Category Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Houston Ship Channel Reopens After 7-hour Closure to raise F/V Pappy’s Pride

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Tuesday morning after a seven-hour closure to raise a fishing vessel that sank in mid-January near the waterway’s entrance in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Houston ship pilots association. Two people aboard the 81-foot (25-meter) fishing vessel Pappy’s Pride remain missing following a collision with the 600-foot tanker Bow Fortune on January 14, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. >click to read< 18:17

It’s time to kill the Gulf dead zone, as Gulf Shrimpers fight for their livelihoods

Anyone who has followed this issue over the three decades or so it has been studied knows progress has been slow. They also know Louisiana, though it bears the lion’s share of environmental and economic harm,,, >click to read< Gulf shrimpers fight for their livelihoods in a fertilizer-fueled dead zone – Dean Blanchard Seafood, headquartered on the barrier island of Grand Isle in the Mississippi River Delta, is one of the largest shrimp suppliers in the United States. >click to read< 11:32

Sea of problems: Port Arthur Shrimpers contend with loss of generational successors

Shrimping is the most important commercial fishing industry in Texas, making up 90 percent of the value of the state’s fish products,,, However, in the last three decades, the shrimping industry has had to face numerous economic problems,,, An important topic discussed at the Port Arthur Shrimper’s Association annual meeting Thursday included the new generation of shrimpers. Kyle Kimball, president of the Port Arthur Shrimper’s Association in response simply said, “There aren’t any.” >click to read< 06:32

Michael Orr and Justin Barisich are organizing this fundraiser to Help Raise the F/V Peruga

The two worst dangers facing a commercial fisherman is sinking and fire. Tuesday January 7 George Barisich and Robert Campo Jr. were shrimping on the F/V Peruga in Lake Borgne. By the grace of God, some level headed actions and a rescue from the coast guard both men escaped unharmed.,, Please consider donating whatever you can to help with the cost of salvaging and removing the wreckage and some seed money to get another boat. It would truly be a defeat if George is not back on these waters doing what he does best, catching seafood.  >click to read< , and please donate if you can. La. commercial fishing leader’s boat burns, sinks before he goes to DC to advocate for fishermen>click to read< 15:36

F/V Pappy’s Pride: The owner of a chemical tanker ship has denied liability for a collision with a fishing boat

Norway-based Odfjell SE filed a motion Friday in response to a federal lawsuit brought by relatives of one of the fishermen who was killed. The family accuses Odfjell SE of failing to safely operate its 600-foot tanker, the Bow Fortune. The ship collided with the 81-foot Paddy’s Pride on Jan. 14 near the entrance to Galveston Bay. The lone survivor, who had been aboard the smaller boat, suffered a broken leg and was rescued from the water.  >click to read< For related posts, >click to read<   10:03

La. commercial fishing leader’s boat burns, sinks before he goes to DC to advocate for fishermen

Sinking or catching fire are the two of the worst dangers for commercial fishermen and their vessels. Both happened to George Barisich two weeks ago when his beloved fishing vessel Peruga sank in Lake Borgne. I had to run out the door. No wallet, no glasses, no phone. That’s how quick it was.” Barisich said he and his deckhand Robert Campo, Jr., came close to jumping in the cold water. Tuesday he was expected to fly to Washington D.C., to seek disaster relief money for fishermen hurt by last year’s Bonnet Carre Spillway openings. >click to read<. >click for GoFundMe page< 21:02

F/V Pappy’s Pride: Unified command suspends search for two missing fishermen after vessel collision near Galveston, Texas

The unified command has suspended the search Thursday for two missing fishermen from the 81-foot fishing vessel Pappy’s Pride that capsized after a collision near the Galveston Jetties in Galveston, Texas. Responders searched more than 49 square miles over the past three days. “It is never an easy decision to suspend a search,” said Cmdr. Jordan Baldueza,,, >click to read< 15:23

F/V Pappy’s Pride: Unified command established for vessel collision in Galveston, Texas

A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, federal on-scene coordinator, Texas General Land Office, state on-scene coordinator, and Mr. Harry Stark, the fishing vessel Pappy’s Pride’s insurance underwriters, has been established Wednesday in response to the collision between the 81-foot fishing vessel Pappy’s Pride and the 600-foot chemical tanker Bow Fortune near the Galveston jetties in Galveston, Texas.  >click to read< 20:31

1 dead 2 fishermen missing after fishing boat collides with 600-foot chemical tanker in Galveston

The crash happened around 3:35 p.m. Tuesday in Galveston near the jetties, authorities said. Two men were pulled out of the water and were rushed to UTMB, authorities said. Emergency responders had to perform CPR on one of the men who was unresponsive, but that man later died, authorities said. The condition of the other man is unclear. Crews worked to find the other two fishermen, but due to the fog,,, they had to suspend the search around 8 p.m. There was heavy fog in the area,,, Video,  >click to read< 17:09

F/V Pappy’s Pride: Coast Guard search continues for 2 fishermen after vessel collision in Galveston, Texas

The Coast Guard is continuing the search Wednesday for two fishermen from the 81-foot fishing vessel Pappy’s Pride that capsized after a collision near the Galveston jetties in Galveston, Texas. The case began Tuesday when Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston watchstanders were notified of four people in the water after a collision between the fishing vessel and the 600-foot chemical tanker Bow Fortune near the Galveston jetties. >click to read< 14:22

Coast Guard searching for 2 fishermen after vessel collision in Galveston, Texas

The Coast Guard is searching for two fishermen from the 81-foot fishing vessel Pappy’s Pride that capsized after a collision near the Galveston jetties in Galveston, Texas, Tuesday. At 3:35 p.m., Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston watchstanders were notified of four people in the water after a collision between the fishing vessel and the 600-foot chemical tanker Bow Fortune near the Galveston jetties. >click to read< 19:10

Full Committee Markup, Legislative Hearing on Sustainable Fisheries

The Committee on Natural Resources will hold a markup on Wednesday, Jan. 15. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, our Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a legislative hearing on six bills that make our oceans and fisheries more sustainable in the face of manmade threats. The Committee’s full schedule and witness lists are available below. As with all hearings and markups, these events are open to media and the public.  >click to read< 07:37

Cape Coral captain gets 60-day jail sentence for overfishing

U.S. District Judge Thomas Barber imposed the sentence Monday on Mark Zywotko, who admitted in court last August that he took and sold more red grouper and red snapper than allowed under federal regulations designed to protect those species from overfishing. Zywotko pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud for mailing documents to the National Marine Fisheries Service that intentionally misrepresented the number of fish that were caught. “You have manned up,” Barber said in imposing the prison sentence. “You can’t just pay the money back … you’ll have to spend some time behind bars.” >click to read< 18:53

Fishery FUNDD Act: Reps. Palazzo and Huffman Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Federal Fisheries Disaster Relief Program

Representatives Steven Palazzo (MS-4) and Jared Huffman (CA-2) have introduced the Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act (Fishery FUNDD Act), which will improve the federal fishery disaster process and ensure more timely disaster relief for impacted communities.  The Fishery FUNDD Act would set a timeline for the federal government to respond to a fishery disaster request, and set a timeline for disbursal of appropriated funds following a disaster. >click to read< 14:05

Future of offshore fish farming in federal waters at issue in court

The potential environmental and economic consequences posed by proposals for fish farming in federal waters dictate that Congress — not a federal agency — must decide how to regulate the industry, an attorney told a federal appeals court Monday. At issue before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was a September 2018 ruling by a federal judge who threw out National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s rules for fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico, saying Congress never gave the agency authority to make them. >click to read< 14:58

Meet Chris Schillaci who Joins Greater Atlantic Region’s Aquaculture Program! – In December, Chris Schillaci joined the Greater Atlantic Region’s aquaculture program, bringing ten years of experience to his new role. We asked Chris a few questions as he was settling in. >Click to read<

Florida Keys Fisherman Can’t Dip A Toe In Keys Waters For Five Years

A commercial fisherman in the Florida Keys has been sentenced in a case involving undersized lobster. The sentence also keeps him out of the water for quite some time. Alfredo Gonzalez was the captain of the lobster boat Perseverance when Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers stopped the vessel off the Gulf side of Marathon on Jan. 13, 2018.  >click to read< 11:51

Bycatch – From problem to opportunity. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

For as long as I have been involved in the commercial fishing industry, and that’s going back for what is approaching forty years, there has been a widespread feeling that “things would be better if this industry were administratively housed in the Department of Agriculture (DOA).” Whether at the state level, in state waters within three miles of the coastline, or the federal level beyond three miles, there’s always been a sort of wistful “wouldn’t it be great if we were over there” view of the DOA, and the reasons for this aren’t awfully difficult to fathom. The Department of Agriculture, no matter whether state or federal, is mostly focused on promotion, and fisheries agencies, no matter the level, are regulatory in nature, in organization and in attitude. This is glaringly obvious with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal fisheries agency, which in recent years has become almost totally focused to the virtual exclusion of anything else on limiting – rather than enhancing – the commercial production of fish and shellfish. >click to read< 15:06

Sam Parisi: Its 2020 and time to move this industry forward!

Here we are again, at the end of the year, and decade for that matter, as 2019 is ending, and its time to move forward. As some of my fellow Fisherynation readers know, I am motivated to try improving the U.S. fishing industry for our country’s working U.S. fishermen. I have reached out to my Senators Markey, and Warren, and also to Congressman Moulton to help draft a US Fish Bill. This is an opportunity for everyone in this ridiculously diverse industry from sea urchin, and scallop divers, to clam dredgers, and every faction of the industry, traditional, and exotic, to have personal input into a bill built for you, built by you, and built by your fellow industry members. >click to read< 16:50

Coast leaders file federal lawsuit to change procedures for future spillway openings

In the spring and summer of 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi River Commission opened the Bonnet Carré spillway element of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, releasing copious amounts of freshwater through the Lake Pontchartrain Basin and into the Mississippi Sound, wreaking havoc on the natural resources, communities and businesses on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.,,, “The members of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United want to be recorded in history as having fought to defend the environment and marine life in our Mississippi Sound,” said Ryan Radley, a fifth-generation fisherman and executive director of Mississippi Coast Fisheries United. >click to read< 07:46

Galveston oysterman suffers burns after boat catches on fire

One man with burns was airlifted Monday night to a hospital in Galveston after a boat caught fire in the Seadrift City Harbor.,,“He was by himself at the time working on his boat, and somehow it ignited; I don’t know whether through a spark or heat, but it caught fire,” he said. “He jumped into the water, and other local oystermen helped him out.” The boat sat afloat in the harbor Tuesday morning,,, Photos, >click to read< 15:18

Jim Hightower: Can ‘Powerless Nobodies’ Fight the Corporate Powers?

The many sparkling bays along the Texas coastline of the Gulf of Mexico have long provided both a working-class living and a valued lifestyle for generations of shrimpers, oysterers and other fishing families. People and seafood, however, are not the only creatures here,,, But in the 1980s, a strange and invasive new critter entered Lavaca Bay,,, This marauder was not some monster from the deep but a massive, 45,000-acre factory looming over Lavaca Bay. It is the Formosa Plastics Corporation, founded by the richest man in Taiwan. >click to read< 17:29

Have you had enough?

Since its inception in 1976, the agency charged with managing our fisheries, the NMFS, has overseen their decline, a decline which in most cases was a product of their own machinations.Usually most ideas the government has for managing our lives are well intended but terribly executed, this was a prime example. NMFS, for all that it was intended to be and do for our fisheries, has failed and in some cases, this wasn’t by mistake, but by design. By John Rice, >click to read< , and the comment venue is open there! 13:37

NOAA Issues Final Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Device Use for all Skimmer Trawl Vessels 40 Feet and Greater in Length

NOAA originally published a proposed rule in December 2016 that would have required all skimmer trawl, pusher-head trawl, and wing net vessels to use TEDs in their nets. In response to public comment and further deliberation, however, the final rule was revised. >click to read details<, Meanwhile, the enviro groups Plan to Save Sea Turtles From Shrimp Boats Scaled Way Back – “We’re scratching our heads on why this change happened,” said Gib Brogan, fishery campaign manager for Oceana, which sued to get the devices into inshore shrimp nets in NOAA’s Southeast Region. >click to read< 10:20

Enjoying seafood is a Pensacola tradition, but how did it begin?

Since harvesting creatures with fins and shells has long been with us it may make a bit of sense to periodically look at some highlights, ventures that seemingly evade the printed pages. One such story made local news print in the 1840s. It was in that decade that a number of venturesome fishermen out of New England believed that they had overcome one of their seasonal problems. Wintertime angling in the stormy Atlantic was hazardous, and often bitter cold, thus a few crews began to experiment, trading information they’d received about how plentiful snapper and grouper were in the Gulf. >click to read<  11:47

Our water quality problems are a tangled mess, but they can be fixed

What can we or local governments do about red tide? Another major outbreak could be disaster. But it could be necessary to forces us to address the sources of nutrient pollution. Reality is government ignores everything it can. To fix things, the sources have to be outed, and then it will take money to clean things up. But elected officials need contributions to get elected and re-elected. It’s expensive to campaign. What do those big contributions buy? >click to read< 09:04

Sister recalls Shrimper Mike Pitts, killed in shrimp boat accident, started his career young

For the first time, we’re getting a look into the life of Mike Pitts, one of two shrimpers that died when their boat capsized in the Mobile Bay off of Fort Morgan the day after Thanksgiving. Pitts’ sister, Gail Hester, says his siblings all live in different states, from Georgia to Maine, but that Pitts left Georgia at age 14 to head to the Gulf Coast and pursue a fishing career. Video, >click to read< 14:41

Warren proposes ‘Blue New Deal’ to protect oceans. Where Warren’s Blue New Deal Falls Short

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday proposed a “Blue New Deal” plan in what she calls an effort to protect oceans and rebuild the economy associated with oceans. The proposal was influenced by a question from an oyster farmer at the CNN presidential town hall on the climate crisis in September,,,“I said I would, and I meant it,,, >click to read< 11:03

An Environmental Lawyer Explains Where Elizabeth Warren’s Blue New Deal Falls Short – Warren’s plan does recommend folding the US into the United Nations Law of the Sea treaty,,,, Furthermore, the Blue New Deal aims to rebuild America’s fisheries, an effort that “would support an additional 500,000 jobs and generate an additional $31 billion in sales impacts,” >click to read< 11:09

Measure to help protect, enhance working waterfronts passes U.S. House

The measure, introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, D-1st District, would provide $24 million in federal grants and loans to states, which could allocate funding to municipalities, nonprofits and fishing co-ops for projects that preserve or improve working waterfront infrastructure. If approved by the Senate, it also would create a task force at the Commerce Department charged with identifying threats to working waterfronts, including climate change and marketplace pressures. >click to read< 09:02

Its going to be up to people in the fishing industry to save our fishing industry by Sam Parisi

We ALL need to step up to the plate before this industry goes under because of absurd regulations, pandering politicians, and environmental groups. I have reached out to my Senators and Congressman, whom have actually responded after utilizing Fisherynation to get their attention, for which I am grateful, with little success from those elected officials regarding the issues I have continuously contacted them about. As usual, they disappoint with no action. Senator Markey did support an issue I asked him to, which was about supporting Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan’s S-K bill, which he did, and I thank him for that. >click to read< 16:50

Coast Guard rescues boat captain from attack off Marco Island

The U.S. Coast Guard is out searching for an empty fishing boat that was last seen around 70 miles off Marco Island. The captain of that missing boat was allegedly attacked on Monday by a crew member wielding a “blunt object.” Members of the Coast Guard left their Fort Myers Beach station before 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Their mission was to find that missing boat: The Road Runner. Video, >click to read< 07:42