Category Archives: Mid Atlantic

My Turn: Ben Landry: Have honest discussion on fishing

In his July 7 column (“Opinions on changes toquota are divided”), Capt. Dave Monti makes multiple inaccurate claims about the biology and management of menhaden — claims that someone who advises menhaden regulators at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission should know do not conform to the latest menhaden science. Mr. Monti mischaracterizes the health of the Atlantic menhaden stock when he says it is “on the rebound, due to the first-ever catch quota put into place in 2012.” As an ASMFC advisor, Mr. Monti should know that the 2012 catch quota was based on a stock assessment, later determined to be faulty, that showed menhaden was being overfished. That later-disproven science led the commission to unnecessarily slash menhaden catch rates by 20 percent, hurting those who make their living in the fishery. click here to read the rest, it gets better! 19:24

Wind farm officials hear fishermen’s pleas, Deepwater Now Exploring New Cable Route

In response to strong opposition from commercial fishermen who fear a disruption of their work and destruction of fish habitat, officials of Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island company that plans to construct a 15-turbine wind farm approximately 30 miles off Montauk, are exploring an alternative to an initial plan to route the installation’s transmission cable through Gardiner’s Bay. At an April meeting of the East Hampton Town Trustees, several fishermen voiced those concerns to Clint Plummer, Deepwater Wind’s vice president of development, should the transmission cable be laid to make landfall in Gardiner’s Bay. click here to read the story 20:25

Gov. Roy Cooper: No drilling off N.C. coast; ‘not worth it’

Gov. Roy Cooper said he will oppose seismic testing and drilling off the North Carolina coast during a statement at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach Thursday. In April, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aiming to expand off-shore drilling in parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, including North Carolina. Cooper is at odds with Trump’s order, and the governor argued off-shore drilling poses an economic risk to tourism and commercial fishing with no clear benefits for the state. The federal government has North Carolina on the list of potential off-shore drilling locations, and Friday is the deadline for seismic testing click here to read the story 16:16

2 men arrested on drug charges aboard fishing boat in Buzzards Bay

Two men were arrested Wednesday on drug charges while aboard a fishing vessel in Buzzards Bay as a result of a port security operation with New Bedford Police Maritime Special Response Team, Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Department of Homeland Security and the New Bedford Police Port Security Unit.,,, The two men were charged after members of the security operation boarded the fishing vessel Blue Ocean, which is homeported in Virginia. The vessel was headed outbound from the Port of New Bedford, police said. click here to read the story 12:39

East Hampton floats $15G loan to remove boat sinking in harbor

A private fishing boat that had been slowly sinking at the East Hampton Town dock in Montauk was hauled Monday after the town board picked up the $15,000 tab, officials said. The Sylvia S, a 63-year-old wooden dragger, was taken out of the water by Gone Fishing Marina in Montauk about two weeks after the vessel began leaking, Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said. The insurance coverage on the 46-foot boat had expired.,,,Town officials had to step in to assure that the boat — which was being kept afloat by water pumps — would not sink at the town dock, where its owner was renting a slip, and become “even more of a concern,” Cantwell said click here to read the story 15:15

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 40′ Young Bros. Lobster/Tuna, Detroit 6-V-92, North Lights – 8 KW Genset

Vessel is turn key and in excellent condition. Specifications, information and 29 photos click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 14:06

Oversight Hearing “Exploring the Successes and Challenges of the Magnuson-Stevens Act” Wednesday, July 19, 2017 2:00 PM

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., in Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing titled “Exploring the Successes and Challenges of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.”  Witnesses are Mr. Jeff Kaelin, Government Relations, Lund’s Fisheries, Inc. Cape May, New Jersey. Mr. Sean Martin, President, Hawaii Longline Association, Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Nick Wiley, Executive Director,  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Charles Witek, Recreational Angler and Outdoor Writer, West Babylon, New York. click here at 14:00 Wednesday to watch the proceeding.  If you need further information, please contact Calvin Frauenfelder, Clerk, Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans at (202) 225-8331.

Hearing Memorandum detailsclick here  19:35

OPINION: Ban seismic testing, offshore drilling of NJ coast

Summer is in full swing at the Jersey Shore. Over the next couple of months and into the fall, millions of visitors will head “down the shore” for the beaches, fishing, boating and ecotourism activities like whale and dolphin watching. It’s hard to imagine New Jersey without its thriving shore tourism economy — dependent on a healthy ocean and a clean coastline stretching from Sandy Hook to Cape May. The same goes for its commercial fishing industry, which supplies fresh seafood to countless restaurants and markets. But tourism and commercial fishing in New Jersey are once again threatened by a bad idea that comes back again and again: ocean drilling for oil and gas along the coast of this state we’re in. click here to read the op-ed 11:17

Navy War Games Planned for East Coast and Gulf Waters – Public comment is open until Aug. 29

The Navy intends to fire missiles, rockets, lasers, grenades and torpedoes, detonate mines and explosive buoys, and use all types of sonar in a series of live war exercises in inland and offshore waters along the East Coast. In New England, the areas where the weapons and sonar may be deployed encompass the entire coastline, as well as Navy pier-side locations, port transit channels, civilian ports, bays, harbors, airports and inland waterways. “The Navy must train the way we fight,” according to a promotional video for what is called “Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Phase III.” An environmental impact study of the war games was released June 30. Public comment is open until Aug. 29. A public hearing is scheduled for July 19 from 4-8 p.m. at Hotel Providence. Comments can be submitted online and in writing, or through a voice recorder at the hearing. The dates and exact locations of the live weapon and sonar exercises haven’t yet been released. In all, 2.6 million square miles of land and sea along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico will be part of the aerial and underwater weapons firing. click here to read the story 18:41

Say Thank You to Jim and Bobby Ruhle for their Hard Work with NEAMAP!

As many of you in the Northeast fishing community know, NEAMAP is an extremely important survey for our fisheries but couldn’t be done without Jim and Bobby Ruhle and the F/V Darana R. This year, after suffering a major fire, Jim and Bobby worked incredibly hard to get the boat repaired and ready to go for the spring survey. It was a big struggle, but they did it for all of us and our fisheries. This letter ( see text below) is a chance to say thank you for all their hard work and dedication during this difficult time. Please sign and pass along to any and all in the Northeast fishing community, including fishermen, fishing vessels, shoreside support businesses, dealers, docks and marinas, fishing associations, etc.! When we get enough signatures, we will present it to Jim and Bobby- hopefully so that they have it on board for the fall survey! If you are a fisherman and also own a vessel, please put your name and the name of your vessel! click here to sign the letter 17:07

NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator Announces Retirement

NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator John Bullard today formally announced he will retire on January 5, 2018. Bullard, who took the top job in the agency’s Gloucester-based office in 2012, will leave a legacy of improved relationships with the regulated community, the research community, environmentalists, local, state, and federal officials and agency partners, including the New England and the Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. click here to read the story 15:41

In Compliance! Federal government upholds NJ’s flounder regulations; 18-inch size limit affirmed

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross notified New Jersey officials Tuesday that the state’s 2017 flounder regulations were in compliance for management of the fishery stock and would not need to be changed. “We are very pleased that NOAA worked with us to understand our position that sound science and good long-term planning must drive decisions about the management of summer flounder, one of the state’s most important recreational and commercial fish species,” state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said Tuesday afternoon. “New Jersey is fully committed to employing science and public education to conserve a species that is critical to the fishing culture and economy of the state.” The decision follows months of contentious debate about the issue between New Jersey officials and the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission, which had called for the state to implement a stricter 19-inch size limit.  click here to read the story 19:43

Science Center for Marine Fisheries Announces New Members: Intershell International Corporation and The Town Dock/Seafreeze Ltd.

July 11, 2017, Gloucester Pt., VA – Intershell International Corporation, and The Town Dock/Seafreeze Ltd. have become the newest industry partners at the Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCeMFiS). SCeMFiS is a partnership between fishing industry members, government agencies, non-profits, trade organizations, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), and is part of the National Science Foundation’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Center program. Other partners include Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Bumble Bee Seafoods Inc., Garden State Seafood Association, LaMonica Fine Foods, Lund’s Fisheries Inc., National Fisheries Institute Clam Committee, National Fisheries Institute Scientific Monitoring Committee, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Omega Protein, Sea Watch International and Surfside Seafood Products. click here to read the press release  Visit www.scemfis.org click here 17:14

Time is running out to protect the Atlantic coast from Seismic Testing for oil exploration

President Trump recently proclaimed that his administration is seeking “American energy dominance.” The reality is we’re already there. The United States produces more natural gas and oil than any other nation. We do import about 25% of our oil needs mostly from Canada and Mexico. However, that’s only because we export about one million gallons a week of the type of domestically produced oil we don’t want. The U.S. is beholding to no other country for our energy security.,,, The government estimates that up to 138,000 whales and dolphins could be injured or harassed if seismic airgun blasting was allowed in the Atlantic.,,, The government doesn’t even try to estimate the number of fish and invertebrates killed or harassed due to seismic airgun blasting. Ironically, in spite of its name the federal agency that approves applications for seismic testing, the National Marine Fisheries Service, requires absolutely no procedures to reduce the destructive impact of airguns on fish and invertebrates like squid. click here to read the op-ed 08:15

NMFS: Public Comment Period Opens – Review and Streamline Regulatory Processes and Reduce Regulatory Burden

On January 24, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13766, “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects” (82 FR 8657, January 30, 2017). This E.O. requires infrastructure decisions to be accomplished with maximum efficiency and effectiveness, while also respecting property rights and protecting public safety. Additionally, the E.O. makes it a policy of the executive branch to “streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects.” click here to read the press release. click the links to comment. Let ‘er rip. This is your chance to be heard. 16:46

N.J.’s fluke question will be answered next week

New Jersey will get an answer to the question of whether the state is out of compliance with its 18-inch summer flounder regulation next week. State officials from the Department of Environmental Protection were able to plead their case to NOAA Fisheries on a June 27 conference call. “We were able to go into great detail about the data behind New Jersey’s management measures that will conserve more fish and reduce the number of larger breeding females removed from the fishery, and therefore provide stronger recruitment for the future,” said NJDEP Spokesperson Bob Considine. click here to read the story 09:36

Fishermen, environmentalists continue battle over protected area off Cape Cod

Environmentalists often work with fishermen to reach a middle ground that benefits the environment and eases the regulatory burden on the industry. (baloney) The Environmental Defense Fund, for instance, has partnered with fishermen, both locally and nationally, absorbing some of the cost of new equipment to make electronic monitoring of catches at sea a feasible alternative. But there’s little consensus when it comes to the country’s newest marine park. You either agree there is an urgent need to protect the fragile ecosystems and inhabitants of the 5,000-square-mile Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, located roughly 130 miles southeast of Cape Cod, or you side with many of the region’s fishermen, who are worried this could be precedent-setting: the first in series of permanent closures in which they have little say. click here to read the story 08:08

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for July 7, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 12:28

N.J. anglers get staggering $2.8M for giant tuna following court decision

The tuna that Rich Kosztyu, Brian Suschke and Damien Romeo hauled onto Romeo’s boat last summer at a Maryland fishing tournament weighed 236.5 pounds. At the time, it earned them a staggering $767,091 at the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Md. Eleven months later, after legal wrangling and a trial in federal court in Baltimore, the fishermen friends are getting another $2 million for the catch. Court documents filed in the case – which wrapped last month with a judge stripping a Florida fisherman of his $2.8M top prize – lay out how the prize money will be divvied up among the remaining winners. click here to read the story 08:39

Fishermen: Legislation To Protect New York’s Horseshoe Crabs Is ‘Overkill’

There is a new layer of protection for New York’s horseshoe crabs. Environmental groups said it’s needed to preserve a threatened marine species, but commercial fisherman are opposed — they’ve called the legislation ‘overkill.’ Inside of a breeding laboratory run by Molloy College in Suffolk County, the next generation of marine biologists is learning about the long history of horseshoe crabs. Dr. Tanacredi warns the ancient lineage is now threatened by over-development and over-harvesting.,,,  A spokeswoman for one fishing group went further telling CBS2, “this legislation is unnecessary and reflects the environmental lobby’s power,” while labeling it, “another attempt to eliminate the commercial fishing industry.” click here to read the story 09:25

Opposition to Atlantic Siesmic Blasting – The Bipartisan Fight for Quieter Oceans

Last night, to celebrate the fourth of July, the air over the U.S. filled with fireworks. The noise they created was extremely loud and, mercifully, brief. But imagine having to listen to even louder explosions once every ten seconds, for days or weeks on end. Starting this fall, that may be the new reality for whales, fish, and other marine life off the eastern seaboard, if the Trump administration’s plans go ahead. Following the president’s executive order to open the Atlantic to offshore drilling, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is set to permit five companies to begin seismic airgun blasting—an old but controversial technique for detecting reserves of oil and gas.,,, It is easy to paint environmental issues as fights between moralizing tree-huggers and hard-working business-owners. But the opposition to airgun testing transcends such caricatures. “There is no separation between the interests of environmentalists and the business community,” says Knapp, whose bipartisan organization represents 41,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families who oppose seismic testing. click here to read the story 17:34

UPDATE: F/V Miss Shauna – Coast Guard suspends search for missing fisherman south of Montauk, NY 

The Coast Guard has suspended the search Tuesday evening for a missing person who was last seen aboard a fishing vessel 25 miles south of Montauk, New York. Missing is a 55-year old crewmember from the fishing vessel Miss Shauna who was last seen at 4:00 p.m., Monday, and was not wearing a life jacket at the time. For approximately 28-hours, a number of Coast Guard units, as well as several fishing vessels, ran 22-search patterns and covered an area over 4,200 square miles. -USCG- 23:29

UPDATE: Coast Guard continues to search for missing fisherman south of Montauk, NY

The Coast Guard and local fishing community continue to search for a 55-year-old man who went missing from a fishing vessel 25 miles south of Montauk, New York, Monday afternoon. For the past 18 hours a number of Coast Guard units, as well as 10 fishing vessels, have searched units more than 4,000 square miles for the missing crewmember of the fishing vessel Miss Shauna. The crewmember was last seen at 4:00 p.m., Monday, and he was not wearing a life jacket at the time.  The 51-foot fishing vessel Miss Shauna is homeported in New Bedford, Massachusetts. If anyone has information regarding this case, please call Sector Long Island Sound at 203-468-4401 -USCG- 12:32

New York – State DEC officials agree to meeting over LI fishing permits

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has agreed to meet with Long Island fishing interests over long-held complaints about access to restricted commercial fishing permits following a move by local legislators seeking quicker action on state fishing rules. The meeting, brokered by Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor), is expected to address the complexities of acquiring, transferring and even passing to family members permits to fish for vital local fish such as striped bass and fluke. It may also address so-called latent permits, in which a large percentage of existing permits are held but not used. Fishermen also have complained of long-standing moratoriums on certain species of fish. click here to read the story 09:29

Coast Guard searching for a missing fisherman south of Montauk, NY

The Coast Guard is searching for a man that went missing from a fishing vessel 30 miles south of Montauk, New York, Monday afternoon. Missing is a 55-year old crewmember from the fishing vessel Miss Shauna. At approximately 4:30 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound were notified by VHF-Radio from Miss Shauna that the crewmember had not reported for his watch and could not be located aboard the boat. He was last seen at 4:00 p.m., Monday. Sector watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast (UMIB) and launched several Coast Guard assets. Involved in the search are: Coast Guard Station Montauk Coast Guard Station Shinnecock Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod Coast Guard Cutter Shrike If anyone has information regarding this case, please call Sector Long Island Sound at 203-468-4401. -USCG- 18:40

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling renews push against seismic testing as a deadline nears

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling has formally opposed federal permits that would allow companies conducting seismic testing to harass marine life as a byproduct of the process. A public comment period seeking input on the authorizations ends Thursday. Five companies have applied to use seismic air guns to survey the Atlantic Ocean for potential oil and gas deposits. Seismic testing requires separate approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the companies “to incidentally, but not intentionally, harass marine mammals.” The proposed testing would violate federal law by affecting more than a small number of animals and would have more than the “negligible impact” required for the authorizations,, click here to read the story 17:26

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for June 30, 2017

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here   12:32

Clam War – Claims Over Shellfish Fuel a Battle in the Bay

The bounteous shellfish here in this hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island are so iconic, they were extolled by Cole Porter in his song “Let’s Do It,’’ with its line about oysters down in Oyster Bay doing it. While the lyric connotes cozy relations between the famously fertile shellfish of this bivalve capital, feelings among shellfishermen themselves are decidedly less friendly. Locals describe them as the clam wars, with two sides waging a public battle for decades over rights and practices in Oyster Bay Harbor, which remains the most productive shellfishing habitat in New York State. The dispute pits the baymen who hand-rake for clams against the Frank M. Flower & Sons shellfish company, which uses dredge boats to mechanically harvest the clams and oysters it farms on a swath of 1,800 acres leased from the Town of Oyster Bay. click here to read the story 10:51

Seismic blasting, oil & gas drilling in Atlantic? Now’s the time to comment

The public is now being asked to comment on the president’s proposal to open up the Atlantic and all other federal offshore planning areas for potential oil and gas drilling. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the 45-day public comment period on a new Five-Year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program on the Outer Continental Shelf will begin Monday. The comment period will close Aug. 17. To comment on the proposed Five-Year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program: click here to read the story, scroll down page for instructions. 08:43

Nils Stolpe, Fishnet USA – So how are we doing? (2017 edition) A Report on our Domestic Commercial Fishing Industry

I occasionally share my impressions of how the domestic commercial fishing industry is doing, using as my primary data source the NMFS online database “Annual Commercial Landing Statistics” (click here). We are fortunate to have these extensive records of commercial landings of fish and shellfish in the United States extending back to 1950 because they allow a fairly comprehensive view of long term industry (and resource) trends. Among the most useful statistics are those dealing with the value and weight of the total landings for each year. Together they give an overview of how the domestic fishing industry is progressing (or regressing) from year to year. Click here to read the report 11:49