57

Congress considering safety, climate change for fisheries

Congress is getting involved in fisheries in a couple key areas: safety and climate change. The FISH SAFE Act, and, Climate Ready Fisheries Act of 2019. Republican Rep. Don Young is leading a bipartisan effort along with Rep. Jared Golden (D, Maine) to improve safety, introducing the Funding Instruction for Safety Health, and Security Avoids Fishing Emergencies Act.,,, The most recent climate change legislation, also bipartisan, was introduced by Rep. Joe Cunningham, (D- S.C), and is co-sponsored by Reps Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) and Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), and is meant to help “low country” fishermen, but the impact, should it pass, would presumably help fishermen nation-wide. >click to read< 21:51

Efforts underway to streamline fisheries disaster relief

With an increasing number of fisheries disaster requests coming from all over the United States, members of Congress and the federal government are looking for ways to improve the relief process.,, Summer 2018 brought disappointing results for many fishermen across Alaska,,, The slow process isn’t unique to Alaska. ways to improve the relief process, introduced Senate Bill 2346 by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., in July, seeks to speed up that process, in part by expediting relief funds being disbursed to fishermen. It also seeks to add avenues for relief for non-commercial fishermen, including charter operators. >click to read< 15:00

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Galveston, TX, October 21 – 24, 2019

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting October 21 – 24, 2019, at The Tremont House, 2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row, Galveston, TX. >click to review Agenda, and supporting documents<  Listen to the meeting online, >click to listen<  19:48

South Texas shrimpers cling to culture as industry undergoes change

Doan Pham leaves Rockport Harbor just after after 6 a.m. aboard his 40-foot shrimp boat named Margie.,, From a small cabin at the front of the boat, Pham reaches out to other bay shrimpers by radio.,, This is how Pham, one of the few remaining bay shrimpers in Texas, has started almost every morning for the last 41 years. The number of shrimp boats operating in Texas has drastically decreased since the late 1980s. That’s also when sales of farm-raised shrimp imported into the U.S. from other countries began to take off. >click to read< 12:28

Video: Shrimping in South Texas

>click on the image to watch the video< 13:15

Louisiana’s Seafood Future Releases 2019 Findings Report on Fishing Industry and Coastal Change

The resulting outreach effort, Louisiana’s Seafood Future (LSF), sought to highlight innovative strategies created by seafood industry members as they confront a changing coast. LSF’s 2019 report distills ideas from crabbers, shrimpers, finfishermen, oyster fishermen, dock workers and processors—people at the heart of Louisiana’s seafood economy and culture. Overall, people who provided ideas to LSF said they wanted to stay in the seafood industry, even as they worried about future trends and wanted more information about what to expect. >click to read< 18:01

Crabbers remember horrors of red tide. They’re hoping for a better season this year

Born and raised in Cortez, Lightning Campbell has fished and crabbed the waters of the Gulf of Mexico for most of his 72 years. With memories still fresh of how last year’s red tide outbreak drastically affected the stone crab harvest, Campbell says he will put out 4,000 stone crab traps this season. Asked what he thinks about prospects for this year’s stone crab harvest, which begins Tuesday, Campbell says it’s too early to tell. >click to read< 09:05

Huffman Gets Bleak Input on Fisheries

On Oct. 5, North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman held a public meeting in Arcata to discuss updating the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the federal legislation that governs ocean fishing. Huffman brought together a roundtable of regional and local officials, a Humboldt State University professor and a few representatives of the local fishing industry to offer feedback on the failings — and successes — of the MSA.  >click to read< 10:22

Acy Cooper: Don’t let the EPA hurt Gulf fishermen with offshore fish farming facilitys

I’ve been fishing and shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico since I was 15 years old–for over forty years now. As my father and grandfather would say, it’s in our family’s blood. For many of us here in Venice, Louisiana, fishing is not just a family tradition, it’s in the fabric of our community.,, Now the federal government could make it even harder for us. The Environmental Protection Agency is moving toward approving an offshore fish farming facility by Kampachi Farms in waters off Sarasota, Florida. This operation could hurt the ecosystem and economy in Florida and set a dangerous precedent for development across the Gulf. As the only project of its kind in federal waters, it would pave the way for more industrial-scale aquaculture. >click to read< 22:07

The Gulf’s new research ship needs a name. What’s your idea?

The Gulf of Mexico’s largest research ship won’t be built until 2023, but the naming process has already begun.,, Last month, the National Science Foundation announced it would pay $106 million to build the ship.,, Gulf Island Fabrication in Houma will build the ship, along with two others also funded by the foundation. The nearly identical ships will go to Oregon State University and the University of Rhode Island. >click to read< 13:02

A man accused of driving a boat while intoxicated, found guilty of negligence in boating death

Eugene Butler Jr., 47, was found guilty Friday of culpable negligence in the death of 19-year-old Vanessa Mauffray. In June 2016, Mauffray and her boyfriend, Ryan Necaise, were in a skiff setting crab traps on Bayou Caddy. Butler, who was driving a 20-foot fishing boat, crashed into the couple’s skiff. Officials said Mauffray died hours later as a result of traumatic injuries sustained during that crash. >click to read< 09:32

Homosassa Community Helps “Bait Lady” Repair Boat

The Homosassa community is coming together to help their beloved “Bait Lady” get back on the water after her boat sank in August.,,, Bonnie Van Van Allen, known as “The Bait Lady,” has been selling bait from her boat in Homosassa for over 20 years. But when she was out in the gulf on August 30, she wasn’t able to get back to shore before a storm hit. But it didn’t take long for the Homosassa fishing community to come together to help. >click to read< 08:20

Fishing Vessel Crew Member Held For Assault On The High Seas After Allegedly Stabbing Ship’s Captain Off Pensacola Coast

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe today announced a criminal complaint against Robert Odom, a crew member on a commercial fishing vessel who allegedly attacked and wounded the vessel’s captain with a pellet gun and long-blade knife as the vessel was underway in the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola. The criminal complaint against Odom, 46, was lodged by the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service.  >click to read< 19:56

EPA considering first fish farm in Gulf of Mexico

The farm, a pilot project, would not only be a first for the gulf, but would also be the first in the federal waters of the continental United States. If it works, then look for others to follow, both here and elsewhere, said Kampachi co-founder Neil Anthony Sims. “We think the gulf coast of Florida around Tampa offers the most advantageous location, given the criteria we’re looking at,” Sims said. Other companies are eyeing potential fish farm locations off of California and Long Island, he said. >click to read< 14:24