Trap-tag counts lodged against Lower Keys fisherman

A Lower Keys lobster fisherman was arrested Thursday on counts of using unlicensed traps, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports. Jeromy Roy Homerston, 42, of Stock Island booked on 29 counts of using a trap without a state-issued tag, and two other conservation counts.  All the charges are misdemeanors. Homerston was later released pending court action. According to the FWC, Homerston was running the commercial boat Ol’ Skool that was stopped for catch inspection by state and federal marine officers aboard the patrol vessel Interceptor, working near the Eastern Sambos reef south of Key West. click here to read the story 11:07

Big Shrimpin’ – White shrimp could be gold for locals

Dozens of local commercial fishermen are headed west this this weekend with the opening of Louisiana’s white shrimp season. The Mississippi shrimp season opened in June, but Louisiana has only been open for brown shrimp. Brown shrimp and white shrimp are different species of shrimp, but they both command similar prices, officials said.,, About two dozen local fishing boats set out from Bayou Caddy towards Louisiana on Friday and more cast off from others across the Gulf Coast. click here to read the story 08:47

Gulf dead zone bigger than ever, affecting shrimping

The Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone – an area starved of oxygen that cannot support life – has reached the largest size documented since mapping began 35 years ago, researchers maintain in a new report. The dimensions – this year the size of New Jersey – are of particular concern because they appear related to concerns expressed by shrimpers about their catch, particularly in Terrebonne Parish waters. “They may be catching some close to shore,” said Dr. Nancy Rabalais, the oceanographer who pioneered Gulf dead zone research and who compiled the most recent report on its effects. “But they are not going to get anything between Terrebonne Bay and 25 or 35 miles offshore.” That’s bad news, with the 2017 white shrimp season fast approaching. click here to read the story 14:49

Why Omega Protein has stirred up a big stink about a small fish

The disagreement between activists and Omega Protein depends on the answer to a simple question: Are there enough menhaden in the Gulf of Mexico? Omega says there are plenty, and it wants to keep it that way. Members of the Sierra Club Gulf Coast Group, the Coastal Conservation Association and other groups have their doubts.  It’s an argument recreational fishermen and conservationists have been having with Omega for years. Omega has a menhanden reduction plant in Moss Point and regularly fishes the Mississippi Sound. The opposition to its activities began anew with vigor earlier this year when Omega began seeking a “certified sustainable seafood” designation from the Marine Stewardship Council. MSC is a London-based nonprofit (although it collects royalties from licensing its “ecolabel”) that was set up in 1997 by the World Wildlife Fund and Unilever, a global conglomerate that was at the time one of the world’s largest producers of frozen seafood. click here to read the story 10:28

Boat captain saves cat thrown from bridge

“When I took it out of the net, it grabbed a hold of my arm. I held the cat all the way into the HarborWalk. It was pretty intense,” charter boat Capt. Jordan Smith said. “I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff out there, but never had seen a living animal get thrown off the bridge,” Smith said. Smith, 35, who captains the boat Profishonal with Let’s Fish Destin Charter, was passing Coast Guard Station Destin near the northwest side of the bridge in the afternoon to pick up a group for a fishing trip. “I just saw something out of the corner of my eye. I saw some movement. Then I heard splat! Splat! I thought someone threw some trash down.” click here to read the story 15:34